I get asked this question often enough and now that's it's come up again, it seems that I might as well answer it once and for all and get it over with.
First, I want to change the question. Of course they don't need to learn programming.
A better question is would it benefit biologists to learn programming?
My flip half-way serious answer is yes, if they want to change careers.
You see, programming is really seductive when you've been a wet-bench biologist. It's like heroin. (At least I suspect it ... Read more