Groups to follow in the R Community

Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

Reading and trying other people’s code is vital to keeping up with any programming language. Here are a few groups that are doing amazing work in the open-source R community. The packages and tools created by these groups have revolutionized R programming. Github organization, R-universe, and group website links included below followed by a short background.

RStudio is amazing. We wouldn’t have {tidyverse} or {shiny} without them. The R for Data Science and Mastering Shiny books from Hadley Wickham (Chief Scientist at RStudio) are must reads. From the Data Science Hangouts to the numerous blog posts, they’re closely engaged in the R community. Looking forward to the upcoming RStudio Conference.

ThinkR has already changed the game. {hexmake} (from Colin Fay) blew me away and {golem} defined what it means to build production-grade Shiny apps. The Engineering Production-Grade Shiny Apps is a must read to learn best practices in Shiny development. They provide consulting services for your R needs.

Appsilon recently released the {rhino} package which is basically their version of {golem} for production grade apps. They’ve been doing awesome community work and trainings since their formation. Their Shiny conference this year was phenomenal. Videos from that are posted online. Similar to ThinkR, they also provide consulting services for Shiny apps.

Pharmaverse group has a set of opinionated packages that are standardizing clinical reporting in R. This effort is supporting the effort to successfully move the Pharma industry from SAS to R.

ROpenSci has a ton of useful packages, {skimr}, {pdftools} or {targets} for example. They recently released R-universe which is a modern solution to package discovery and package management. Way better than searching for packages from the CRAN website.

Jumping Rivers has a great blog. They maintain an awesome list of R conferences and meetings on a {bookdown} site here, and recently released a package version comparison site called diffify. Jumping Rivers also provides consulting services and a ton of training courses.

dreamRs provides consulting and training on data science using R. The tools they’ve developed have changed the way I look at Shiny apps. {esquisse} is great for R users learning ggplot2 or needing to quickly create a plot. The code generation functionality of esquisse is superb. {shinyWidgets} and {datamods} should be in everyone’s Shiny toolkit.

The RinteRface group has helped modernize Shiny with packages like shinydashboardPlus}, {bs4Dash}, and {shinyMobile}. Their efforts have moved Shiny developers away from standard layouts into more customizable HTML templates. As a result of their efforts, we now see Shiny apps that look a lot more professional. If you use Shiny, you should also check out Outstanding User Interfaces with Shiny and Javascript for R by group members David Granjon and John Coene.

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