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R Programming Language: Predictions of Its Death Premature?

Kelly Lee
Digital Content Specialist

A couple of years in the past, some analysts predicted that R, a specialty programming language used primarily in information science and statistics, would ultimately fade into obscurity. The reason for demise? Extremely-popular Python, which was having fun with a spike in adoption by information scientists, analysts, and engineers.

The info appeared to again up this assertion. In 2018, a KDnuggets ballot of technologists who used each R and Python confirmed a sluggish decline in R utilization in favor of Python. At roughly the identical time, a separate survey from Burtch Works revealed that Python use amongst analytics professionals grew from 53 p.c to 69 p.c over a two-year interval, whereas the R user-base shrunk by almost a 3rd.

However a humorous factor occurred alongside the best way to R’s supposed obsolescence: the language regained an viewers. In accordance with the TIOBE Index, which makes an attempt to rank the world’s programming languages by recognition, R has jumped from sixteenth place to eleventh over the previous yr, inserting it forward of technologist darlings resembling Swift and Ruby. 

To find out its rankings, TIOBE leverages information from quite a lot of aggregators and search engines like google and yahoo, together with Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Amazon. For a language to rank, it have to be Turing full, have its personal Wikipedia entry, and earn greater than 5,000 hits for +”<language> programming” on Google. It’s not essentially the most scientific option to decide utilization, however it offers us a fairly good month-to-month snapshot of a selected programming language’s “buzz.”

For lecturers, information scientists, and others, R continues to have rather a lot to supply. It’s multi-platform, open-source, and fairly light-weight. Whereas it has a comparatively slender use-case, and a few elements of it are somewhat idiosyncratic, technologists swear by it relating to data-related workflows (together with finance). In the event you’re exploring something associated to information, be certain that to discover R—you’ll be able to begin with R’s devoted web site, which breaks down the language’s use-cases and newest options, and go from there.

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