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What They Forgot to Teach You about R

2022-03-15 note: This repo previously belonged to the GitHub organization, under the name what-they-forgot. It was renamed and transferred here, as preparations for rstudio::conf(2022) started. It is useful to us to keep all of our resources within one persistent organization.


rstudio::conf 2020

by Kara Woo, Jenny Bryan, and Jim Hester <-- The One True URL that links to everything!

🗓️ January 27 and 28, 2020
09:00 - 17:00
🏨 Golden Gate Rooms 4-5 (Lobby Level)
🎵 Spotify playlist


Please do the requested Git/GitHub prep in advance! Go here for details. If you have questions, please ask on the thread.



09:00 - 10:30 1_1: Project-oriented workflow 1 of 2
10:30 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 12:30 1_2: Project-oriented workflow 2 of 2
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 15:00 1_3: Debugging
15:00 - 15:30 Break
15:30 - 17:00 1_4: Git/GitHub 1


09:00 - 10:30 2_1: Personal R Administration 1 of 2
10:30 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 12:30 2_2: Personal R Administration 2 of 2
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 15:00 2_3: Git/GitHub 2
15:00 - 15:30 Break
15:30 - 17:00 2_4: Iterating well with purrr


This is a two-day hands on workshop designed for experienced R and RStudio users who want to (re)design their R lifestyle. You'll learn holistic workflows that address the most common sources of friction in data analysis. We’ll work on project-oriented workflows, version control for data science (Git/GitHub!), and how to plan for collaboration, communication, and iteration (incl. RMarkdown).

In terms of your R skills, expect to come away with new knowledge of your R installation, how to maintain it, robust strategies for working with the file system, debugging tools, and ways to use the purrr package for repetitive tasks.

Is this course for me?

  • Have you been using R for a while and feel there might be better ways to organize your R life, but don't know what they are?
  • Do you want to streamline your workflow for doing analysis and automating repetitive tasks in R?
  • Are you willing to get into the weeds of your R installation, project organization, error messages, and source code?

You should take this workshop if:

  • You've been using R for a while and you feel like writing R code is not what’s holding you back the most.
  • You’ve realized that you have more pressing "meta" problems that no one seems to talk about.
  • You want to know how to divide your work into projects and scripts, how to expose your work to others, and how to get more connected to the R development scene.

The tidyverse is not an explicit focus of the course (other than the purrr segment) and you can certainly work through the content without it. But you should expect a great deal of tidyverse exposure.


TAs and special guests:


  • Project-oriented mentality, organization, predictability, portability
  • Take control of your R installation: startup, libraries & packages
  • Why and how re: version control, esp. with R and RStudio
  • Strategies for getting unstuck and helping yourself
  • Iterating well, esp. with purrr game time decision

Feedback and communication is our chat room. Good for live chat during the workshop. Feel free to ignore if you are overstimulated already.

Issues <-- all are encouraged to open issues as we go. This is actually tremendously helpful to us! Examples of issue-worthy thoughts:

  • Glitches in the instructions or materials that we need to fix, for current workshop or future
  • Missing content that we identify
  • Great questions or sidebar discussions that we should consider formalizing and recording
  • Questions that are too specific or technical to answer in real-time


Written versions of content are under open development here:

Links that are handy to us

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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