It was a bit bizarre to go on a roller coaster that had more staff members than riders, but I definitely didn’t miss the lines. I was even picked to get a free wand from Ollivander’s (Vine with Unicorn hair), which you can use to interact with shop windows in the park. But again, whether exploring Hogwarts, enjoying a butter beer, or grabbing the front row of a ride, the experience was made all the richer for the people I got to enjoy it with:
For those considering going to rstudio::conf next year, I hope this gave you a better idea of what the experience was like. I want to emphasize again how friendly everyone at this conference was, even prominent and notable members of the community. If you’re new to conferences, don’t be shy about introducing yourself after talks or at the lunch table.
In the final panel of Hadley Wickham, J.J. Allaire, and Joe Cheng, one of them said: “the strength of R is in the human factors. It’s possible for those who don’t have a conventional software background to be successful with R.” The R language maintainers, RStudio, and the many open-source package developers deserve much of the credit for this. But I think the final piece of really making R accessible is the rest of the great and friendly community. Whether it’s Stack Overflow power-users who enable you to find the answer when you Google questions, or the active bloggers who walk you through their code and analysis, or the Twitter users who share the newest packages and their insights, there are always people ready to help.