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 4 February, 2020

RStudio::conf 2020 is a wrap! What a tremendous experience. It was quite a production to send four Appsilon team members to San Francisco, California from Warsaw with nearly 100 kg of swag, but it was absolutely worthwhile. We were a proud sponsor of the event, and having a booth set up in the main lobby was a fantastic way to network with like-minded data enthusiasts.

I would like to thank the amazing staff at RStudio, especially Samantha Toet and Dave Hurst, for working tirelessly to put on such a successful event. This was the largest rstudio::conf ever, at over 2200 attendees. Even so, every aspect of the conference ran like clockwork. Everything was put together so nicely that we could focus on sharing information and building relationships with the R community.

Additionally, it was great to meet with Tareef Kawaf, President of RStudio. He’s a truly warm and hospitable individual. We recently became an RStudio Full Service Certified Partner, and we are looking forward to a fruitful partnership with RStudio moving forward. Keep an eye out for future collaborative initiatives!

the Appsilon team and the RStudio president

From left: Pedro Silva, Damian Rodziewicz, Tareef Kawaf, and Paweł Przytuła.

Because we were event sponsors, we stuffed our suitcases with swag: foRtune cookies with special R messages, notebooks, stickers, and other goodies. Each of the 2200+ attendees received an Appsilon Booklet in their official welcome packet. The booklets were masterminded by our VP of Engineering Paweł Przytula, and included hidden messages that could be revealed with transparent paper. These booklets were such a hit that attendees would often come up to our booth just to compliment the booklet craftsmanship. Special thanks to our designer Eliza for making the booklets a reality!

Pedro and Paweł demonstrating a custom-built Shiny app.

At the opening reception, our own Pedro Coutinho Silva presented an e-poster: “From Front-End to Shiny development: Augmenting the power of your dashboards with modern front-end tools.” Some attendees were already familiar with his popular blogposts about custom Shiny components, and approached the e-poster to thank him for sharing his knowledge on the subject. According to Pedro, many attendees were surprised that it is even possible to combine R with CSS and JavaScript, so he was very happy to evangelize.

Across the room, Damian Rodziewicz presented an ePoster entitled “What does it take to make a Shiny prototype ready for production?” He was frequently swarmed with attendees who wanted to know more about the logistics of scaling Shiny dashboards. If you would like to know more about scaling Shiny, here is an article by Paweł Przytuła.

Later during the conference, Damian gave a full presentation to a filled conference room called “Building a native iPad dashboard using plumber and RStudio Connect in Pharma.”

“Usually the best tools start with a very simple PoC. R/Shiny happens to be the best tool to start quickly, start early, and iterate often.”

Damian pointed out that Shiny is great for creating a quick PoC. And with certain techniques, such as extracting computations, leveraging the front end and deploying with RStudio Connect, you can scale a Shiny app to work for thousands of users. The feedback on the presentation was excellent, and a few members of the Appsilon crew in Warsaw stayed up until midnight to watch it live via web broadcast.

I can’t stress enough what a great experience rstudio::conf 2020 was for us. We connected with data scientists from all sectors and had robust discussions about everything from biorhythms to machine learning in epidemiology. I’d like to once again express my gratitude to the conference organizers, as well as to my team at Appsilon Data Science, for such a smooth and positive week. We’ll see you at the next rstudio::conf in sunny Orlando, Florida on January 18-21, 2021!

Damian, Jordan, Pedro, and Paweł of Appsilon.

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Damian Rodziewicz
Damian Rodziewicz
Board Member

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