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Programming or online tools? - (Jul/22/2006 )

Hi fellow members,

I've been teaching myself Perl for the past 3-4 months. It's alot of fun. I'm not a Bioinformatics major though but rather a Cell Bio major, so I'm learning Perl for fun.
I however cannot help but realize that alot of the tools on ExPasy, NCBI, EBI, Vector NTI etc etc (just to name a fraction) already do the same activity that Perl programming can achieve.

Do you think its better off to rely on these tools rather than learn programming to achieve the same result?

I'd be appreciative of your response.


Existing programs may not do the exact job you want to accomplish. Can you say that because many people already know a foreign language and there are even online translation tools available, it is useless for you to learn that language? Although leaning a programing language for a researcher is not a must, but it will help you a lot.


Good point well made. I did a degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics, while doing that I learnt python (similar to perl) I then changed from that work to bioinformatics and now I have learnt more languages and made the transition to mathematical biology.... knowing something like perl may give you extra options that you did not have before.


Thanks perlmunky and pcrman.

I'll cont. reading perl then.