[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: advice for the undergrad (OL)

On Sat, Jul 05, 2008 at 08:01:06PM -0700, T. Michael Keesey scripsit:
> On Sat, Jul 5, 2008 at 4:06 PM,  <dinosaur@gilvary.net> wrote:
> >>
> >> Phew! Having dabbled for a few hours in Visual Basic, I am relieved to
> >> hear it is not as easy as Keesy indicates. Although Bill could make it MUCH
> >> easier to self-teach, imo.
> I personally hate Visual Basic. JScript or C# seem like much better
> alternatives to me, although I have never used them.

What are you going to do?

If you're going to be swoggling lots of character data (data represented
by text strings, I mean) -- genetic or molecular analysis -- something
like Perl is probably your best choice.  (There's a lot of it; being
made of ancient effective Unix evil may or may not warp your mind; other
people are already using it; for this very specific problem realm,
nothing else is as good.)

If you're going to be doing numerical or statistical analysis, C or C++
are very likely to remain the languages of choice for high precision
math libraries.

> Also very important in science are other types of computer languages,
> like query languages (SQL and variants thereof, XQuery, etc.), markup
> languages (XML, HTML, etc.), data languages (XML again, HTML
> microformats, YAML, weird little specialized languages like DOT and
> NEXUS, etc.),  etc. It's not all programming.

Pretty much all of that is data representation of one kind or another.
That's a good thing to understand, but if the idea is to be able to
prove you can program, as distinct from a career in programming, I'd
suggest hauling in specialist help for that category of problem.

-- Graydon