Hertweck Cascadia R Conference 2019

Kate Hertweck
Kate HertweckProgram Manager at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
R we there yet? Building communities of
practice around R and topics in biology
Kate L. Hertweck
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
@k8hert and @fredhutchio
Acknowledgements
Carly Strasser
Fred Hutch
Sidney Bell
Chan Zuckerberg
Initiative
Greg Wilson
RStudio
(co-founder of
Software Carpentry)
We teach foundational coding and
data science skills to researchers
worldwide.
https://carpentries.org
fredhutch.io educates researchers about
reproducible computational skills to
facilitate scientific discovery
1. Teaching short courses on reproducible
research methods
2. Facilitating use of computational
resources at Fred Hutch
3. Coordinating with other training
opportunities
4. Developing cooperative communities of
practice
http://www.fredhutch.io
fredhutch.io educates researchers about
reproducible computational skills to facilitate
scientific discovery
1. Teaching short courses on reproducible
research methodsR statistical
programming
Python
programming
Intro to Git
and GitHub
Data for Data
Science
fredhutch.io educates researchers about
reproducible computational skills to facilitate
scientific discovery
R coding
group
Software
design group
Data
visualization
group
4. Developing
cooperative communities
of practice
Why is R unique in the context of these tools?
● R as a programming language is
especially accessible to newcomers
● The R community is especially
inclusive
● R tools in development are appealing
to users in other communities
Intro to R
R: Data
visualization
R: Statistics
R:
Programming
R: Machine
Learning
R:
Bioconductor
Novice
Level of course
participants
Competent
practitioner
Expert
Intro to R
R: Data
visualization
R: Statistics
R:
Programming
R: Machine
Learning
R:
Bioconductor
Formal courses are less able to serve advanced users
Specificity
of content
Number of
students
Difficulty to
produce and
maintain content
What is a community of practice?
“a group of people who share a particular craft”
Hacky Hour Study groups
Code review
groups
Hackathons
Book clubs
(un)conferences
https://cookbook.carpentries.org
Why are communities of practice difficult to
cultivate?
● Adult participants require adaptable
learning strategies
● Participants may represent all levels of
expertise
○ Novices may be inadvertently
deterred
○ Experts may be difficult to recruit
Why are computational communities of practice
difficult to cultivate?
● Many computational experts
are largely self-taught
● Methods are rapidly
developing
● Best practices may not be well
understood or communicated
● May require both top-down
and bottom-up recruitment
https://ropensci.github.io/dev_guide/
The Coop: Fred Hutch Bioinformatics and Data
Science Cooperative
Training:
● Short courses
● Seminars
● Panel
discussions
● Communities of
practice
Communication:
● Newsletter
● Calendars
● Listserv
●
What does it take to develop communities of
practice?
● Clearly communicated expectations for participants
○ What type and amount of work is required?
○ Culture and conduct of the community
● Recruitment, training, and support of community leaders
● Consistency and perseverance
Parting thoughts...
● The reasons we choose to work with R are the same
reasons we should work to make R skills available to
everyone.
● It takes a lot of time and energy to create and maintain
communities of practice.
● Supporting a community through education strengthens
the entire community.
Even community builders need community!
@k8hert and @fredhutchio
1 of 15

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Hertweck Cascadia R Conference 2019

  • 1. R we there yet? Building communities of practice around R and topics in biology Kate L. Hertweck Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center @k8hert and @fredhutchio
  • 2. Acknowledgements Carly Strasser Fred Hutch Sidney Bell Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Greg Wilson RStudio (co-founder of Software Carpentry)
  • 3. We teach foundational coding and data science skills to researchers worldwide. https://carpentries.org
  • 4. fredhutch.io educates researchers about reproducible computational skills to facilitate scientific discovery 1. Teaching short courses on reproducible research methods 2. Facilitating use of computational resources at Fred Hutch 3. Coordinating with other training opportunities 4. Developing cooperative communities of practice http://www.fredhutch.io
  • 5. fredhutch.io educates researchers about reproducible computational skills to facilitate scientific discovery 1. Teaching short courses on reproducible research methodsR statistical programming Python programming Intro to Git and GitHub Data for Data Science
  • 6. fredhutch.io educates researchers about reproducible computational skills to facilitate scientific discovery R coding group Software design group Data visualization group 4. Developing cooperative communities of practice
  • 7. Why is R unique in the context of these tools? ● R as a programming language is especially accessible to newcomers ● The R community is especially inclusive ● R tools in development are appealing to users in other communities
  • 8. Intro to R R: Data visualization R: Statistics R: Programming R: Machine Learning R: Bioconductor Novice Level of course participants Competent practitioner Expert
  • 9. Intro to R R: Data visualization R: Statistics R: Programming R: Machine Learning R: Bioconductor Formal courses are less able to serve advanced users Specificity of content Number of students Difficulty to produce and maintain content
  • 10. What is a community of practice? “a group of people who share a particular craft” Hacky Hour Study groups Code review groups Hackathons Book clubs (un)conferences https://cookbook.carpentries.org
  • 11. Why are communities of practice difficult to cultivate? ● Adult participants require adaptable learning strategies ● Participants may represent all levels of expertise ○ Novices may be inadvertently deterred ○ Experts may be difficult to recruit
  • 12. Why are computational communities of practice difficult to cultivate? ● Many computational experts are largely self-taught ● Methods are rapidly developing ● Best practices may not be well understood or communicated ● May require both top-down and bottom-up recruitment https://ropensci.github.io/dev_guide/
  • 13. The Coop: Fred Hutch Bioinformatics and Data Science Cooperative Training: ● Short courses ● Seminars ● Panel discussions ● Communities of practice Communication: ● Newsletter ● Calendars ● Listserv ●
  • 14. What does it take to develop communities of practice? ● Clearly communicated expectations for participants ○ What type and amount of work is required? ○ Culture and conduct of the community ● Recruitment, training, and support of community leaders ● Consistency and perseverance
  • 15. Parting thoughts... ● The reasons we choose to work with R are the same reasons we should work to make R skills available to everyone. ● It takes a lot of time and energy to create and maintain communities of practice. ● Supporting a community through education strengthens the entire community. Even community builders need community! @k8hert and @fredhutchio