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DataJoy is an unbelievably fantastic way for a working data scientist to have their favorite tools at hand. I am a minimalist when it comes to being mobile, whether working on the road, traveling for leisure, and sometimes both. I do not like to keep files on my laptop and I do not, for the most part, like to worry about keeping updated applications on my laptop. I have tried as much as possible to push my life into the cloud. Yes, I travel with a chromebook. Yes, I use online versions of Google Office and Microsoft Office. But, finding ways to do the work I need to do without having to install software was difficult until I found DataJoy.

DataJoy provides environments for developing with R or Python. You can organize your work into projects, and with a paid plan you can sync your files with DropBox and GitHub. Also with a paid plan you can easily collaborate with others on common projects. The basic account with DataJoy is free, which lets you try out DataJoy and get some real work done or do some learning.  You cannot go wrong with giving DataJoy a try.

DataJoy is built upon LInode Virtual Private Servers (VPS). Your session exists in a Docker container on a VPS and several sessions may share a server at any point in time. This works out well because the work pattern with DataJoy is lots of typing with brief periods of actual computing.  I considered getting my own LInode node and doing my own version of DataJoy, but I decided that I did not want the headache of maintaining a node. DataJoy fills the gap for me and provides that one thing that was keeping me tied to something more than a chromebook.

The DataJoy interface is easy to use, consisting of an editor pane and an output pane. The editor is adequate and the output can be both textual and graphical. For graphical output it’s straightforward to export and download graphs. You can create URL links to share your visual outputs. There is also a command line window where you can enter and execute commands directly without having to write a script. Just about anything you might want to use in R or Python can be imported into your session, which makes things ever so convenient.

I fell into DataJoy because I was a user of another cloud-based service offered by the same company. That service, ShareLaTex, provides the ability of being able to edit and create LaTex documents in the cloud, in much the same way that DataJoy does it’s job. For those of us who like to program our documents and create superb documents, ShareLaTex allows this to happen without having to worry about wrestling with installing and maintaining a tex distribution. You can have a look at it here: https://www.sharelatex.com/.

If you, like myself, want to be as unencumbered as possible and need access to R and Python at the same time, please check out DataJoy. https://www.getdatajoy.com?r=09be4944&rm=d&rs=b

 

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