Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done.

A picture of Hadley Wickham

Hadley Wickham

Chief scientist (RStudio)

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Chief Scientist at RStudio - my job is to make good data analysis easier, faster, and more enjoyable and R more awesome through a combination of research, programming and teaching. I enjoy developing new ways to solve data analysis challenges, polishing off the rough edges of R, and uncovering the beautiful ideas that live in the heart of R.

What hardware do you use?

15" MacBook Pro Retina, 2.6 GHz, 16 gig RAM, 500 gig SSD (only half full). I couldn't live without SSD or Retina. I'm still using an iPhone 4, and waiting desperately for the 5S. I have Shure SE215-K headphones, but my electronics recommendations aren't very interesting since I usually just read the wirecutter and order whatever they recommend ;) I mostly program sitting in an IKEA POÅNG chair.

Outside of computing, I love my Weber Gold grill, my KitchenAid mixer and my Timbuktu messenger bag.

And what software?

I live mostly in Chrome, the Terminal and RStudio/Sublime Text 2. Stayfocusd keeps me (mostly) focussed during the work day, and keeps me from distractions like Hacker News and The Old Reader. I use Adium for chat, because you can make it v. minimal, but Google's crippling of XMPP has made less useful and I have to use Gchat as well. I use Gmail, but every UI change in the last year has made me like it less. I tweet from Echofon, but pretty much only read #rstats related tweets. I present from Keynote and loathe Beamer. My current favourite iPhone game is Wordament.

I manage open source packages with homebrew, and program almost exclusively in R with a little C++ on the side. I use git and github all the time. I write mostly in Markdown or LaTex, particularly in conjunction with R Markdown, Jekyll, Pandoc and GitHub wikis. I'm currently working on a book about advanced R programming using all those tools.

When travelling, I search for flights with Google Flights and hotels with Kayak. I manage my itineraries with TripIt and receipts with Expensify.

I use Time Machine + an external HDD for local backups (I've given up trying to use it over wireless), and Arq for remote backups to S3. I keep big datasets and shared files in Dropbox - we have a teams account, so I have 1 TB (!) of storage there. I store passwords and other important (encrypted) info in LittleSecrets.

What would be your dream setup?

As long as I have my laptop, headphones, an internet connection and comfy seat, I'm happy pretty much anywhere. I would love better Internet access when travelling internationally, and I'd love a private jet to avoid travel hassles :)