Last week I attended the ROpenSci Unconference in Los Angeles, and it was fantastic. Now in its fourth year, the ROpenSci team brought together a talented and diverse group of about 70 R developers from around the world to work on R-related projects in an intense 2-day hackathon. Not only did everyone have a lot of fun, make new connections and learn from others, but the event also advanced the ROpenSci mission of creating packages, tools and resources to support scientific endeavours using R.
During the two-way workshop, the attendees self-organized into teams of 4-8 to work on projects. There were 20 projects started at the ROpenSci conference, and all of them produced a working package. You can details on all the projects on Github, but here are a few examples to give you a sense of what the
- skimr, a tidyverse-compatible way of summarizing data sets
- A census of R packages containing interesting data sets
- A set of best practices for security in R packages and scripts, and a package for signing and verifying R packages
- Test infrastructure for code in Rmarkdown documents
- An R interface to Minecraft, to encourage young developers to learn R
I was very fortunate to be part of that last team: we had a blast connecting R to Minecraft, like creating a procedurally-generated maze and an AI bot to navigate it. (I plan to write a full blog post about the project in due course.) But for more on #runconf17, take a look at Karthik Ram's storify which will give you a good sense of the conference as it unfolded in tweets. I also highly recommend checking out these post-conference wrap-ups by Jasmine Dumas, Karl Broman and Bob Rudis.
Thanks to the organizers for such a fantastic event, and also to the sponsors (including my own employer, Microsoft) for making it all possible. I'm looking forward to next year already!
ROpenSci: Unconference 2017