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Back to Biology Meets Programming: Bioinformatics for Beginners

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Biology Meets Programming: Bioinformatics for Beginners by University of California San Diego

1,424 ratings

About the Course

Are you interested in learning how to program (in Python) within a scientific setting? This course will cover algorithms for solving various biological problems along with a handful of programming challenges helping you implement these algorithms in Python. It offers a gently-paced introduction to our Bioinformatics Specialization (, preparing learners to take the first course in the Specialization, "Finding Hidden Messages in DNA" ( Each of the four weeks in the course will consist of two required components. First, an interactive textbook provides Python programming challenges that arise from real biological problems. If you haven't programmed in Python before, not to worry! We provide "Just-in-Time" exercises from the Codecademy Python track ( And each page in our interactive textbook has its own discussion forum, where you can interact with other learners. Second, each week will culminate in a summary quiz. Lecture videos are also provided that accompany the material, but these videos are optional....

Top reviews


Apr 17, 2016

I give this course 5 star because I did Bioinformatics I and I totally enjoy it.

This is where programming can be fun, and practical, and you'll learn some basic biology too.

What's not to love?


Apr 14, 2020

A very good course for those who has some (at least a little) experience in programmimg! I really loved it, it was challenging sometimes, especially in the end, but I did it and learned a lot.

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376 - 400 of 428 Reviews for Biology Meets Programming: Bioinformatics for Beginners

By Daniel P

Feb 15, 2020

As a biologist without any programming skills, I found this course REALLY difficult. That was totally unexpected as the description of the course states that no programming skills are necessary. I thought really hard to learn the Python by resolving Codeacademy exercises while trying to implement the language to solve the book problems. In other words, I felt that the platforms used in this course were very disconnected. In my opinion, it would be easier to learn python by directly learning how to solve simple biological questions instead of complicate ones presented in the book.

By Graham

Sep 6, 2017

This course replies heavily (almost entirely) on codeacademy to teach the coding material. Unfortunately, the material chosen for this course does not line up with the courses supplied by codeacademy. If you want to follow the lesson plans as outlined here, you need to do multiple extra courses on codeacademy before you can reach the material discussed in the coursera lesson. As such, the estimated time for completion is drastically lower than the actual time to completion for people new to coding.

By Cameron c

Jun 19, 2022

Although the course may introduce beginner based Bioinformatics and the overall coding is initially taught from a beginner level, it quickly evolves into a level of coding that I and many in the class did not understand given our lack of coding back ground. I would recommend taking a beginner python course followed by a basic data analytics with python course first. This is just so you can adequetly understand what youre doing with the data.

By Jorge M R B

Aug 10, 2022

Stepik and codeacademy aren't the friendliest options for beginners. You can see that by the number of success on each Stepik exercise and the decreasing number of students each week.

I managed to undersand a great part of it mainly because I wasn't a beginner at either Biology nor Programming, but still, the programming part was hard.

By Mary C

Jan 17, 2021

This isn't really a course for beginners. I learned a few things about biology, sure. But if I hadn't already known Python code, I wouldn't have been able to figure out half of the exercises in this course.

This course is do-able if you're willing to put in the effort, but it is not an easy introductory course to bioinformatics.

By Shyam P

Jun 16, 2018

The quizzes were extremely annoying, they weren't hard but for example with the final quiz: I would properly calculate the normalized probabilities but every possible version of me rounding it was incorrect. I proceeded to show a friend who has a PhD in mathematics and he was equally stressed by questions like this

By Misheel E

Sep 17, 2020

The description of the course is misleading, you do have to know Python in order to fully focus on the biological problem. Requires more than 8 hrs per each coding section if you are beginner. Wouldn't mark the class as Beginner.

By 飯田智光

Jan 4, 2021

The course is hard for whose major is biology because there is no detailed explanation regarding algorithms. I do not recommend this course to people who have not studied programming.

By Banjul D

Aug 18, 2021

the content is good but it is definitely not for beginners. the course content requires a lot of coding knowledge and basics of molecular biology to understand

By Anhiti

Jun 10, 2020

The external tool was too complex for a beginner in programming, which defeats the purpose of the exercise. This made me lose interest very quickly.

By Rithvik S

Oct 21, 2020

Can be more interactive with videos for beginners for more comprehensive understanding. Otherwise, wonderful, highly informative content!

By Afonso L

Oct 3, 2021

Very complex for students. Coding wise very dificcult to follow for beginners, but with perserverance you can understant the message.

By Adam J

Jul 7, 2018

Programming part not well explained and too difficult- it can clearly be seen from the comments that many people have the same issues

By Jaher N

Oct 13, 2018

no 6 quiz of week 4 is bad in answering every time ans submit the right ans i got the wrong in after assessment. it may be improved

By Ammar Y M

Oct 29, 2022

It's really helpful and amazing for those who know basic statistics, maths and programming. But it's not for beginners at all

By Florian H

Jul 14, 2020

Gets quickly very confusing and difficult. Also, do the Codeacademy Python class before even starting this course.

By Kyle S

Oct 6, 2020

Programming Level is NOT FOR BEGINNERS. The Codecademy was useless when compared to the coding assignments given.

By Ojochenemi E

Sep 12, 2020

the coding aspect were neither clear nor easy enough for a biologist who is new to programming to grasp

By Shana M

Mar 20, 2021

Steptik images in week 4 aren't showing up which means its impossible to understand what's going on

By dheeraj K

Dec 23, 2020

in my opinion, this course is hard for beginners. i do not have computer background in programming

By Celine A

Jul 16, 2020

Too complicated for a beginner's course, the quizzes don't match the stepik chapters.

By Haritha I J

Jul 6, 2020

It is hard for beginners. Especially for some who has no computer lesson background.

By Víctor R D

Aug 15, 2020

It has been the most stressful and frustrating course, certainly not for beginners.

By Spencer P

Jun 16, 2020

Its called Bioinformatics for "Beginners", when it is still extremely difficult.

By Vidya B

Jun 15, 2020

This course is not for begginers. please change tag line.but good to learn