Let's chat about building a R community within your office. I was the only R user in the office and I also wanted people I could go to for help and just thought partner to solve problems. So, here are some of my lessons learned from building a R culture in the office!
📌Lesson 1: Don't tell or lecture about the benefits of #rstats, instead show them a demonstration!
People generally are motivated when they see how easy it is to start something small and with a specific example!
my ex: being able to work with multiple dataframes concurrently.
📌Lesson 2: Not every training has to carefully planned!
Sometimes the spontaneous help you offer to a colleague is still training. This training was timely, concise and helped them cross the roadblock.
Ex: I wrote down a quick #STATA to #R translation on a post-it note.
📌Lesson 3: Give your colleagues an opportunity to code a problem, task or project!
- It is important that we advise them to first focus on solving the problem & then shift to efficient coding.
- In R, we code the way we think! So, ask them to map out the data wrangling steps.
📌Lesson 4: Expose staff to the broader inclusive R community by taking them to local meetups.
I took several colleagues to events hosted by @RLadiesNYC, @WiMLDS_NYC, @nyhackr. I had to entice them with free pizza for the first one, but now they show up on their own!
📌Lesson 5: First, share all resources folks need to learn about RStudio, basics of R coding and the pipe (%>%) way of thinking.
... And then develop accompanying contextualized training materials using internal datasets relevant for their daily work as well!
📌Lesson 6 (obvious): Have an informal and ongoing trainings to share & present new topics, tools, and methods.
At our office, we have a weekly "data cafe" & I used this platform to run R trainings! It was also a great place to show[off] cool reproducible Rmarkdowns!🙌🙌🙌
📌Lesson 7: If you truly want folks to be motivated & try out new things, don't make fun of the current statistical languages they use!
No one likes to be constantly reminded that "oh! this could be so much easier in R". 🙋♀️ I AM GUILTY OF THIS BEHAVIOR!
Change comes slowly❗
📌Lesson 8: Don't handhold too much.
Instead, teach them to understand the errors and solve it!
🌟One good coding skill to have is knowing how to google what you need!🌟
Show them resources: stackoverflow, google, blogs, and...twitter!!
📌Lesson 9: Anybody can be a teacher!
Encourage your staff to teach and share what they learnt. It builds their confidence and they internalize the #rstats knowledge when they teach.
To conclude, I am happy to say that there is a growing community of R users in my office! I have people to consult with for problem solving!! 😭🙌
But there is still a long way to go.
See how @urbaninstitute grew an R community: https://medium.com/@urban_institute/building-an-r-community-at-the-urban-institute-b66739aaaaa7 …
You can follow @WeAreRLadies.