I spent the last 3 days learning R, at the most recent set of CARMA short courses hosted at the University of South Carolina. While I have come across R before in my professional career, this was my first hands on experience learning to code in it myself.

I owe huge thanks to Dr. Scott Tonidandel who was our guide into this journey. His lessons were artfully developed, not just for teaching in the classroom but for long term practice as we need to refer to these lessons while practicing on our own.

After these last 3 days, I can see how data management, cleaning and even statistical analysis is so much simpler and more efficient. I’m glad I’ve started this journey now, in the beginning of my PhD program, before I become habitually dependent on tools like SPSS.

There are several more CARMA short course programs coming up this year. If you are an academic and interested in R, I would highly recommend that you attend these conferences. It’s a great value and there are several more advanced courses in advanced techniques.

I feel a bit like a toddler just learning to walk but I’m excited to practice all of these new skills. If you use R, I’d love to hear about your recommendations for resources, communities to join, or additional learning tools!

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