ProCogia at RStudio::conf 2019

As a designated enterprise partner and cherished sponsor of RStudio’s annual conference, ProCogia brought a strong contingent of Data Scientists and Sales executives to this year’s conference in Austin. It was an honor to witness the tremendous growth and popularity of this conference, which saw over 1700 participants this year. The 2-day main conference was preceded by 2 additional days of workshops and certifications. Some of our own ProCogia data scientists got certified in implementing RStudio products at an enterprise level.

It would be a mountainous job to recap the entirety of the conference, which had multiple tracks and themes, but here is a humble recap of what became the highlights of this year:

R is production ready

This was the dominant theme of this year’s edition and we could not agree more. RStudio’s CTO and inventor of Shiny, Joe Cheng kicked off the conference with his Shiny in production Keynote. He led the audience through a journey of how shiny started as data scientist’s visualization tool and gradually became a production ready product that can be used at an organizational level. There were some obvious technical and cultural challenges: software engineers’ reluctance to use Shiny apps as they were built using a data scientist’s perspective, and broader push back from organizational IT regarding scaling of shiny apps. He provided plenty of examples to emphasize how Shiny has evolved to become more robust and ready for widespread use. The conference also provided introductions to RStudio’s emerging products RStudio Package Manager and RStudio Connect: Past, present, and future which can be used to create an enterprise level data science environment (something ProCogia can help with).

Sharing is caring

David Robinson from DataCamp presented his keynote around The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Public Work, emphasizing how important it is for a data scientist to evangelize their work within their organization and the broader community. Data science doesn’t operate in a silo and neither should a data scientist. He suggested using social media, authoring blogs and articles, even writing a book (with practice and experience) to engage with the community. We, at ProCogia, also believe in giving back to the local R programming community and do so through organizing Bellevue’s useR group meetup every other month in our office location.

Learning, Learning, Learning!

Keeping an open mind around learning new concepts and techniques is the key for professional growth. Noted education researcher Felienne‘s keynote was around understanding how code can thought in a very non-trivial manner, using her research with teaching programming to school kids. It provided a very interesting way to look at programming in general and how you can master this concept using a practice-based approach.

Other notable talks that caught our attention were:

Of course, this blog post can’t cover all the talks and workshops from the conference, but hopefully it provides enough summary for you to get excited about R and Rstudio! Please feel free to reach out to us at outreach@procogia.com if you want to engage RStudio products at your enterprise, give a talk at our Seattle meetup, or are just inquisitive about R in general.

Stay tuned for our coverage of the next conference from San Francisco!