10 Ways to Be a Better R Programmer


This post is targeted towards established R Programmers or those who are learning the basics of R Programming through proper R programming certification.

The top ten tips that R enthusiasts should follow while writing their code are as follows:

  • You don’t have to tidy up things manually

Though it is indeed a best practice to keep your code neat and clean, you can prevent unnecessary waste of time by letting linters like formatR do the trick for you. After its job has been done you can just lay back and relax with a few minor tweaks here and there.

  • Make Use of an IDE

Though you most certainly can write code on a text editor or even the R graphical user interface but Rstudio like Interactive Development Environments make the process of writing code hassle free and so much easier. The code completion hints is sure to save you much time.

  • Get To Know the Hotkeys

IDEs quite akin to the OS comes with its share of hotkeys. This saves loads of time as you accomplish more without ever taking your hands off the keyboard.

  • Plan Before Coding

If you are sure of the direction the practice of your coding may take you will find the task of coding far easier. And doing things like commenting makes things even more easier.

  • If unsure about something make sure to just Google it

If you start from scratch you are sure to learn a lot of things but there is a better more sensible way. Just Google the problem in search of canonical solutions, some of the more common pitfalls or perhaps simply some things that you should take into consideration.

  • Avoid repetition

In all probability this tip is one of those that you are pretty much sure to have heard befory but nonetheless is worthwhile to mention. R has the potential to create functions, split the codes that need to be repeated into a set of functions.

  • Select the appropriate tool in your context

Avoid relying on R as the primary hammer tool of your choice. Make evaluations of project needs and make use of appropriate languages. If you learn a bit at the outset you are spared of whole lot of pain later.

  • Write code that facilitates tests

Make it a second nature to test your code and make the whole procedure quick and one that may be conducted with ease. While writing code incorporate validation and avoid using functions that have negative effects.

  • Make proper documentation

Make this a regular part of your code writing practice that is write documentation as you go along the process of writing your code. If you leave the task till the end not only will the task be harder to complete but the final documentation will rarely be completed.

  • Make Proper Source Control

Make use of source control like Git or SVN that lets you regularly maintain code versions and lets you make your development more conducive to collaboration.

Final Words

The value of a code lies in a great part on whether it is documented, tracked and may be tested easily. If you are undergoing a course in a proper R programming training institute these tips are sure to separate you from your peers.

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