Why R is Hard to Learn
[An updated version of this article is here]
The open source R software for analytics has a reputation for being hard to learn. It certainly can be, especially for people who are already familiar with similar packages such as SAS, SPSS or Stata. Training and documentation that leverages their existing knowledge and points out where their previous knowledge is likely to mislead them can save much of frustration. This is the approach used in my books, R for SAS and SPSS Users and R for Stata Users as well as the workshops that are based on them.
Here is a list of complaints about R that I commonly hear from people learning it. In the comments section below, I’d like to hear about things that drive you crazy about R.
Misleading Function or Parameter Names (data=, sort, if)
The most difficult time people have learning R is when functions don’t do…
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