Naming things is hard

Prefixing R function names

‘There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things.’ The above quip by Phil Karlton is fairly well known and often quoted, sometimes with amusing extensions: There are two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors. — Jeff Atwood (@codinghorror) August 31, 2014 There are only 2 hard things in computer science: 0. Cache invalidation 1. Naming things [Read More]

The spark of statistics

The science of us

I’ve enjoyed maths for pretty much as long as I can remember. I’m aware that it is rare to make such a statement. Probably straight up weird to some. But that just shows how much I have to be grateful for. I am indebted to my parents, extended family and friends and a number of great teachers over the years who made sacrifices in order to give me solid learning opportunities and a supportive environment. [Read More]

Data Science Podcasts

Make the most of your commute!

Podcasts are awesome. Especially when you’re stuck in traffic on the way to work. Below are some podcasts I listen to that relate to data science and statistics. Each of them has something slightly different to offer, so if this is an area of interest to you then I recommend you give these a try! Not So Standard Deviations Roger Peng and Hilary Parker talk about the latest in data science and data analysis in academia and industry. [Read More]

R track on

The devil is in the details!

As I’ve said before, when it comes to programming I’m a firm believer in the “learn by doing” approach. is a project which exemplifies this. I came across earlier this year while exploring GitHub looking for an open source project to contribute to. The premise is fairly simple: pick a language that you’d like to learn or improve on fetch an exercise via the Command Line Interface (CLI) code up and submit a solution for the exercise return to the site to get feedback on your solution and/or to compare it to the solutions others have come up with The problems are very simple to begin with, (usually starting out with the traditional “Hello, World! [Read More]

satRday Cape Town

SA's first R conference

Almost a full month has passed since satRday Cape Town. Time races on (as always) bringing plenty of challenges and opportunities with each new day, but part of me wants to go back and re-live the experience, just to have some more time to take it all in again. It’s an event which I hope will remain firmly ensconced in my memory for many years to come. I met many amazing individuals and made a whole lot of new friends. [Read More]


May the best bot win

Halite is an artificial intelligence programming challenge. Players control a bot using the programming language of their choice. Bots fight for control of a 2D grid and the bot with the most territory at the end wins. The company behind Halite is Two Sigma, a New York City-based hedge fund that uses a variety of technological methods, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and distributed computing, for its trading strategies. According to the company’s website: [Read More]

Welcome to R-bloggers!

Tal Galili, empowering bloggers to empower other R users

Hooray! I am now part of the R-bloggers community! {:style=“float: right;margin-right: 15px;margin-top: 15px;margin-left: 15px;margin-bottom: 15px;“} R-bloggers is a blog aggregator for content created by the Rstats community. It was founded by Tal Galili towards the end of 2009, in order to help connect R bloggers with R users (and each other). I came across R-bloggers relatively soon after it got going and have benefitted so greatly from it over the years. [Read More]

Why swirl?

Learn R, in R.

swirl is a software package for the R programming language that turns the R console into an interactive learning environment. Users receive immediate feedback as they are guided through self-paced lessons in data science and R programming. I think I first came across swirl in mid-2014, while working through the early stages of the Data Science Specialization on Coursera, put together by Johns Hopkins University professors Roger Peng, Brian Caffo and Jeff Leek. [Read More]

satRday in Cape Town

A celebration of R

In just two months time, the second satRday will be taking place right on my doorstep, in Cape Town, South Africa. I keep telling people I am looking forward to it, but to be honest that’s really quite an understatement. I am super excited! satRdays are SQLSaturday-inspired, community-led, one-day, regional and affordable conferences around the world to support collaboration, networking and innovation within the R community. If you don’t know what satRdays are about, here is the back story… [Read More]

Introducing hugo!

Fun with bot frameworks

Roughly two months ago, I embarked on a short mission: to setup an instance of hubot for integration with Slack. Despite being armed with only a very limited working knowledge of Javascript (hubot runs on node.js and scripts are written in CoffeeScript), the tutorials seemed pretty thorough and made the setup process look do-able, so I decided to have a crack at it. I’ll begin with my inspiration for doing this, and then provide an overview of the setup process (which I suggest you skip over if you’re not interested in the details), followed by some examples of the few things I implemented with my instance of hubot at the outset. [Read More]
rstats  bots  slack