One of my friends did a very heavy project with R. He is from biotechnology field, so I am not really sure what he was working on - but it was supposed to require the super-computer PARAM at the university.
He tried doing it on his MacBook Air (16 GB) and though it consumed GBs on Swap memory - it finally worked. There no doubt these M1 machines are really powerful!
I do Flutter dev for fun, and I have at times worked with 3 emulators, alongside Apple Music, Safari and Android Studio on my Mac Air. No complaints ever!
I wish you luck with your programming. Thanks for reading.