Do you think Usain Bolt, regarded as the fastest person ever, could have come even close to his enormous success, without a rigorous daily exercise and training routine?
Do you think Lang Lang, the Chinese superstar pianist, did not spend hours a day practicing the piano?
Although these examples speak for themselves and demonstrate the value of practicing to develop and hone a particular skillset, they do not just apply to these superstars. You, as a novel, aspiring, or perhaps already proficient analyst, data scientist, programmer or researcher, can benefit enormously from practicing as well. Indeed, the premise of this website and my approach is very clear and simple:
If you are serious about becoming good at R programming, you need to practise (a lot).
Could you learn to speak Italian by just reading a dictionary?
Imagine, you want to be able to become proficient in Italian (as a non-native speaker, of course). Compare this to becoming proficient in R:
Learning R by just reading help-files would be similar to reading an Italian dictionary: overwhelming, confusing and boring.
Picking it up as you go
Pretending you know R and pick it up as you go while working on an important project, would be similar to pretend you speak Italian in a conversation with some locals: you will just embarass yourself.
Reading everything you can
Learning R by reading everything you can, watch hours of Youtube tutorials and browse all five-hundred-something R blogs on a daily basis, would be similar to reading Italian books, listening to Italian radio stations, and watching Italian movies: you would understand the language, but still not be able to speak it yourself.
Enrolling in a course
Learning R by enrolling in a course in which you are challenged to solve little programming problems would be similar to enrolling in a language course in which you are challenged to speak Italian: you would be able to use the language at a beginner’s level, but it would still take months of practice before you will reach a level of reasonable proficiency. And, without such practice, you will lose the skills you acquired during the course quickly.
I think you will get the point. Learning to program in R, like learning to speak Italian, requires an on-going effort to practise the language. This website simply aims to facilitate this.