My R journey has had many bumps along the way

I first used R in 2015 at a workshop at the American Evaluation Association conference. I was intrigued, but, since my co-workers at the time used Excel and SPSS, I let my newly learned skills lapse.

In 2016, entering the world of consulting, I decided to give R another shot. I jumped back in, using free online resources to restart my R journey. I taught myself enough that I decided to give R a shot on a project I was working on. I got a few steps in, hit a roadblock, and had to go back to Excel.

A few weeks later, I tried R again on another project. Same result. I followed this pattern for several months, optimistically thinking I was ready to use R for a project, only to find my skills weren’t quite there yet.

It’s a common story among those of us who teach ourselves R. Without a guide, we waste time going down the wrong path without realizing where we’re going.


For You

Looking to learn R for yourself? Smart choice! Start with a free course to get started. Already know some R but ready to up your skills? Check out Fundamentals of R and Going Deeper with R. Looking for support to help you get past any obstacles? Join the community for live office hours and more.


For Your Team

Custom training to move your team to R can eliminate reliance on expensive software, improve your team’s efficiency, and offer an incredible professional development opportunity to your staff. Want to have someone do the work for you? Learn more about our consulting services.

Why R for the Rest of Us?

As I moved forward on my journey, I came to realize how powerful R is. I also realized how few non-hardcore quants use it .

I started R for the Rest of Us to bring R to folks who do not yet use it. Folks who are good with data, but need a helping hand with this software. Folks who have used SPSS, SAS, Stata, or other data analysis software and have considered trying R, but haven’t know where to start. R for the Rest of Us is my attempt to demystify R so that others can embrace its power.

I also want to make the community around R for the Rest of Us welcoming to all R learners. I’ve developed a code of conduct that provides a set of behavior guidelines to ensure that this is possible. I invite you to take a look at it and let me know what you think.

David Keyes

Hi, I'm David

Think you know what an R user looks like? I'm probably not what you have in mind.

I'm not a hardcore quant (my PhD is in anthropology). I'm not a coder ready to jump on you for any small mistake.

I want to help others avoid the pain that I went through learning R.

A teacher at heart (shoutout to my former second grade students), I make R less scary and more fun (yes, fun).


Projects often require a range of skills. I partner with talented R users to get the job done.

  • Thomas Vroylandt

    A France-based statistician who combines R skills with a keen sense of design, Thomas works on projects related to data visualization, creating workflows for automated reporting, and developing custom packages.

    Twitter LinkedIn
  • Charlie Hadley

    A UK-based data science consultant and open data evangelist, Charlie has worked in reproducible research and making research accessible since 2012.

    Twitter LinkedIn
  • Cara Thompson

    Cara is a UK-based consultant specialising in data visualisations and parameterised reports. She is passionate about helping people make sense of data and automating processes to help organisations tell their stories.

    Twitter LinkedIn
  • Crystal Lewis

    Crystal is a US-based consultant with a background in education research data management who enjoys working on problems others may find mundane. She is happiest spending her time wrangling messy data into useable formats, documenting data processes, and improving data management workflows.

    Twitter LinkedIn
  • Joscelin Rocha-Hidalgo

    Joscelin is a US-based consultant with a background in cognitive development research. She strongly advocates for open science and making the process of acquiring programming skills more accessible for people from minoritized groups. She enjoys learning new data cleaning and visualization skills in R and sharing that knowledge with others.

    Twitter LinkedIn