Programmers for scientific software? - How do I start?
John G. Gilligan
sleepguy at att.net
Wed Feb 10 21:23:19 EST 1999
I would like to know if anyone can give me any hints as to how to break into
the field of computer programming for scientific software?
I just got my masters degree in Cell Biology (on top of a BS in Chemistry) and
I've taken courses (no work experience) in C++, Visual C++ and Visual Basic
(which seem to be the languages of choice these days). (I know that I need to
work on UNIX and SQL, but first things first).
I've worked in labs as a researcher all through my educational career and I
have skills that could get me a fairly good position as a lab tech, but I
don't want to be stuck behind a lab bench for the rest of my life.
Therefore, since I like working with computers, I want to write software for
scientific programs - like those that search DNA databases, do structural
I know that most programmers enter the financial field (where there is more
money to be made) or have a strong math/computer science background. I feel
that my science background makes me a better programmer because I can speak
the language of science and I can better design software for the "end user"?
I've applied for a number of positions as a programmer, but most places want
3-4 years worth of programming experience before they even look at your
Does anybody have any helpful hints? Any companies that will train and mentor
Should I look at pharmaceutical firms or purely software companies?
I live in the NYC area, but I would be willing to relocate - since I've seen
that most of these jobs cluster in Silicon Valley, CA!
Thanks in advance!!!
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