Every morning, for the past several weeks, I have been completing one of the short lessons in the book, “R for Data Analysis” by Mike McGrath.

How short is short? Each lesson is just two pages. An overview of what the code can do, followed by an exercise of enter the sample code and see what it does. Sometimes when a new lesson incorporates a concept from a previous lesson I will have to page back to find the explanation. But the single concept lessons make it easy to find what you need.

I like the focus on writing clean easy to read code like this with plenty of spaces:

hour <- 21

if( hour < 13 )


print( paste( “Good Morning:”, hour ) )

} else if( hour < 18 )

print( paste( “Good Afternoon:”, hour ) )

} else

print( paste( “Good Evening:”, hour ) )


It certainly helps if you have previous experience with coding, even if it’s familiarity with if statements in excel and the importance of closing all of your parentheses. But “R for Data Analysis” proceeds at an extremely beginner level pace so it’s easy to stay on track even for coding neophytes.