I enjoyed attending the RStudio Conference in San Francisco January 29th and 30th. I also attended
the Tidyverse developer day on the Friday after the conference and did my first Pull Request (PR).
Soon I will be able to type ?forcats::fct_reorder and see my own super-simple example added to
the help for that function.
The videos from the conference are now online. It’s
impressive how much video content RStudio has online at their resources site
including video from all the past conferences. There’s a lot of useful stuff there.
My favorite talk of the conference was the keynote by J. J. Allaire, the co-founder of RStudio.
It was relevant for the world way beyond R and RStudio. Starting at about minute 25 he gets
into issues about the motivation and incentives of for-profit corporations.
He gets deeply into the issues. One does not expect to see a slide with the title
“Dodge v. Ford Motors (1919)” at a computer conference. The subject that
is addressing is relevant way beyond the computer industry. RStudio is a fascinating company
and J.J.’s talk made it clear how much of the personality of the company comes directly
from its founder.
The other Wednesday morning keynote was also excelent. Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg
of Google delivered a very polished and interesting talk on Data, Visualization, and
Designing with AI. It got into the topic of issue of what “fair” and “biased” mean
in the context of machine learning based decision algorithms.