Excerpts from the Introduction:
The objective of this course is to teach programming concepts to biologists. It is thus aimed at people who are not professional computer scientists, but who need a better control of computers for their own research. This programming course is part of a course in informatics for biology
. If you are already a programmer, and if you are just looking for an introduction to Python, you can go to this Python course
The reasons to use Python as a first language to learn programming are manyfold. First, there are studies that show that Python is well designed for beginners and the language has been explicitely designed by its author to be easier to learn. Next, it is more and more often used in bioinformatics as a general-purpose programming language, to both build components and applications. Another very important reason is the object-orientation, that is necessary not just for aesthetics but to scale to modern large-scale programming. Finally, a rich library of modules for scripting and network programming are essential for bioinformatics which very often relies on the integration of existing tools.