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R user or R Developer? Panel Discussion at useR!2021

R User or R Developer? Attend our Panel Discussion at useR!2021 on Tuesday July 6th at 4 pm UTC (agenda).

According to the Stack Overflow Survey R is among the most popular programming, scripting, and markup languages. A key factor in its popularity is without any doubt its approachability for people without a software engineering background.

In the current time where IT skills are required across every domain for a Data Scientist, what does this mean for an R user? Is there a role such as an “R developer” in the job market, and (how) does it differ from being an R user? What type of background and expertise should an R user have to fit what companies are looking for? And what about academia? What is the current trend?

We will discuss and answer these questions in a panel featuring team leaders from both industry and academia, data scientists who have made the transition from R users to software developers, and an exponent from the R Core team.

Panel Discussion: "R User or R Developer? This is the question!"

And of course the Community perspective is for us paramount. What is your definition of an R user? What makes an R practitioner an R developer? Do you identify in these roles? Looking forward to hearing about your perspective and experience!

Meet the Panelists:

  • Martin Mächler, Professor of Statistics at ETH and member of the R Core Team.
  • Alexis Iglauer, Head of Analytics and Technology (Life & Health) at PartnerRe.
  • Nic Crane, Data Scientist and Software Developer, currently working for Ursa Computing.
  • Sandrine Dudoit, Professor of Biostatistics at UC Berkeley.
  • Rafael Irizarry, Professor of Applied Statistics at Harvard and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


  • Miraier Francesca Vitalini, Senior Solutions Consultant, R practitioner, Trainer & Open-Source Community Activist.