The deadline for my competition to win a signed copy of Vince Buffalo's excellent Bioinformatics Data Skills book has now passed. There were 65 entries and later this week I will randomly choose a winner. For the competition I simply asked people to tweet an answer to the following question:
Name a useful bioinformatics skill
I thought I would share some of the entries that people tweeted. In reverse order, here are my ten favorite answers. It was difficult choosing which ones made the cut, and there were many other excellent answers. Thanks to everyone who took part! I hope to announce the winner later this week.
This was the most popular answer in the competition…
My entry for ‘useful bioinformatics data skill’ #ACGT competition: version control— Lex Nederbragt (@lexnederbragt) September 14, 2015
Useful bioinformatics skill: version control repository for every project #ACGT— Katrina Kutchko (@kutchko) September 23, 2015
If you ever run into any sort of bioinformatics problem, you can probably assume that someone has suffered from the same problem as you, and that someone else has posted a useful answer online.
useful bioinformatics data skill: read manuals and find solutions on BioStars, SEQanswers, and Twitter #ACGT— copypasteusa (@copypasteusa) September 17, 2015
Two closely related answers, so they can both share the number two spot…
Useful bioinformatics skill: trust nothing without testing #ACGT— Gitanshu Munjal (@grmunjal) September 15, 2015
#ACGT A very useful bioinformatics skill is that never test any program or any code with huge dataset and always use a subset of data— upendra devisetty (@upendra_35) September 16, 2015
In bioinformatics it can be good to have some healthy skepticism about the tools and data that you use. Not all genome assemblies are perfect (many are far from perfect), not all gene annotations are correct, and not all tools use defafult values that will work well with your data. Be skeptical!
Maybe one of these answers will be lucky enough to be chosen by the magical 'Perl-script-of-destiny' (that I still need to write). The winner will hopefully be announced in a day or two.