Chapter 5 Community
One of the many strengths of the R language, and a really compelling argument for its use –beyond the usual technical merits– is the community that has grown up around it. With such a diverse, welcoming and helpful community, it’s easy to understand how people are drawn in.
5.1 Conferences and User Groups
The R Foundation holds an annual conference called ‘useR!’, which generally alternates between Europe and the US and this has become the focal point of the R user community’s annual calendar. UseR! is aimed at all R users, bringing together those from academia as well as industry. When the useR! conference is hosted outside of Europe, the European R Users Meeting, called ‘eRum‘ is organized to allow more european R users to participate in a yearly conference.
There are also more specialist conferences aimed at R users; for example EARL (Enterprise Applications of the R Language), which focuses on commercial usage of the language, and rstudio::conf which is aimed specifically at users of the packages and tools produced by RStudio.
At the local level there are hundreds of R user groups around the world, from London to Manila. Chances are, that if you’re in a moderately large city, there will already be a user group meeting in your area. Have a look at this list on the ‘Jumping Rivers’ site or check meetup.com for more information. There is also a world-wide network of R-Ladies groups that aim to promote gender diversity in the R community.
5.2 Where Can You Find the R Community Online?
There are a number of places online where the community comes together:
- The R-Project run several mailing lists for announcements and help.
- Many R users are also active on twitter and use the #rstats hashtag.
- RStudio has a community forum site at https://community.rstudio.com, which is great for help with RStudio products and packages.
- R users are also active on developer help site stackoverflow https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/r
- The R-Bloggers website aggregates articles written by the R community into a single site.
- R Weekly is a community curated news site for R users with a weekly newsletter. Anyone can suggest new R-related content for the next issue, either through the site, or via GitHub.