Interested in learning more about R? Then you’ve got to check out R-Ladies Dublin. One of many tech meet-ups around the city, the group aims to make R loved and used by more people, especially women and those who identify as female. The meetup has been running since January 2017 and is the brainchild of Jo Nieć and some likeminded friends.
When we arrive, the event is already starting to fill up with friendly R enthusiasts who are busy catching up over the free pizza and beer. “There were five or six of us that started it,” Jo explains. “We wanted to do a meet up every month and the idea was to organise hands-on workshops in R – for women mostly, but men are welcome too.” The group is part of R-Ladies Global who have over 50 similar chapters all over the world.
This evening’s event is being held in Tenable’s stunning offices in Dublin’s Docklands. After the pizza, guest speaker Cormac Nolan would be exploring the topic, ‘How to Write Packages in R’. Jo explains: “Packages are kind of libraries that you can install on your laptop and do really powerful analysis. So people build their packages and functions and this speeds things up a lot.” It promised to be an in-depth presentation with lots of useful take-aways.
Dublin’s Tech Meetup Scene
Originally from Poland, Jo is impressed by the number of tech meetups happening in Dublin. “There are so many meetups here that actually sometimes I find it difficult,” she laughs. “I could go a whole month and go almost every second day to a tech meetup. It’s really incredible.” And she’s right: from Python to CSS there’s a tech meetup for pretty much every interest in Dublin.
Supportive of Women
The Irish tech meetup scene is also really supportive of women in tech. Jo notes: “There are quite a few events for women-only, like Her+Data, PyLadies, Girl Geek Dinners and a couple of others that are highly specialised.” There are so many women in tech groups in fact, that the groups will soon be combining forces for a special event. Jo explains: “There is an idea that originated at Workday to organise a summit for all women meetups in the tech groups to network. That event will be happening on the 15th of May.”
If you’re interested in finding out more, the next R-Ladies meetup is happening on the 27th of March in the Bank of Ireland at Grand Canal Dock and promises to be another hands-on session. “That event going to be on R Markdown which is part of R studio,” Jo says. “It helps you turn your analyses into one document like a lovely PDF or HTML you can put on the website, and it kind of makes it easy to report on your analysis and your findings.”