Saturday, May 10, 2008

Advice for the aspiring phylogeneticist: Part III

Learn new programs. If you’re going to do modern phylogenetic analyses you are going to be learning new programs. All the time. During my ten years in this field I’ve learned to use well over 50 programs. Some of these programs are not be easy to use. Some take weeks, months, or even years to master. You cannot allow this to lead you on a detour of convenience to use of inappropriate analyses. It is your responsibility as a scientist to do the best analyses possible. Don’t be lazy: when you stop learning new programs you stop doing modern phylogenetics.

1 comment:

Luke J. Harmon said...

I feel kind of hypocritical saying this, but if you're a programmer, spend some time making your code user-friendly. I don't mean you have to have a user interface, just make it work for normal data sets, and not choke on line endings or too many white spaces or something like that. And make the error messages informative! If people out there knew how easy that sort of thing was to program, they would revolt against all of us.