Welcome

Welcome

With this blog, you can follow along with my journey as I continue to learn to code and use code in science-related projects because we should all be coders especially scientists. After all, anyone can code. Yes, anyone!

When I Started Coding and Why I Code Now

My very first experience with programming was in 2003 as a 9th grader. I built a very simple webpage using HTML. Thank goodness I don’t know how to find it. At the time, the web was not friendly to video (YouTube started in 2005! :flushed: ) or gifs which I used on that site.

In June 2016, I decided to dive back into programming after a 9 year break. I almost gave up many times, but the thrill of solving problems continued to reel me in. Currently, I program with Python and R, two very popular languages, in the context of Bioinformatics, which is a field that combines computer science, biology, mathematics, statistics and engineering to analyze and interpret biological data. I never knew I’d love Bioinformatics as much as I do from running and developing pipelines to understanding and tweaking statistical algorithms.

Check out what I’ve been working on for the past 6 months below.

Why You Should Code

Do you have a cell phone, ipad, or computer? Of course, you do. According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, over 70% of people in the U.S. have both a smartphone and desktop/laptop computer. Every day, you are being exposed to an interface that is built with code. Why not learn more about something you use every day that has a profound impact on your life? Also, if you’re a scientist, you can use programming to improve the reproducibility of your work as well as manage experiments more efficiently.

What Else Will I Blog About?

I’ll dive into a number of topics including population health, cancer genomics, microbiomics, psychiatry, sports, and social sciences while incorporating programming. I’ll also share some of my favorite Bioinformatics tools and recent publications.

Thanks!

As a closing to this first post, I want to thank my coworker, Rob Gilmore, for being incredibly supportive and helpful as I learned Python. Also, I’d like to thank my lab’s PhD student, Xiao Zhang. Our lab is a team, and we’re only as strong as those around us.

Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think of my site. :relaxed:

Downloads

For any scientists interested in diving into programming, download An Introduction to Programming for Bioscientists: A Python-Based Primer.

Shaurita D. Hutchins

Shaurita D. Hutchins

Biologist & Programmer

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