the_kanzure writes "I'm going to start at a university lab a few days after my high school graduation ceremony. The lab is an eclectic blend of computer science, evolutionary engineering and molecular biology, essentially it's research/development and — best of all — the research is worth something to me and my other pet projects. What I do know of science, tech and research has been gleaned from the internet. The open access research repositories (arxiv, PLoS, etc.) have been a life-saver. But showing up to get real, hard experience is not the same as those late hours into the night spent debugging software. In person, you can't just call up a favorite bash script to open up a few hundred tabs to do some quick research on feasability and past research ... how is this supposed to work — does anybody really get stuff done this way? So I've been wondering how Slashdotters have handled transitioning from learning in front of a screen and a good net connection, to actually showing up and getting stuff done. What's a first day like in a lab? Stories? What's the etiquette? Informal? In programing circles, you can always submit a patch and alternatives, but does this hold here? Is the professor still generally considered the PHB and the lowly undergrads are his minions to carry out his bidding?"