| ||Ask HN: As a software developer, how do I get into brain research?|
68 points by danabramov on May 25, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 53 comments |
|I'm a software developer in my early twenties. I've been programming professionally since I was 16, and I work in a startup now, mostly doing front-end engineering.|
I tried going to university but I chose the wrong one and later dropped out (I don't regret it).
I love my job, but sometimes there's a nagging feeling that I'm missing out when I read about neural networks, machine learning or computational biology. I've been taking ML on Coursera and though I don't have deep love for maths, I found the subject both fascinating and approachable.
Still, machine learning isn't what I want to be doing. I'm a thousand times more fascinated by articles about reverse-engineering and hacking the human brain itself. (For example, this one: http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~rao/brain2brain/index.html). I'm also very interested in OpenWorm project since it's not your typical movie-recommendation kind of neural network.
I have no idea how to get into that area (fiddling with the brain). Do I absolutely need to get a degree in this area to participate in this kind of research? Do they need software development expertise? Is it difficult to adjust my skillset from being just a software developer? How does division of labor usually work in groups like these? I imagine there are always some biology- and some software-oriented folks in one group. What could be my first step in that direction?
If you have taken this path, please share your experience.
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