Showing off skills for job hunting : bioinformatics

Am I screwing up by not showing off more Python skills in my code base for job applications?

I have my BS in molecular biology and have worked in academic labs for about three years now, and I’m looking to move into industry jobs in bioinformatics. Over the past 3 years I’ve taught myself quite a bit of bioinformatics skills to boost my projects and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve taken a couple of classes on data analysis and computational biology, but for the most part I’m self taught. Most of my work is on NGS data.

I think my code is generally strong, especially given that I’m self taught and have only been writing for a minority of my working time. But I have one big problem. Most of the job postings I’ve come across have listed experience with a scripting language, e.g. Python or Perl, but I do the vast majority of my work in R and using existing command line tools combined with brief bash, awk, and sed utilities. I have done a little bit of work in Python and can read and edit scripts pretty well, but I looked through my work and realized I have no Python anywhere. And my issue now is that I have no natural place to fit it into any of my projects or pipelines. I tried to implement one part of a Nextflow pipeline in Python, but it took ten times longer to run than the bash script I’d already written.

So here’s the question. Is it better for me to hack some Python together in a brief random project just to show I can work with it, put Python in a place where I know a bash script works better, or just keep things the way they are? I’m nervous about leaving off a skill that they’re looking for, but I don’t know if it would look even worse to shoehorn in Python somewhere that it’s a bad fit.

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