24.8 Other techniques
Being able to write fast R code is part of being a good R programmer. Beyond the specific hints in this chapter, if you want to write fast R code, you’ll need to improve your general programming skills. Some ways to do this are to:
Read R blogs to see what performance problems other people have struggled with, and how they have made their code faster.
Take an algorithms and data structure course to learn some well known ways of tackling certain classes of problems. I have heard good things about Princeton’s Algorithms course offered on Coursera.
You can also reach out to the community for help. StackOverflow can be a useful resource. You’ll need to put some effort into creating an easily digestible example that also captures the salient features of your problem. If your example is too complex, few people will have the time and motivation to attempt a solution. If it’s too simple, you’ll get answers that solve the toy problem but not the real problem. If you also try to answer questions on StackOverflow, you’ll quickly get a feel for what makes a good question.
Bueno, Carlos. 2013. Mature Optimization Handbook. http://carlos.bueno.org/optimization/.
Hunt, Andrew, and David Thomas. 1990. The Pragmatic Programmer. Addison Wesley.
Matloff, Norman. 2011. The Art of R Programming. No Starch Press.
Matloff, Norman. 2015. Parallel Computing for Data Science. Chapman & Hall/CRC. http://amzn.com/1466587016.
McCallum, Q. Ethan, and Steve Weston. 2011. Parallel R. O’Reilly. http://amzn.com/B005Z29QT4.