Is R Necessary? (Generally Speaking)

Is R Necessary?

  • R Is Necessary

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Python Is Good Enough

    Votes: 9 81.8%

  • Total voters
    11

smcarthur

New Member
Prospective FinMath MS student here. 99.9% of my programming experience is in Python, MATLAB, and C++. I've really never touched R before, and I'm wondering if not knowing/learning R is going to set me back. I'm sure the answer depends heavily on job function, but I'm looking for general insight into whether R is worth pursuing as a skill if I'm already proficient in Python.

Edit: R may or may not be necessary, but spellcheck definitely is....
 

smcarthur

New Member
@daleholborow True, but I guess it's a matter of trade-offs for me. Would it be better for me to spend my time learning R, or learning topics like econometrics and brushing up on probability, stats, etc.? My thought was the latter, but I made the post just to make sure I wasn't shooting myself in the foot for not knowing R.

Also, thanks to whoever corrected the misspelling in the post title :LOL: I'm guessing it was @Andy Nguyen?
 

daleholborow

Active Member
Been a long time. How's life?
I check in from time to time but I'm doing more backend programming these days, more traditional IT and not as much finance. Have started doing some consulting/programming with a rising Finnish fintech though, they're making a good name for themselves and we have a couple cool potential finance projects on the horizon, so fingers crossed.
My long term, rule-based systematic investment engine backtester code is still lurking, calling me like a neglected puppy but I haven't had too much time lately :-(
Plan is to have a bunch of cash on hand and wait patiently for the next market crash.

I've been also inspired a bit by How I Started An $8M/Year Stock Market Research Website - Starter Story although I want to inspire young people to invest, not 50-80 year-old men to day trade :-P
 

daleholborow

Active Member
@smcarter generally speaking, "it depends", if you can code, I think for the next couple years at least you'll still seem like a bit of a guru in many settings, but increasingly, it will be expected (I believe). R is sufficiently different to python, with a subtle but significantly different target application, that it's work at least throwing a little time into (IMHO) but that said, I think it's probably more niche and at a more specialized role level than python, within the finance scene. Eg my suspicion is that many finance workers will learn a bit of python, increasingly to supplement Excel/vba, whereas probably only those with a strong quant analyst slant will employ R.

In the words of my masters thesis supervisor (who had a PhD in stochastic calculus but is now a professor in finance) "too much stats, is never enough"... So don't neglect that either.
 

daleholborow

Active Member
I should say, if you can code Matlab already, R will be a piece of cake (conceptually). Through some friends of mine who use it, they *do* often complain that libraries often break with updates etc, so practically it could possibly be a pain in the bollocks, as opposed to Matlab which is industrial grade/commercial.
 
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