R user or R Developer? Your opinion matters.

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What makes one an R Developer and how does it differ from being an R User?

Running up to the Panel Discussion “R User or R Developer? This is the question”) at useR!2021, we have realized that there is absolutely no consensus regarding the definition of “R Developer” and “R User”.

Within the relatively small amount of people we interviewed on this matter, we already received quite different answers, spanning from “everyone who writes R code is an R Developer” all the way to “an R Developer is someone who expands the R language, i.e. a member of the R Core Development Team or someone working on packages like for example dplyr”. With such a board understanding of the concept, we realize it is paramount to open a discussion table on the topic and get an overview of the different perspectives and reasoning behind them.

We have therefore created a short survey using google forms, and run a Linkedin Poll to gather the Community Perspective. Results will be shared during the Panel Discussion at useR!2021, which aims at:

  • showing the different expectations when using the terms R Developer and R User,
  • highlighting the skill-set needed for these roles, also depending on the context (academic / industry), and
  • investigating what is available/requested in the job market,
  • exploring how this impacts the future of R and how we train new R practitioners.

We hope to provide food for thoughts for our audience and a source of inspiration and reflection, not necessarily to reach a consensus, but mostly to improve awareness when defining an R Practitioner.

Looking forward to e-seeing you all at the Panel on Tuesday July 6th at 4 pm UTC (check out the agenda).

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