Join the R Community at ShinyConf 2023

ShinyConf 2022 – Short Recap of the 2022 R Shiny Conference (Projects, Talks, and Showcases)


ShinyConf 2023 begins this week! With a great lineup of speakers and showcases this year, we thought we’d recap a small handful of last year’s recorded talks.

2022 was a big year for R Shiny. Our Appsilon R Shiny Conference resulted in close to 20 hours of materials covering tech talks, showcases, and projects – all spread out over 31 videos. The best part – you can watch them for free on YouTube.

All videos bring something new to the table, and this article will make a short recap on 7 of them. The list isn’t ordered, and you’re free to read only the sections you find the most interesting. Without much ado, let’s dive straight into some of the R Shiny content of ShinyConf 2022!

Table of contents:


How to Make a Video Game in Shiny – Idea to Implementation

In 2021, Appsilon’s R Shiny Senior Software Engineer Marcin Dubel built a Shark Attack application which won a Grand Prize in RStudio Shiny Contest. This 30-minute talk discusses his winning strategy.

The talk focuses on the details, tips, and tricks of improving your R Shiny projects and project plans through an interactive video game example.

As per Marcin, application success can be broken down into three pillars: the Idea, the Impression, and the Process. The session explains all of them in the scope of delivering a successful R Shiny project.

Join Marcin again this year with his talk (03/15/2023): Sharing app state between Shiny modules.

Creating a Design System for Shiny

A talk from Maya Ganz tells you all you need to know about design systems. Long story short, it’s a set of standards used to manage design at scale by reducing redundancy while creating a shared language and visual consistency across different pages and channels.

The session describes in detail the history of design systems, the components needed for a robust design system, and a bunch of examples of implementation related to R and R Shiny.

Maya works as a Data Visualization Engineer at Atorus Research where she develops custom applications using R and JavaScript. She also designed TidyBlocks (a visual block-based programming language) while working as an intern in RStudio. There’s no one better to teach you the basics of design systems in Shiny.

Introducing Rhino Enterprise Shiny App Framework

Rhino is the framework used for R Shiny in Enterprise. We developed it based on the experience of working with tens of top global companies on their R Shiny projects.

The framework puts emphasis on UI, UX, monitoring user behavior and feedback, solid engineering principles, and other key factors we found crucial when working on enterprise Shiny applications.

The keynote is around 45 minutes long and will serve as an excellent introduction to Rhino. For supplement material, we recommend the following two articles on the Appsilon blog:

You can catch Jakub and Kamil this year (03/16/2023) with an expansion with: Introducing the Rhinoverse!

Testing Shiny with {testthat}

The talk by Barret Schloerke, a Shiny Developer at RStudio was one you shouldn’t skip. It discusses the topic that was historically difficult to achieve and even harder to debug – testing.

A new R package {shinytest2} facilitates the testing of R Shiny applications by using {testthat}. This combination of packages can capture app values and screenshots and compare them to expected snapshots.

Also, {shinytest2} uses {chromote} to render the Shiny application with a headless Chrome browser.

The {shinytest2} package also allows migrating existing {shinytest} tests into this newer package iteration.

We’re excited to announce that Barret will return with even more testing knowledge to share (03/15/2023): Lessons learned from testing 2500+ Shiny apps every day!

React Frontend for Shiny Applications

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible to split a monolithic Shiny application into React.js frontend and R Shiny backend, wonder no more – it’s possible.

This 25-minute talk by Appsilon’s Software Engineer Filip Akkad will show you how to incorporate React into R Shiny apps and still deploy the app as one bundle. Filip discusses why you’d want to do it, and also presents a ready-to-use template for creating such applications.

Find out more about shiny.react:

Shiny Powerful Web Apps for Everyone (Workshop)

A 2-hour-long workshop by 7N’s Krystian Igras was made to teach you the ins and outs of R Shiny app development.

The workshop has something for developers on all levels, and will definitely enlighten some areas of R Shiny you didn’t know existed or didn’t understand very well.

You can get the source code of this workshop on GitHub.

Don’t miss out on Krystian’s return to ShinyConf 2023 (03/16/2023) with his talk: shinyGizmo – top features tutorial.

Appsilon R Shiny Conference 2022 Masterclass

And last but not least, there’s a 2.5-hour long R Shiny Masterclass session. It’s a combination of a couple of sessions from different Appsilonians discussing everything you need to know to make your Shiny apps stand out.

Here’s a broad list of topics covered in this masterclass:

  • How to build user-centric applications? Users are the reason for the existence of every application, and the best way to make your app successful is to listen to the feedback provided by your users. (Anna Skrzydło)
  • How to build Shiny testing architecture? Shiny is an excellent tool for building fast application prototypes, but as your app grows, it will need a proper testing architecture. You’ll learn how Appsilon does it for Fortune 100 companies. (Marcin Dubel)
  • From Base Shiny to Jaw-Dropping Interfaces – In this part, you’ll learn how to make your dashboards stand out by building dashing dashboard components, from existing ready-to-use solutions to building fully-customizable components from the ground up. (Pedro Silva)

Join the Appsilonian ShinyConf squad once again in 2023 with their open table discussion (03/15/2023)!


What’s Next for Appsilon ShinyConf?

2022 was the inaugural launch of ShinyConf. Appsilon’s ShinyConf is an annual event, and it’s returning bigger and better in 2023. Last year’s event had 2.5K registrants and 28 sessions, and we’ve already surpassed that!

The conference will take place virtually this week on March 15-17, and you can join:

  • Register to get access to all talks, keynotes, and workshops.

We’re looking forward to meeting you!