May recap: Git happieR with GitHub

Our May Event!

The May R-Ladies meetup took place on May 16, 2018 at Drexel’s LeBow School of Business. Thanks for hosting us again, Drexel, and thanks to our sponsors Datacamp and the R consortium!

Our topic for May was version control using the popular resources Git and GitHub, and we focused on integrating version control with R.


Darina and I started with an example to illustrate the utility of version control in collaborating on a document or project over time.

Many popular word processing software packages employ “track changes” as a way to edit a document or share with others for editing or feedback.

However, using something like track changes for version control is problematic!

Our attempt to use track changes to collaborate on a document listing our favorite women from Philadelphia

Our attempt to use ‘track changes’ to collaborate on a document listing our favorite women from Philadelphia

In order to reference previous versions of a document, we would have to go through comment by comment to examine the changes a single collaborator made at a single point in time, or else revert back to the original version of the document and lose all changes!

We turned to the whiteboard to demonstrate how you can use Git to keep track of the evolution of a document or project over time, and how you can use GitHub to collaborate with others on the evolution of a document


After this introduction, Alice led an interactive demo so that R-Ladies Philly could practice integrating Git and GitHub with R.

Through this, members practiced:
- configuring Git locally
- creating a Git repository
- committing changes
- pushing work to a shared repo on GitHub

Alice’s slides are posted on GitHub - this is a great resource to go through if you couldn’t make it to the meeting!

Lightning Talk

We ended by showing a GitHub repo illustrating ‘real world’ use of version control with R!

R-Ladies Philly members Karla, Alice, Kristen, and myself recently used Git and GitHub with R to collaborate on a data analysis project for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society.

For more information

To learn more, we recommend “Happy Git and GitHub for the useR” and the free DataCamp course “Introduction to Git for Data Science”.

This post was authored by Katerina Placek. For more information contact