Building technology at a rapidly scaling startup requires many trade-offs. This talk will discuss the learnings, challenges and opportunities of building a culture of R at a startup where R is not the primary language, and the doubling time of company size and scope is measured in months, not years. We will illustrate these concepts with examples from Flatiron Health, an oncology-focused technology company. Topics include using R in production, trade-offs between flexibility and scalability, short- vs. long-term solutions, and language choice on cross-functional teams. We will contrast examples where R was used for prototyping, but the final technical solution diverged away from R; cases where an R solution persisted over time; and scenarios where parallel development in R and an alternate medium were desired for audit controls. Through case studies, we outline a framework for evaluating these technical infrastructure decisions in a forward-thinking yet pragmatic manner. We’ll also touch on the establishment of team- and company-wide best practices for R usage and strategies for building a sharable framework suitable for both new and advanced users.