Promoting the use of R in the NHS

Blog Article

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(This article was first published on http://r-addict.com, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

For us, R is not about packages and data analysis. It is about a vibrant community that creates all those wonderful toys. As the Why R? Foundation we want to take part in the growth of the R user base. One of our first efforts is the Why R? conference series with a unique community-oriented vibe.

Before the main event, we co-organized twelve R meetups in European cities. It wouldn’t be possible without a wonderful support of local R communities. Aside from the promotion of Why R?, we had a great opportunity to interact with other R enthusiasts.

Why R? 2018 happened in Wrocław in Poland. We started with workshops on July the 2nd with workshops and ended on July the 5th with Special Interest Groups and mlr hackathon. Check out the after-movie!

The participants of the conference have a chance to take part in 8 workshops. We are especially grateful to R-Ladies Warsaw who conducted the R-Ladies workshop. Thanks to their support we managed to keep the R-Ladies workshop free for all participants. We are happy that our conference hosts also free side-events aiding in the further promotion of R.

All 45 presentations and 8 keynotes were great, but we have to highlight the work of the mlr-team. Bernd Bischl and his coworkers did an amazing job animating Why R? with workshops, the mlr session, and a hackathon. The hackathon was quite a challenge, as it goal was to improve documentation of the mlr package. I am aware how compelling perspective is to work with developers of mlr on their package. Still, the massive participation in the hackathon was beyond our expectations. We hope that contributions of Why R? participants will be a valuable addition to the package.

The last part of the conference were special interest groups. The idea is simple: gather together R users with a common interest and let them talk. We are very happy to see the active participation in all three SIGs: Diversity in Data Science, Teaching Data Science and Career Development in Data Science. Again, these events wouldn’t be as successful as they were without their moderators.

We are already missing the atmosphere of enthusiasm that we encountered during Why R. Thus, we are already planning the next even. The Why R? 2019 conference happens in Warsaw (dates to be announced), but in the meantime stay tuned for new pre-meetings. See you in Warsaw!

The event could not be hosted without the support of our sponsors whom we say big thank you from the whole organizing committee!

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