R Project Sprint 2023

R Project Sprint 2023 was a three-day event at the University of Warwick, UK, that brought together novice and experienced contributors to work alongside members of the R Core Team. 55 members of the R community participated, with external contributors selected to balance technical expertise and provide opportunities for members of historically under-represented groups. Participants worked collaboratively on contributions to base R and on infrastructure supporting contribution. Several small tasks were completed within the duration of the sprint, whilst significant steps were made on larger projects. The event provided a unique opportunity for external contributors to learn about the R development process and to develop their contribution skills.

Heather Turner https://warwick.ac.uk/heatherturner (University of Warwick) , Gabriel Becker (Independent consultant)

1 Introduction

R Project Sprint 2023 was a three-day event hosted at the University of Warwick, UK. The aim of the event was to bring novice and experienced contributors together to work collaboratively with members of the R Core Team, who maintain and develop the code and documentation that forms the base distribution of R (“base R”).

2 Participants

All members of the R Core Team were invited to the event and 11 were able to participate. Another 13 participants were invited/pre-selected - these included local organizers, representatives from sponsors, and experienced contributors. The remaining 31 participants - along with a few more who were ultimately unable to participate - were selected from a pool of 71 self-nominated applicants. Figure 1 shows group photos taken on Day 2 and Day 3 of the sprint, a full list of participants is on the sprint website. Participation was in-person by default, but exceptions were made in a few cases where travel was not possible, e.g., due to visa issues. The number online was higher than anticipated due to travel disruptions; in the end seven people participated online.

A photo of 27 in-person participants and two online participants on day 2 of the sprint.A photo of 38 in-person participants and two online participants on day 3 of the sprint.

Figure 1: Photos of sprint participants on Day 2 (top) and Day 3 (bottom) including online participants on screen (not all participants photographed).

Members of demographic groups underrepresented within the contributor community were encouraged to apply for a place, by promoting the event to affinity groups (R-Ladies, MiR, RainbowR, AfricaR, ArabR, AsiaR, and LatinR) and by direct communication with potential participants. Figure 2 shows the geographical distribution of all 55 participants. There were 16 from Europe with 8 from the UK; 13 from North America with 12 from the USA; 7 from Asia with 5 from India; 6 from Latin America with 3 from Argentina; 5 from Africa with 2 from Nigeria; 4 from Oceania - all from New Zealand, and 3 from the Middle East.