Shiny from Start to Finish Workshop - rstudio::conf 2020

Shiny from Start to Finish Workshop

9:00 AM-5:00 PM
2 Day Workshop

Daniel Kaplan
Dewitt Wallace Professor
Macalester College

Shiny is the leading R-based system for writing interactive web-based apps. These give your clients, users, or students the power and sophistication of R with a friendly, no-code interface custom designed to your purpose. The workshop will start at the beginning: designing and creating user interfaces, learning and mastering the reactive model that connects your R code to the interface, and deploying apps publicly and privately. Then we'll work with intermediate-level tools: communicating with outside files and databases, debugging, modularizing. You'll build a range of (closely related) app formats in wide use: interactive Rmd, browser-page apps, tutorials, and dashboards. In the end, you'll be a confident Shiny craftsperson, able to design interactive apps to achieve your purpose and produce a polished and professional implementation.

If your answer to the following questions is "yes", then this is the right course for you.

  1. Do you have experience writing functions in R?
  2. Do you, or members of your team, know how to apply R to solve the data manipulation, graphics, and modeling problems needed to accomplish your purpose? (Shiny provides the means to embed your data solutions in an interactive framework, but you provide the solutions themselves!)
  3. Do you have a use case for Shiny, that is, a notion of the kinds of user-facing facilities you would like to build with Shiny?
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Questions for instructor/TAs:

  1. Will my version of RStudio be suitable for this course?

I am currently using RStudio Pro ver 1.2.1335-1 (browser based, using Chrome). Will I need to use the Desktop version instead?

  1. Will I need to download anything during this workshop?

I will be using a work laptop to remote into my work station which may have issues with downloading or installing anything new. Is there anything I can try to get beforehand working with my company IT in order to avoid any issues?


I strongly encourage participants to use as the computational platform for the workshop. At the workshop I'll give a simple link to an project which will have packages pre-installed and provide all the slides/code/examples/projects for the workshop. If you want to test it now, go to and create an account if you don't already have one. NOTE: The project will change over the next four days, so you will need to follow the link once again on Monday AM.

There's also a github repo (which is what populates the project) which you can use during or after the workshop to set up the project on your own system. This repo and the CRAN packages are all you need to download/install. AGAIN NOTE: The repo and CRAN list may change over the next four days.

As of right now the package list is

package_list <- c(
  "devtools",        # you likely have this
  "tidyverse",       # ditto
  "rmarkdown",       # ditto
  "knitr",           # ditto
  "shiny",           # ditto
  "shinyWidgets",    # workshop specific
  "shinyjs",         # workshop specific
  "miniUI",          # workshop specific
  "revealjs"         # just for compiling slide collection