Introduction to R for .NET Developers

I wrote an article titled “Introduction to R for .NET Developers” in the December 2015 issue of Visual Studio Magazine. See

The R language isn’t a traditional general purpose programming language like C# or Java. Instead, it’s mostly a collection of hundreds of functions that perform classical statistical analyses like linear regression and various hypothesis tests like the t-test. R is often used in an interactive mode where you enter one command at a time. It’s also possible to write R scripts.


Interest in R among software developers has increased greatly over the past year or so, I believe because of the increased collection and storage of data, and the resulting need to analyze that data. I believe that the most difficult part of learning any new technology is just getting started. So, in my article, I walk readers (who I assume to be .NET developers) through the process of getting up and running with R.

It’s not clear to me why C# and Java seem to be afterthoughts when it comes to data science. The leading technologies appear to be R, the Python language (with the NumPy and SciPy add-on libraries), and the MatLab/Octave/SciLab systems.

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