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This is debatable, but IMHO your job as a post-doc is to learn new things about biology and publish papers on what you've learned. If you can document your code along the way, that's great. But if it's taking up a bunch of your time then it's probably a misguided effort.



No, your job is to contribute to the science of biology (or whatever). If you can have a large impact building specialist tools, that's a legitimate scientific contribution. This is commonplace in e.g. astronomy, where a PhD or postdoc could be part of a team building an instrument. The student is long graduated before the thing gets first light, so doesn't directly discover a damn thing about galaxies or whatever, but their instrument is a fine contribution. Science software is the telescope of tomorrow. (And today, but it doesn't scan so nicely.)

My bona fides: I helped create a widely-used software system in my field, and have received reasonable credit for it as a scientific contribution.




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