Zientzilaria

Covering the bioinformatics niche and much more

The Real Value of Blogging

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A couple of days ago I posted on my Python/Bioinformatics an entry called ‘The “sickest” Python code I’ve ever created’. It’s a code that does some file management for proteomics data, with a different set of inputs each time you run it.

The “sickest” part of the title is that it was a small challenge to me. I’ve been away of actual hard-core coding for quite sometime, and you lose some of the gist of the thing with time. Mostly, nowadays, I make simple scripts that don’t require any kind of advanced skills (in any language) and I don’t worry that much of releasing code or about ultra fast performance. I knew from the time I posted that a lot of people would jump and help and teach me, as I was aware it wasn’t the most elegant code out there, not even the most Pythonic one too. What also helped me is that my Python/Bioinformatics blog is indexed on Planet Python, and the audience is far more hard-core Python that I ever dreamed of getting by myself alone.

But the real deal is that I believe it would be much more difficult for me to get some positive feedback or even an answer if I had posted bits of my code on a online forum or community or list. Every time I used one of these methods, I either got no answer, or got schooled for not posting in the right format or somebody replied that no one knew how to do it. There’s the real deal of blogging, and the value is even higher if your audience knows more than you do. I appreciate every comment I got on that post and on others too, I learned things that I wasn’t able to learn from computer books and online tutorials (yes, I searched sometimes before reading the comments, and sometimes after).