I love the way you show me secret things. All I do is type: Select * from name_of_a_table And you share everything with me. Without you, my vision is obscured, and all I see is the display on the page. In fact, this was the push that finally made me decide to learn SQL. In our bacterial metagenomics experiment, I realized that my students could use FinchTV to enter their blast ... Read more
One of my chief joys in life, often to dismay of others, is working with data. Some members of my family (who shall remain nameless) would characterize this fixation as bordering on obsessive, others just call me a "geek" and leave it at that.
I don't care.
Give me a data set and I can play happily for hours. The sky gets dark. The dog entreats me over and over to please throw her sopping toy so she can go chase it. The cats walk between my hands and the keyboard and rub their bodies against my face.
But I don't see any of that when there's a computer screen ... Read more
A long standing debate in my field is whether or not biologists, who work with computers, need to learn how to program. I usually say "no." Let the programmers program, the biologists interpret the results, and let everyone can benefit from each other's expertise.
Well, I've changed my mind in one respect. Most biologists need to work with some kind of database these days and I've discovered that it's really helpful to know something about SQL. Even a tiny bit of SQL, like "SELECT * from table" goes a long, long way.
This revelation didn't happen overnight and when I ... Read more