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4.0 out of 5 stars An ambitious start
Full disclosure - I have worked with the author. I have considered him a friend and colleague since he taught a course at my employer. Part of the information in my review is based on conversations I have had with the author, so please discount my opinion accordingly.

I don't think this book is meant to be a competitor to Norman Matloff's book (which I consider...
Published 18 days ago by Ian J Lyttle

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Redundant?
In my mind, R programming is mostly about data manipulation and visualization. In this book, R programming is about procedural programming in R, with a quick glance at the language's OOP features. This places "Hands-On R Programming" between most R learning aids, which cover [most of] these things within a chapter - my recommendation in this field is Robert Kabacoff's "R...
Published 1 month ago by Dimitri Shvorob


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4.0 out of 5 stars An ambitious start, September 4, 2014
This review is from: Hands-On Programming with R: Write Your Own Functions and Simulations (Paperback)
Full disclosure - I have worked with the author. I have considered him a friend and colleague since he taught a course at my employer. Part of the information in my review is based on conversations I have had with the author, so please discount my opinion accordingly.

I don't think this book is meant to be a competitor to Norman Matloff's book (which I consider *the* tutorial/reference for base R). This book is trying to do something different, and I think it's an ambitious experiment.

In recent years, there has been a lot of activity surrounding the "Hadleyverse", a collection of R packages architected by Hadley Wickham and coworkers, the goal of which is to offer the user a consistent, simple, yet powerful set of tools to tidy, transform, and visualize data. The best way to jump into the Hadleyverse has been to just jump in. For someone who has just taken the leap to learn base R, it can be difficult to consider taking that second leap. There hasn't been a book (as least to my knowledge) that says, "start here, here's how to learn R in a way leads to dplyr". I think that's a goal of this book.

For example, knowing how functions work will make it easier to work with the piping operator (%>%). Knowing how environments work will make it easier to navigate the vagaries of non-standard evaluation, to get the most out of dplyr and ggvis. I don't think these topics were chosen by accident.

Part of my job is to help R users in my company, particularly those who are just starting out with the language. I will gladly recommend this book to them because: (1) it reveals to the reader just a little at a time, which is ideal for someone just starting out with R, (2) what is covered in the book is complementary to learning dplyr, etc., rather than duplicative. In other words, this book emphasizes those parts of base R that fit in with using tidyr, dplyr, and ggvis.

Another thing I like about this book is that it walks through the process of installing R and RStudio, which can be intimidating if you are just starting out and you don't have someone to walk you through it.

The frustrating thing is that we have to wait for the next book for the payoff. I hope I can come back to this review to give it a fifth star with the release of the next volume.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun and need to know techniques, August 28, 2014
This review is from: Hands-On Programming with R: Write Your Own Functions and Simulations (Paperback)
I really like this book.. I would give it 5 stars if it used real world problems instead of creating casino games. A lot of fun to read and I learned a lot. No more huge if-else trees! I know better now. Thanks Garrett! I recommend. this is a good beginner book to help you step up to that next, elusive level. Easy to follow. This book will boost your knowledge and programming confidence.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Redundant?, August 2, 2014
This review is from: Hands-On Programming with R: Write Your Own Functions and Simulations (Paperback)
In my mind, R programming is mostly about data manipulation and visualization. In this book, R programming is about procedural programming in R, with a quick glance at the language's OOP features. This places "Hands-On R Programming" between most R learning aids, which cover [most of] these things within a chapter - my recommendation in this field is Robert Kabacoff's "R in Action" - and Norman Matloff's "The Art of R Programming", which covers a lot more ground and has a lot more depth, while being just as accessible, and actually cheaper. I have no complaints about the author's execution of his plan for the book - put simply and positively, I like his writing - but am pessimistic about the plan itself, and do not see the book as a worthwhile investment of $30+.
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Hands-On Programming with R: Write Your Own Functions and Simulations
Hands-On Programming with R: Write Your Own Functions and Simulations by Garrett Grolemund (Paperback - August 2, 2014)
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