Thursday, April 20, 2017

Learning R

A few years ago I was a very active Java developer and advocate. I loved it, helped to organise meetup events and even spent many nights answering questions in the now-defunct Java forum. I'm sure some old time Java developers here will still remember those days.
It used to be quite fun; I learnt a lot myself just by researching and helping people with their issues. You can't provide a solution if you haven't compiled and ran the code yourself - which is a great way to learn.
But sometime in 2009, I discovered Python by share chance. In one of the many forums online, someone was asking about open source anti-virus software - and if they were any good compared to paid software.
A few people suggested that Clamwin was quite good and it was open source. This got my thinking that it would be nice to see how real-world open source applications were developed.
Downloaded the code and studied just about every file in the project folder. That was my very first exposure to Python and it was surprisingly easy to understand the code. The C code on the other hand was bit trickier and somewhat confusing to say the least :)
This led to me learning Python and eventually getting a job as a developer using the language; and slowly using less of Java.

However, in the last 6 months or so, I have started messing about with R and I'm blown away at how quickly you can knock things together especially when it comes to data.

I will be adding more R code here as time goes on - this is mainly for me to document my progress and to share something that others can hopefully find useful.
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