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If you build it, they will come...but then what? Facilitating communities of practice in R

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Hertweck Evolution 2017
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If you build it, they will come...but then what? Facilitating communities of practice in R

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Why did you learn R? Chances are good that if you're an attendee of rstudio::conf, you've found a community of R coders who are willing to share their knowledge and learn with you. While it's possible to develop expert R coding skills in isolation, most software development and data analysis projects benefit from groups of people working collaboratively, and R communities are unparalleled in their inclusivity and commitment to learning collectively. Such communities, whether they support R coders at a single institution, geographic region, or online, require deliberate planning and effort to develop and sustain. How do you create a group culture that encompasses R users of various skill levels who may be working on diverse problems? How do you assess what members of a community need or prefer? How do you encourage investment and cohesion so the group will sustain itself? This talk will describe potential pitfalls and impediments to creating and facilitating cooperative learning communities for R coding, and will allow you to identify potential strategies for overcoming these challenges so you can continue giving back to the R communities that supported you along the way.

Presented at rstudio::conf2020 (https://web.cvent.com/event/36ebe042-0113-44f1-8e36-b9bc5d0733bf/summary)

Why did you learn R? Chances are good that if you're an attendee of rstudio::conf, you've found a community of R coders who are willing to share their knowledge and learn with you. While it's possible to develop expert R coding skills in isolation, most software development and data analysis projects benefit from groups of people working collaboratively, and R communities are unparalleled in their inclusivity and commitment to learning collectively. Such communities, whether they support R coders at a single institution, geographic region, or online, require deliberate planning and effort to develop and sustain. How do you create a group culture that encompasses R users of various skill levels who may be working on diverse problems? How do you assess what members of a community need or prefer? How do you encourage investment and cohesion so the group will sustain itself? This talk will describe potential pitfalls and impediments to creating and facilitating cooperative learning communities for R coding, and will allow you to identify potential strategies for overcoming these challenges so you can continue giving back to the R communities that supported you along the way.

Presented at rstudio::conf2020 (https://web.cvent.com/event/36ebe042-0113-44f1-8e36-b9bc5d0733bf/summary)

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If you build it, they will come...but then what? Facilitating communities of practice in R

  1. 1. If you build it they will come: But then what? Facilitating communities of practice in R Kate Hertweck Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center @k8hert
  2. 2. “Let’s create a coding group!” time attendance expectation reality A more realistic expectation Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice
  3. 3. The leading inclusive community teaching computing and data skills. Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice carpentries.org
  4. 4. Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice fredhutch.iothecoop.fredhutch.org
  5. 5. What is a community of practice? Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice
  6. 6. Hacky Hour Study groups Code review groups Hackathons Book clubs (un)conferences Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice cookbook.carpentries.org Activities unite communities
  7. 7. Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice R User Groups Characteristics define communities
  8. 8. Novice Experiencelevel Competent practitioner Expert Specificity of interests Number of participants Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice Turnover of participants Skills vary among a community
  9. 9. Why are communities of practice difficult to implement? Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice
  10. 10. Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice historicpath.com Motivating adult learners
  11. 11. Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice Accommodating computational challenges
  12. 12. How do you cultivate a sustainable community of practice? Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice
  13. 13. Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice Leverage the assets of R
  14. 14. Manage expectations for participants Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice ? What do I need to do to participate? What will I miss if I don’t go? Will I have another opportunity?
  15. 15. Supporting culture: Inclusivity Everyone is welcome Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice rladies.org/code-of-conduct/ All knowledge is valuable
  16. 16. Supporting culture: Sharing information Anyone have questions? Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice Make answers persistent fredhutch.github.io/coop sciwiki.fredhutch.org
  17. 17. Adapt as your community changes Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice
  18. 18. Kate Hertweck (@k8hert), Building communities of practice time attendance Is it worth it?
  19. 19. Even community builders need community! thecoop.fredhutch.org @k8hert slideshare.net/k8hertweck Carly Strasser and the rest of the Coop team carpentries.org

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