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Old 01-30-2015, 03:40 AM   #1
gerg
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Location: Poland

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Default A new perspective needed for a newbie

Hello. This might come off as a rant or you might think that I'm complaining but I hope it won't be like that at the end.

I'm on the first year of my MSc and started working in a bioinformatics lab. This was exactly what I planned a year ago, I'm glad that so far I've achieved what I wanted but there's that thing which is bugging me.

I have almost zero programming skills and never had any courses in bioinformatics before. Now I'm trying to teach myself Java as it is being used in the lab. At the same time I'm expected to learn R and also I'm a total stranger for many of the basic terms. I'm a person who needs to see the learning path completely to get motivated but in my case, other than learning programming, because I can follow a book as a guide, the information I could reach coming very scrappy: hearing one term and trying to learn what that actually means, for that needing to look into other five new terms in the definition of that term, finding out what another new weird name suppose to mean for that approach to that technology... etc. Yes, constant learning but they don't come together to shape something. And as a student who draws trees to understand connections between the subjects before starting to study something, that is utterly uncomfortable to me.

There's also another thing that me being one of the oldest in the lab and knowing the least amongst others which demotivates. People in the lab have that ego thing going on also as far as I can see, so so far asking questions didn't help me greatly. They are generally not bothered to break down the subjects and simplify the what and why we are doing what we are doing. I'm not blaming them though, it's not their responsibility to teach me stuff. But I'd like to say that it deepens the feeling of inadequacy.

Any advices?

PS. My English kind of sucks but I hope it's intelligible.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:05 PM   #2
westerman
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Location: Purdue University, Indiana, USA

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Sometimes a lab will not be a proper fit for a person thus, no matter how painful, a change of labs is needed.

That said, I suggest you just keep working and learning. Bioinformatics is a big subject. Graduate school is also a big deal. You are expected to keep yourself motivated and on-track.

Feel free to post questions here. A friendly community always helps.
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:26 AM   #3
karimse07
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Location: africa

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Thumbs down partner

i can we your partner to study bioinformatics and programming
my skype:karimse07,mail:karimse07@yahoo.com
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Old 02-16-2015, 11:20 AM   #4
jlkillian
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Location: Ithaca, NY

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I would strongly suggest you seek out some conventional avenues for learning programming and other areas in which you deem your knowledge insufficient. For example, classes at MIT opencourseware, Coursera or JAVA tutorials. The CodeAcademy Python tutorial is another great place to start.

You're in a bioinformatics lab, as you stated was your goal for at least a year, so you are interested in the area. You'll need programming, so learn it. You're a graduate student now, and no one's going to hand you the information, or the motivation, or the connections between the pieces. You can spin your wheels and reinvent the wheel one piece at a time, or just go out and power through some course material and learn to program.
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Old 02-17-2015, 11:39 AM   #5
jlkillian
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Also, check out Rosalind: http://rosalind.info/problems/locations/
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Old 10-23-2018, 05:39 AM   #6
ravivc
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Location: Kiev

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I know about a programming introduction course of Java. This is codegym. The advantage here is that you'll have a Interactive walkthrough and buddies that will be able to help you.
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