In early 2018, I gave a few conference talks on “The Lesser Known Stars of the Tidyverse.” I focused on some packages and functions that aren’t as well known as the core parts of ggplot2 and dplyr but are very helpful in exploratory analysis. I walked through an example analysis of Kaggle’s 2017 State of Data Science and Machine Learning Survey to show how I would use these functions in an exploratory analysis.

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About two months ago I put a call out to Rstats twitter. I had a working, short script that took 3 minutes to run. While this may be fine if you only need to run it once, I needed to run it hundreds of time for simulations. My first attempt to do so ended about four hours after I started the code, with 400 simulations left to go, and I knew I needed to get some help.

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Last week I spent four amazing days in Orlando at the first ever rstudio::conf. I learned a ton, met some really cool people, connected with several I hadn’t seen in a while, and came out feeling ready to take on the world. I’ve divided my summary of the conference into two parts. This first one shares my personal experience and some more general learnings, while the other one has quick, bullet-pointed lists on writing functions, packages, tools, and functions I learned, and general tips and tricks.

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As I mentioned in my previous post, I was fortunate to enter graduate school with a few years of programming experience in R. I learned R exclusively through my Statistics classes; while I took the graduate-level psychology statistics course at Rice and was a research assistant in multiple departments, all used SPSS. As this discrepancy suggests, the social sciences are often lagging behind in teaching and using open-source software. Fortunately, there is some effort to change this.

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Emily Robinson

Date Scientist at DataCamp

Data Scientist

New York