Chapter 10. Efficient Learning

As with any vibrant open source software community, R is fast moving. This can be disorienting because it means that you can never finish learning R. On the other hand, it makes R a fascinating subject because there is always more to learn. Even experienced R users keep finding new functionality that helps solve problems more quickly and elegantly. Therefore, learning how to learn is one of the most important skills to have if you want to learn R in-depth. We emphasize depth of learning because it is more efficient to learn something properly than to Google it repeatedly every time you forget how it works.

This chapter aims to equip you with concepts, guidance, and tips that will accelerate your transition from an R hacker to an R programmer. This inevitably involves effective use of R’s help, reading R source code, and use of online material.


The only package used in this section is swirl:


Top Five Tips for Efficient Learning

  1. Use R’s internal help (e.g., with ?, ??, vignette(), and apropos()). Try swirl.

  2. Read about the latest developments in established outlets such as the Journal for Statistical Software, the R Journal, R lists, and the blogosphere.

  3. If stuck, ask for help! A clear question posted in an appropriate place, using reproducible code, should get a quick and enlightening answer.

  4. For more in-depth learning, nothing can beat immersive R books and tutorials. Do some research and decide which resources ...

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