A Data Professionals Community

Why R is the best data science language to learn today

R has been one of the fastest growing programming languages of the last decade.


In last week’s blog, I explained why you should Master R (even if it may eventually become obsolete).

I wrote that article to address people who claim mastering R is a bit of a waste of time (because it will eventually become obsolete).

But when I suggested that R may eventually become obsolete, this seemed to provoke fear that R is becoming obsolete right now.

I want to allay your fears: R is still very popular.

R has been one of the fastest growing programming languages of the last decade.

In fact, if you’re getting started with data science, it’s still the language that I recommend.

So, I want to reassure you. R is definitely not obsolete. In fact, R is extremely popular and a best-in class data language.

To that end, I want to explain all of the reasons why I’m very optimistic about R’s long term prospects, and why I think it’s perhaps the best data science language to learn today.

R consistently ranks among the best languages

One thing I want you to understand is that right now, R is one of the most highly regarded, highly ranked, and fastest growing languages in existence.

In many ways, R is the data language. In data science, it’s the language to beat (with only 1 or 2 serious contenders).

To understand why this is true, let’s look at the results of several important surveys and programming language rankings to see where R shakes out.

IEEE: R ranks #5

The world’s “largest association of technical professionals,” the IEEE, has created a ranking of programming languages for several years.

This IEEE ranking system uses a set of 12 metrics, including things like Google search volume, Google trends, Twitter hits, Github repositories, Hacker News posts, and more.

Using this methodology, they rank several dozen programming languages and place them into several categories.

In their review of the “Top Programming Languages” of 2016, R climbed to #5.

The IEEE methodology is quite comprehensive, so this is a strong indicator of R’s strength compared to other languages, and the relative value of learning R.

TIOBE: R ranks high with consistent upward trend

Another ranking system, the TIOBE index, creates a similar score and rank for various programming languages.

If we look at R’s performance on the TIOBE index, we can see a solid upward trend for almost a decade.

Continue Reading


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More