In this blog post, I want to give some context.
Modern R with the tidyverse is the second ebook I release on Leanpub. I released the first one, called Functional programming and unit testing for data munging with R around Christmas 2016 (I’ve retired it on Leanpub, but you can still read it for free here) . I just had moved back to my home country of Luxembourg and started a new job as a research assistant at the statistical national institute. Since then, lots of things happened; I’ve changed jobs and joined PwC Luxembourg as a data scientist, was promoted to manager, finished my PhD, and most importantly of all, I became a father.
Through all this, I continued blogging and working on a new ebook, called Modern R with the tidyverse. At first, this was supposed to be a separate book from the first one, but as I continued writing, I realized that updating and finishing the first one, would take a lot of effort, and also, that it wouldn’t make much sense in keeping both separated. So I decided to merge the content from the first ebook with the second, and update everything in one go.
My very first notes were around 50 pages if memory serves, and I used them to teach R at the University of Strasbourg while I employed there as a research and teaching assistant and working on my PhD. These notes were the basis of Functional programming and unit testing for data munging with R and now Modern R. Chapter 2 of Modern R is almost a simple copy and paste from these notes (with more sections added). These notes were first written around 2012-2013ish.
Modern R is the kind of text I would like to have had when I first started playing around with R, sometime around 2009-2010. It starts from the beginning, but also goes quite into details in the later chapters. For instance, the section on modeling with functional programming is quite advanced, but I believe that readers that read through all the book and reached that part would be armed with all the needed knowledge to follow. At least, this is my hope.
Now, the book is still not finished. Two chapters are missing, but it should not take me long to finish them as I already have drafts lying around. However, exercises might still be in wrong places, and more are required. Also, generally, more polishing is needed.
As written in the first paragraph of this section, the book is available on Leanpub. Unlike my previous ebook, this one costs money; a minimum price of 4.99$ and a recommended price of 14.99$, but as mentioned you can read it for free online. I’ve hesitated to give it a minimum price of 0$, but I figured that since the book can be read for free online, and that Leanpub has a 45 days return policy where readers can get 100% reimbursed, no questions asked (and keep the downloaded ebook), readers were not taking a lot of risks by buying it for 5 bucks. I sure hope however that readers will find that this ebook is worth at least 5 bucks!
Now why should you read it? There’s already a lot of books on learning how to use R. Well, I don’t really want to convince you to read it. But some people do seem to like my style of writing and my blog posts, so I guess these same people, or similar people, might like the ebook. Also, I think that this ebook covers a lot of different topics, enough of them to make you an efficient R user. But as I’ve written in the introduction of Modern R:
So what you can expect from this book is that this book is not the only one you should read.
Anyways, hope you’ll enjoy Modern R, suggestions, criticisms and reviews welcome!
By the way, the cover of the book is a painting by John William Waterhouse, depicting Diogenes of Sinope, an ancient Greek philosopher, and absolute mad lad. Read his Wikipedia page, it’s worth it.