Bioinformaticians in the service of bench biologists

Stumbled out of bed to the feed reader and came close to spraying cereal over the screen when I read this exchange on a Nature Network blog:

Original post:

Like them or loathe them, it’s not really possible to analyze a genome-wide screen without a large number of [Excel spreadsheets]

Comment #1 from our Pierre:

Oh please, please, please, no, don’t that with excel, please

He’s quite right, of course. Unfortunately, the ensuing debate is heading down a familiar track: “that’s all very well for you hardcore computer types, but we’re just simple bench biologists”.

Well look – a lot of us “computer types” were, or are, bench biologists too. We weren’t born with magical computer skills, nor did we learn them overnight. We know what we know and recommend it to others not out of geekiness or snobbery, but because we believe that if there’s a better way to perform a task, we owe it to ourselves to learn it. If others can’t make that commitment, we’re more than happy to help out and share what we’ve learned.

Just be prepared to meet us half-way, OK?