Tidy dev day take two: Toulouse


  Mara Averick and Hadley Wickham

We had our second official tidyverse developer day just before useR! 2019 in Toulouse. It was a fun day, and we managed to merge around 40 pull requests on the day, and nearly 30 more afterwards. You can learn more about the experience in the words of attendees Laura Acion and Dragos Moldovan-Grünfeld.

The event was particularly successful thanks to a few changes we made after our first try:

  • 🤝 Helpers The goal of TDD is to provide opportunities for everyone to contribute, regardless of their level of expertise. This time we made sure to recruit plenty of helpers (~20 for ~70 participants) and to clearly identify them with snazzy nametags. Having friendly faces circulating and ready to lend a hand made the event much warmer for newcomers (and helping others is pretty satisfying, too).

  • 🏷 Post-its Searching GitHub issues for a problem you can help solve is hard enough at the best of times, but it’s darn near impossible when you’re competing with a room full of people. To make it easier we went back to the basics and paired every GitHub issue with a colour-coded sticky note. This made it much easier to find issues, and as a side-benefit made it possible to see collective progress over the day as post-its migrated from To Do to Under Review to Done.

  • 🛎 The gong Getting your PR merged is a cause for celebration, and Hadley likes to travel with a gong. It was only natural to combine these two truths by ringing the gong every time a PR was merged!

We will be hosting our next tidyverse dev day on January 31st in San Francisco, following rstudio::conf(2020). We haven’t yet finalized a venue, but it’ll be convenient to the conference location.