My old coding products

Lately I’ve been thinking about why I care much about everything R and sharing the joy of using R, which deserves its own post. Much of it has to do with how I did and did not get a proper training in coding suitable for data analysis in the past, but as I looked back on my personal coding history, I came across hundreds of code files that I wrote in the past1. Suffice to say, they were pretty important files in my education history, but I have totally forgotten about them until now.

They are .m files, meant to be used in Matlab. As I started opening and reading a couple of those files, I had mixed feelings, ranging from agony (“omg, this code was from that stressful point in time”) and embarrassment (“omg, look at the logic and style I was using there”), to delight (“wow I’m defining several functions to be used in main script!”) and motivation (“Yup, I was this bad, and that’s exactly why I care about education in coding (especially R) for data analysis!”).

It was quite refreshing to see how I used to code in Matlab, which had some similarities with R, hence giving me some perspectives on how my data analysis coding skills might have changed. Here are some observations of the past, in conjunction with present whenever applicable:

It was quite a pleasant surprise running into my past code prouducts. I don’t think I’ll ever code in Matlab again, but it was still quite refreshing to learn how I used to do it, especially from the current point of view. I wonder how I’d feel about my current coding in say next 5-10 years!?

  1. Fortunately, I’ve kept those files in a portable device, which I’m not usually good at doing.

  2. Interestingly, it seems I didn’t have to “source” the files to use the functions. Matlab must have known where to look for the function names.

  3. E.g., see here.