How to find your happy place in the world of R package development

Why contribute to open-source?

  • Enjoy it?

  • Giving back?

  • Skill development?

  • Exposure?

R package development?

There are other ways to contribute including community building.

This slidedeck focuses on R package development. 😉

Find your happy place

Especially if open-source work happens in your free time.

Right amount of time, right task fit.

Desk with computer, phone, notebook, coffee

Picture by Andrew Neel on Pexels.

Your package(s)

  • Ownership can be great! Your rules, your name.

  • Beware of burn-out

Your package(s)

Sculpture of a man attacked by angry babies

Vigeland installation, Frogner Park, Oslo

Your package(s)

Interactions with users and contributors!

Both rewarding and time-consuming

Make your repo a friendly place

  • Contributing guide (what are your expectations?)

  • Code of Conduct

  • Governance file?

rOpenSci past community call “Set Up Your Package to Foster a Community”

Others’ packages?

  • A way for you to start

  • A way for you to concentrate on your strengths

  • What you actually want to do!

Others’ packages

  • First watch development and interactions, read contributing guide.

  • Start interacting in the repo.

Others’ packages

What packages? Packages…

  • … that you use

  • … corresponding to your skillset or skills you want to learn

  • … that have room for external contributions

  • … where your work is valued!

Others’ packages

Now often your name won’t be on it, maybe only in the changelog.

How to still display your skills? Blogging, talks?


This was a very brief presentation, and a complex topic.

Further resources

Thank you!

Thanks for listening, thanks SICSS-Covenant (in particular Emmanuel Olamijuwon) for organizing! 🙏

Happy R package development! 📦