Chapter 1 Introduction
- The most damaging phrase in the language is: ’It’s always been done that way.*.
— Grace Hopper
Did you try to read the title from the cover of the book? I could have done a thousand things to make it easier for you to read it. But this cover reminds me of how often we overlook simple things which are very crucial from the reader’s point of view.
R is an excellent programming language it’s turing complete and doesn’t lack anything for a production level code. It can be used in the entire data domain from API’s to dashboards to apps and much more. Trust the language and trust in yourself. It’s a journey everyone has gone through and everyone must go through.
R programmers have a bad reputation for not writing production level code. It stems from the fact that we mostly aren’t trained programmers. We tend to overlook things that are crucial from a programming standpoint. As R programmers we are often less inclined to write the code for production. Mostly we try to write scripts and when we are asked to deploy the same we just wrap it in a function and provide it to the IT team. I have been at the receiving end of these issues where I had to maintain a poorly written code; columns were referred by numbers, functions were dependent upon global environment variables, 50+ lines functions without arguement, poor naming conventions etc….
I too am a self taught programmer and have gone through these hiccups of code deployment, code reviews and speed issues. World going forward will all be code and data. The sooner you learn these skills the better it is for you to have trust in your own programming skills. R is a huge language and I would like to share the little knowledge I have in the subject. I don’t claim to be an expert but this book will guide you in the right path wherever possible.
Most of the books about R programming language will tell you what are the possible ways to do one thing in R. This book will only tell you one way to do that thing correctly.
I will try to write it as a dictionary as succinctly as possible. So that you can use it for references. Let the journey begin…