By Andy South, Software Sustainability Institute fellow
Back in July, 2017 I attended the annual R users conference (useR! 2017) in Brussels and gave a lightning talk about my thoughts on the sustainability of releasing a small R package.
I love the diversity of domains at useR and the mix of interesting use cases and useful code ideas. This was the second time that I attended useR!. The first time was in 2013 when the conference was hosted in Spain. This year, there were 1100 attendees from 54 countries. For me, the diversity of domains makes it a very accessible event. It's OK to express ignorance of what your neighbour in the coffee queue is doing. I talked to an engineer analysing measurements collected every second for hundreds of power stations across Europe, a physiotherapy student automating sending injury questionnaires to sports teams, a statistics lecturer creating a new teaching platform and running a controlled test on two groups of students. Seeing this large number of people in a conference venue is a reminder of the size and diversity of the R community, that I mostly just experience online.
The Software Sustainability Institute funded my attendance out of my fellowship fund. I've been freelance for a few years and the cost on top of the time makes it difficult to justify attending conferences. I learnt a lot, met some nice people and hope to attend again when useR! is…Continue Reading