Worth it to learn some python for a biochemist?

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Worth it to learn some python for a biochemist?

Post by poobear » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:53 pm

I just completed a bachelor degree in molecular biology. I will probably continue will biochemistry. However, I've always spent most of my time in front of the computer. For a week I looked at perl and I learned to translate DNA into amino acids, calculate GC content and similar easy tasks. However, there are numerous web sites that can do such tasks if you google. So now I again think of learning some programming, this time python because it seems to be more future proof than perl, but I'm wondering if its really worth it. As I study biochemistry my time with programming will be limited, and what can you as a biochemist do with low level python? Being a "jack of all trades" has always tempted me, but only if it has an advantage compared to websites I can bookmark.


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Post by JackBean » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:24 am

the question is, whether you have where to use it. If you have access to some server, where you could run your analyses, that would be fine. You can always modify your input to get exactly what you want.
And at least, that will help you to understand how these programms works, a little.

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Re: Worth it to learn some python for a biochemist?

Post by andresgutierrez » Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:04 pm

You have to focus first on your biological question. So many times I talked with students around the world struggling with the learning of a programing lenguaje without any idea about data structures and algorithms design, So ask yourself Why do you want to learn to program?.

As an advice, I recommed to you continue mining the perl lenguaje following an order in your learning curve. Perl is the lenguaje for bioinformatics it has a long history in the field and perhaps a shine future.

So start with the basics... some good books

Begging perl for bioinformatics
Mastering perl for bioinformatics
Learning perl
Perl for biologist

It will be take 6 months at least to learn the fundaments of the lenguaje and 10 years to become an expert

If you have any doubt about or If you think I can be of hlep do not hesitate in contact to me.


Last edited by JackBean on Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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