As a bioinformatician you will be considered a programmer by biologists and a biologist by programmers. When talking with programmers you will suck at programming, when talking with biologists you will suck at biology. Biologists don’t want to know much about computing, understandably, they want to get their job done. Programmers might show some curiosity in biology but tend to shield themselves from biology complexity in order to get to get work done. As a bioinformatician you have to know enough of biology to be in the cutting-edge so what you research continues being relevant and keep improving your programming skills so you are still productive for what is expected of a programmer nowadays.

Some influential bioinformaticians group try to define the bioinformatics field as if it were precisely the research they are doing, frowning upon bioinformatics research not similar to theirs (or similar but superior to theirs). The followers of these groups try to imitate them so that they can be some day become experts in the field. I see also other bioinformaticians gathering together just because they work in biology using a computer, regardless of how little overlap there is in the things they do. It’s like group therapy, sharing experiences with people marginalized for the same reason.

Bioinformatics field is still in the very beginning. The field is very broad and will eventually be fragmented in multiple official fields. Working in an emerging field can be very exciting because you don’t have the constrains rules of an established field. But if social recognition is important to you, think twice when getting into bioinformatics. You’d likely feel out-of-place wherever you go.