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Intro to Coding

This guide will introduce students to the basics of programming in any language, as well as resources useful for learning how to code in any number of languages.

Introduction to R

R is a free, integrated suite of software facilities for data manipulation, calculation, and graphical display. It compiles and runs on Windows, UNIX, and MacOS. Most users use an integrated development environment (IDE), like RStudio™, as a user-friendly tool for coding in R. As of 2020, a cloud based version, RStudio Cloud™, is in beta testing. R makes extensive use of "packages," which are shareable chunks of code, data, and tests.


To install R for the first time, we recommend following a tutorial. The installation instructions differ depending upon your operating system. DataCamp's tutorial is a useful guide for Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu installations.

RStudio IDE

Many R users prefer to code in RStudio, an integrated development environment (IDE). RStudio has a desktop version and a cloud based version (currently in beta testing). Both versions are free.

For the desktop version, you must separately install both R and RStudio. If you'd rather not install them on your computer, RStudio Cloud is your best option. While it remains in beta testing, you should back up any scripts you write.

For interactive web apps, RStudio also distributes the Shiny package. Apps created in RStudio with Shiny can be hosted by RStudio. See the links below for an illustration.

Learning resouces

There are many resources for learning R in Digital Humanities areas.