CERN: The world’s first website went online 20 years ago today

CERN website dispayed in Line Mode Browser
CERN website dispayed in Line Mode Browser

On this day 20 years ago the world’s first website went live. The website, created by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, was a basic text page with hyperlinks and went live on August 6, 1991.

The website was hosted on Berners-Lees‘ NeXT computer, the first web server ever, which had a note taped to the front that said: „This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER DOWN“.

NeXT computer used as first World Wide Web server
NeXT computer used as first World Wide Web server

Today this computer is displayed in the CERN Computer Center, which is just located next to my office.

[Update 30 Apr 2013]: CERN is bringing the very first website back to life at its original URL. If you’d like to see it, point your browser to:

Data Science Research: Unlocking the Secrets of the Universe with Big Data at CERN

Time really flies when you immerse yourself in the world of data science research and unravel the mysteries of the universe! It’s been an incredible journey over the past year as I’ve immersed myself in the world of data science at CERN. For those unfamiliar, CERN — set against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountains and tranquil Lake Geneva — is home to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. But what often goes unnoticed is the critical role that data science plays in powering this colossal machine and its quest for groundbreaking discoveries like the elusive Higgs boson.

The Data Tsunami: A Behind-The-Scenes Look

Imagine having to sift through one petabyte (PB) of data every second — yes, you read that right. That’s the amount of data generated by the LHC’s detectors. To make it manageable, high-level triggers act as an advanced filtering system, reducing this torrent of data to a more digestible gigabyte per second. This filtered data then finds its way to the LHC Computing Grid.

High-Level Trigger data flow, crucial for data science research in the ALICE experiment at CERN.
High-Level Trigger data flow, crucial for data science research in the ALICE experiment at CERN.

About 50PB of this data is stored on tape, and another 20PB is stored on disk, managed by a Hadoop-based cloud service. This platform runs up to two million tasks per day, making it a beehive of computational activity.

The Role of Data Science Research at CERN

Data scientists and software engineers are the unsung heroes at CERN, ensuring the smooth operation of the LHC and subsequent data analysis. Machine learning algorithms are used to discover new correlations between variables, including both LHC data and external data sets. This is critical for real-time analysis, where speed and accuracy are of the essence.

While managing the exponential growth of data is an ongoing challenge, the role of data scientists at CERN goes far beyond that. We are at the forefront of fostering a data-driven culture within the organization, transferring knowledge, and implementing best practices. In addition, as technology continues to evolve, part of our role is to identify and integrate new, cutting-edge tools that meet our specific data analysis needs.

The Road Ahead: A Data-Driven Journey

Looking ahead, scalability will remain a key focus as CERN’s data continues to grow. But the horizon of possibilities is vast. From exploring quantum computing to implementing advanced AI models, the role of data science in accelerating CERN’s research goals will only grow.

As I celebrate my one-year anniversary at CERN, I’m filled with gratitude and awe for what has been an incredible journey. From delving into petabytes of data to pushing the boundaries of machine learning in research, it’s been a year of immense learning and contribution.

For more insights into the fascinating universe of CERN and the role data science plays in it, be sure to follow me on Twitter for regular CERN updates and data science insights:

Analyzing High Energy Physics Data with Tableau at CERN

Screenshot of Tableau 4.0 analyzing High Energy Physics Data at CERN
Screenshot of Tableau 4.0 analyzing High Energy Physics Data at CERN

About a year ago, I had a first try with Tableau and some survey data for a university project. Last week, I finally found time to test Tableau with High Energy Physics (HEP) data from CERN’s Proton Synchrotron (PS). Tableau enjoys a stellar reputation among the data visualization community, while the HEP community heavily uses Gnuplot and Python.

Tableau 4.0: Connect to Data
Tableau 4.0: Connect to Data

I was using an ordinary CSV file as data source for this quick visualization. Furthermore, Tableau can connect to other file types such as Excel, as well as to databases like Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and Postgres.

I’m also quite impressed by the ease and speed with which insightful analysis seems to appear out of bland data. Even though your analysis toolchain is script-based (as usual at CERN where batch processing is mandatory), I highly recommend using Tableau for prototyping and for ad-hoc data exploration.

