R-Ladies & PyLadies – Bringing the Communities Together

This article was first published on Python-post on Cosima Meyer , and kindly contributed to python-bloggers. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)
Want to share your content on python-bloggers? click here.

Together with PyLadies Tunis and PyLadies Munich we kicked off a fantastic event last Wednesday – and I’m still overwhelmed and touched by the impressions.

When I started the R-Ladies Cologne chapter in 2021, I envisioned an event that seeks to bring both R and Python communities together. From my experience, both communities are so generous and helpful and I wanted to overcome the (why the heck this ever started existing) “divide” between both languages. Instead, I wanted to show how great multilingualism can be and how Python and R can complement each other. And I believe that, with the help of our amazing speakers Rhian Davis and Deena Gergis, we made a step towards this direction.1 If you didn’t have a chance to attend our event, here’s a short wrap-up that hopefully inspires you ✨

Rhian showed us how she programs bilingually at work and told us how Jumping Rivers overcomes possible hurdles and benefits from working as a bilingual team. And most importantly, as Rhian said, it’s not about the language you should think of but of the great people you will be working with 😊

Deena then walked us through the MLflow framework and showed us how to use it in action and how it can be applied to both languages. MLflow is a powerful library that allows you to manage end-to-end machine learning cycles. Deena showed us a demo of a typical workflow both theoretically and practically. If you’re up for trying it out yourself, have a look at Deena’s GitHub repository where you’ll get everything you need.

Along with the input talks, we had two quiz rounds showing the audience how similar both languages are and telling some tips and tricks.

If you want to revisit them yourself, here are the questions and answers (and a bit more) 🤓

What are (originally) specific IDEs for Python and R?

smaller_image While you can also work in other languages in RStudio, it was originally developed for R (as the name tells, but it will be soon renamed to Posit – signalling it’s inclusiveness 💜)

Which packages can you use to call the other language?

smaller_image If you want to see RPy2 in action, check out the question with the Jupyter notebook – we have a demo there!

How do you assign objects in R and Python? (Good coding style 😉)

smaller_image Teams may have varying preferences and working guidelines, but according to Hadley Wickham’s style guide, it’s preferred to use the <- operator for assignments in R (although = also works in R).

What is the main repository for libraries?

smaller_image If you ever wanted to develop a R package or Python library yourself and contribute to the repositories, follow the links to get detailed guides how to do it.

Can you use R in a Jupyter Notebook?

smaller_image And, as promised, here’s a short demo showing you how to use the RPy2 library in action.

With which index does an array start?

smaller_image All you have to remember (and it can easily become the source of some errors when switching between both languages: the R index is 1-based, Python’s index is 0-based. If you want to know more, here’s a short post by Benjamin Smith .

What are the commands to use to know the type of a variable in R and Python?

smaller_image Here’s more on the class() function in R and the type() method in Python.

We are incredibly thankful to aiven and O’Reilly for sponsoring the prizes for our quiz.

And last but not least, big shoutout to my co-organizers Amal Tlili, Hédia Tnani, Laysa Uchoa, and Mouna Belaid – organizing this event with you showed me once more how fun it is to work with people from the community and how much dedication there is. It was a big pleasure starting this journey with all of you 💜

I’m very much looking forward to what’s coming next!

If you’re up for more material, we collected everything here:

📺 YouTube recording

👩‍💻 Deena’s MLflow workflow

🖥 Rhian’s slides

  1. This also fits so nicely with the topics discussed at this year’s rstudio::conf2022 as well as at JuliaCon 2022. It shows, how important it is for us to think beyond the “superiority” of one language over another but to embrace different approaches and treasure them. ↩︎

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Python-post on Cosima Meyer .

Want to share your content on python-bloggers? click here.