Photo by Ariana Prestes on Unsplash

It depends: A dialog about dependencies


Software dependencies can often be a double-edged sword. On one hand, they let you take advantage of others’ work, giving your software marvelous new features and reducing bugs. On the other hand, they can change, causing your software to break unexpectedly and increasing your maintenance burden. These problems occur everywhere, in R scripts, R packages, Shiny applications and deployed ML pipelines. So when should you take a dependency and when should you avoid them? Well, it depends! This talk will show ways to weigh the pros and cons of a given dependency and provide tools for calculating the weights for your project. It will also provide strategies for dealing with dependency changes, and if needed, removing them. We will demonstrate these techniques with some real-life cases from packages in the tidyverse and r-lib.

Austin, TX


Jim Hester
Software Engineer

I’m a Senior Software Engineer at Netflix and R package developer.