Maybe this is still a pipe dream, but if we can't teach useful coding skills for everyone, we should at least be doing this for everyone who is considering any sort of career in the biological sciences. During my time at UC Davis, I've helped teach some basic Unix and Perl skills to many graduate students, but frustratingly this teaching has often come at the end of their first year in Grad School. By this point in their graduate training, they have often already encountered many data management problems and have not been equipped with the necessary skills to help them deal with those problems.
I think that part of the problem is that we still use the label 'bioinformatics training' and this reinforces the distinction from a more generic 'biological training'. It may once have been the case that bioinformatics was its own specialized field, but today I find that bioinformatics mostly just describes a useful set of data processing skills…skills which will be needed by anybody working in the life sciences.
Maybe we need to rebrand 'bioinformatics training', and use a name which better describes the general importance of these skills ('Essential data training for biologists?'). Whatever we decide to call it, it is clear that we need it more than ever. Todd ends his post with a great piece of advice for any current graduate students in the biosciences: