One of the most famous paper in science, Nature, published this month an article about R.
I'm very excited to see that my favorite statistical software worth to be widely used by the scientific community. The article relates stories of various scientists to describe the benefits for them of using this open-source software.
Beyond the fact R it's free, it allows the user to understand and have the full control on his data processing. R has maybe a steep learning curve, but thanks to the numerous packages beginners can perform complex statistical analysis and data visualization with few simple commands.
The article also relates the original motivation of the creators of R, Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman: to perform themselves their data analysis. The ability of everyone to write his own package to fill a lack and share his expertise is maybe the main strength of R.
There is a spreading of it usage: 1% scholarly articles cite R and more than 6000 packages are available currently on the official repository, the CRAN. I discovered in this article rOpenSci, an initiative to raise the usage of the software in science community. Online help is described as efficient and free.
Most interesting for a job seeker: labs are hiring people to write packages!