Praise you like I should: Shiny Appreciation Month

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Aimée Gott, Education Practice Lead

Back in the summer of 2012 I was meant to be focusing on one thing: finishing my thesis. But, unfortunately for me, a friend and former colleague came back from a conference (JSM) and told me all about a new package that she had seen demoed.

“You should sign up for the beta testing and try it out,” she said.

So, I did.

That package was Shiny and after just a couple of hours of playing around I was hooked. I was desperate to find a way to incorporate it into my thesis, but never managed to; largely due to the fact it wasn’t available on CRAN until a few months after I had submitted and because, at the time, it was quite limited in its functionality. However, I could see the potential – I was really excited about the ways it could be used to make analytics more accessible to non-technical audiences. After joining Mango I quickly became a Shiny advocate, telling everyone who would listen about how great it was.

Six years on at Mango, not a moment goes by when somebody in the team isn’t using Shiny for something. From prototyping to large scale deployments, we live and breathe Shiny. And we are extremely grateful to the team at RStudio—led by Joe Cheng—for the continued effort that they are putting in to its development. It really is a hugely different tool to the package I beta tested so long ago.

As Shiny has developed and the community around it has become greater so too has the need to teach it because more people than ever are looking to become Shiny users. For a number of years, we have been teaching the basics of Shiny to those who want to get started, and more serious development tools to those who want to deploy apps in production. But increasingly, we have seen a demand for more. And as the Shiny team have added more and more functionality it was time for a major update to our teaching materials.

Over the past six months we have had many long discussions over what functionality should be included. We have debated best practices, we have drawn on all of our combined experiences of both learning and deploying Shiny, and we eventually reached a consensus over what we felt was best for industry users of Shiny to learn.

We are now really pleased to announce an all new set of Shiny training courses.

Our courses cover everything from taking your first steps in building a Shiny application, to building production-ready applications and a whole host of topics in between. For those who want to take a private course we can tailor to your needs, and topics as diverse as getting the most from tables in DT to managing database access in apps can all be covered in just a few days.

For us, an important element of these courses, is that they are all taught by data science consultants who have hands-on experience building and deploying apps for commercial use. These consultants are supported by platform experts who can advise on the best approaches for getting an app out to end users so that you can see the benefits of using Shiny as quickly as possible.

But, one blog post was never going to be enough for all of the Shiny enthusiasts at Mango to share their passion. We needed more time, more than one blog post and more ways to share with the community.

Therefore, Mango are declaring June to be Shiny Appreciation Month!

For the whole of June, we will be talking all things Shiny. Follow us on Twitter where we will be sharing tips, ideas and resources. To get involved, share your own with us and the Shiny community, using #ShinyAppreciation. On the blog we will be sharing, among other things, some of the ways we are using Shiny in industry and some of the technical challenges we have had to overcome.

Watch this space for updates but, for now, if you want to know more about the Shiny training that we offer, take a look at our training pages. If you are based in the UK we will be running public Shiny courses in London (see below for the currently scheduled dates). We will also be offering a snapshot of the materials for intermediate Shiny users at London EARL in September.

Public course dates:

Introduction to Shiny: 17th July
Intermediate Shiny: 18th July, 5th September
Advanced Shiny: 6th September

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