Learning to code can be intimidating but we have all been there...
Biologists have traditionally not been taught to code. This is rapidly changing and I have observed a huge up-tick in coding being brought into undergraduate biology courses. But there is still a gap and many of the students I have taught have found themselves in the tough position of needing to teach themselves to code when they start their graduate studies. This is difficult and adds a lot of stress to an already high-pressure situation.
I taught myself to code primarily in the later stages of my PhD and the first two years of my post-doc. My preferred languages are Python and R. I do just enough bash coding to be efficient when copying a bunch of files or wanting to rename things. A tiny bit of coding skills goes a very long way in biology and I strongly encourage every student I work with to code, even if it is just opening up the terminal to move around files.
So where do you start when you know absolutely nothing? I recommend these resources, which I have found useful.
Please note I am not affiliated with, nor endorsed by any of the organisations below unless explicitly stated.
Haddock and Dunn Practical Computing for Biologists This book is available from any big online retailer. I highly recommend this for people who say "computers hate me". Computers do not hate you, you just are not speaking the same language yet.
A not-for-profit dedicated to making computing research more reproducible and accessible. Attend one of their workshops or follow along with some of their publicly available lessons: software-carpentry.org/lessons/
I find these lessons good for absolute beginners but these lessons do not tackle "biological data" per se.
A merger of "The Carpentries" and "Software Carpentry", datacarpentry.org has many lessons available by field including genomics. This genomics workshop is extremely good for beginners. datacarpentry.org/genomics-workshop/
ANU and BDSI Lockdown 2020 Bioinfo/Stats/R Courses
Please note Megan McDonald was an instructor for this course.
Many faced a "what do I do now" moment in March/April 2020 when the world went into lockdown. Some students/researchers suddenly had some time at home with a computer to finally learn some of the coding they have always been meaning to do in between lab-work.
Myself and several other post-doctoral researchers and early-career researchers threw together some code along tutorials over zoom for ANU and other colleagues in Australia. We borrowed heavily from the "Carpentries" material above and have done our best to attribute this in our github pages for the course. You can find over 20 hours of instructional video with code on github here: bdsi.anu.edu.au/training-courses/biological-data-science-course