What's the best way for people with novice programming skills to get experience in bioinformatics or cheminformatics? Are there any open source projects to volunteer for? Would it be worth it to approach a professor working in bioinformatics and offer to help him/her?
About me: I'm a graduate biochemistry student about to graduate. I'm a self-taught, novice programmer, eagerly learning more all the time; but I want a real world problem to work on. If at all possible, I'd like to work on something collaborative (so I could have build relationships supporting a "professional reference"), and something real; beyond just exercises in a textbook.