to me, R was a waste of time and I really dont understand why its so popular in academia. if you already have some programming knowledge, go with Python + Scipy instead
EDIT: R is even more useless without r studio, http://www.rstudio.com/. and NO, dont go build a website in R!
That may not be what you meant, so I haven't downvoted yet, but it doesn't seem to be an attitude that is helpful for the conversation.
What I meant to say was that I helped my wife during her master thesis (~6 months) with R, in addition to spending an hour in one of the classes.
Her teachers also were novices of both R and Excel, and we had several issues with everything from how R processes csv:s, to just figuring out the proper syntax to have R do what we wanted.
Sorry if my comment wasnt helpful, i was merely attempting to add some reflections from personal experience to the discussion.
As a side benefit, the first time I tried dabbling in Julia, I was pleasantly surprised to have a familiar mature environment work with it out of the box.