About Luke Johnston

Feb 8, 2015 • Luke Johnston

I’m a PhD student in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto. My research involves the epidemiology of diabetes and understanding potential associations with serum fatty acids. I find it extremely exciting to do analyses, learning about statistical techniques and about programming in general. I am a (sometimes evangelical) Linux user and have recently had a renewed interesting in learning all things R (like the incredible knitr and dplyr packages).

My reason for doing this instructor training is because it troubles me that researchers (and those in-training) are not taught on the proper use of programming techniques and concepts. Given our increasing reliance on basic programming techniques and understanding in data analysis, the more researchers we train the better the science will be and the more productive they will become. Doing this training will show me the best ways to teach researchers these concepts.

I (occasionally) write on my blog when I am not busy doing analyses.

What I found hardest about using Git the first time was…

I’ve been using Git daily for the last year. Git was my first exposure to version control, so there was no unlearning for me. Given that, the hardest part about Git was getting myself to actually start using it. I had frequently read that Git was sometimes confusing and difficult, and so I was apprehensive about starting to use it, mainly because I didn’t always have time to devote to learning something new. However, having used it for a full year now, I can say that Git has actually be a lot more enjoyable (for me) compared to other experiences I’ve had with statistical coding. Maybe the warnings about Git mentally prepared me for it, but, I wish I had of started sooner (TBH, I stalled in using it for about 2-3 months, so not that long).