Mein erster Tag am CERN: Ein faszinierender Blick hinter die Kulissen der Wissenschaft

Mein erster Tag am CERN - Das CERN Logo
Mein erster Tag am CERN – Das CERN Logo


Heute war mein erster Tag am CERN, dem Epizentrum der Teilchenphysik. Es war ein Tag voller spannender Entdeckungen und lehrreicher Momente. Um 8:30 Uhr begann für uns ein bürokratischer Marathon, der uns durch verschiedene Gebäude auf dem weitläufigen Gelände führte. Doch nachdem alle Formalitäten erledigt waren, konnte das eigentliche Abenteuer beginnen!

Ich hatte das Glück, von meinem Abteilungsleiter Andrea Valassi persönlich im Gebäude 31 empfangen zu werden. Andrea ist nicht nur ein brillanter Kopf, sondern auch die treibende Kraft hinter vielen innovativen Projekten hier am CERN. Beim Mittagessen gab er mir einen faszinierenden Einblick in das komplexe LHC Computing Grid und skizzierte mögliche Themen für meine Diplomarbeit. Es ist beeindruckend, unter der Leitung einer solch herausragenden Persönlichkeit zu arbeiten.

Erster Tag am CERN: Auf den Spuren des World Wide Web – und der Antimaterie

Nach einer kleinen Kaffeepause erwartete mich ein historischer Moment: Ich stand vor dem ersten Webserver, den Sir Tim Berners-Lee – der Vater des World Wide Web – am CERN in Betrieb genommen hat. Ein echtes Stück Internet-Geschichte!

Das Team hier ist unglaublich engagiert und international. Wir kommunizieren hauptsächlich auf Englisch und Französisch, was der täglichen Arbeit eine besondere Dynamik verleiht. Nachdem ich meine Zugangsdaten erhalten hatte, führte mich ein Kollege zum Antiproton Decelerator (AD), einer beeindruckenden Maschine zur Erzeugung von Antimaterie.

Das war ganz schön viel für einen Tag und ich kann es kaum erwarten, noch mehr zu erfahren und tiefer in die Welt des CERN einzutauchen. Fotos folgen – versprochen! Für mehr spannende Einblicke und Updates direkt vom CERN, folgt mir gerne auf Twitter!

Reflecting on my Internship in Software Engineering and Project Management at SAP

I recently completed an internship in the software engineering department of SAP, a large international software manufacturer, where I had the opportunity to work as a software engineer and project manager. Looking back on my experience, I am proud of the exceptional performance I was able to achieve in both of these roles and the great success I had in leading a team of 12 developers.

Leading a Complex Project: Developing Mobile BI Infrastructure at SAP

One of the main responsibilities of my internship was to lead the development of a mobile BI infrastructure. This was a complex and challenging project, but I was able to effectively manage it by using my project management skills to ensure that everything was completed on time and within budget. I was also able to contribute to the development of the infrastructure by using my software development skills to create high-quality code.

Collaborative and Inclusive Work Environment at SAP

One of the things that I enjoyed most about my internship was the opportunity to work with such a diverse group of developers. Each person brought their own unique skills and perspectives to the table, which made the experience all the more enriching. By fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment, I was able to create a positive team dynamic that made it easier for everyone to work together effectively.

Top Learnings in Software Project Management

These are some of my top learnings in software project management:

  1. Setting clear goals and objectives: It is important to have a clear understanding of what the project aims to achieve, as well as specific goals and objectives that need to be met. This will help to guide the project and ensure that it stays on track.
  2. Managing resources: A software project manager must be able to effectively allocate and manage resources, including budget, staff, and equipment, to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.
  3. Communication: Effective communication is crucial in software project management. The project manager must be able to communicate clearly and effectively with team members, stakeholders, and other stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any issues or concerns are addressed in a timely manner.
  4. Risk management: It is important to anticipate and mitigate potential risks to the project, as well as have contingency plans in place in case something does go wrong.
  5. Adaptability: A successful software project manager must be able to adapt to changes in the project and the industry, and be able to pivot as needed to ensure the project’s success.
  6. Leadership: A software project manager must be able to effectively lead and motivate the team to ensure that everyone is working towards the common goal.
  7. Attention to detail: A software project manager must have strong attention to detail to ensure that all aspects of the project are properly planned and executed.
  8. Time management: Managing a project requires effective time management skills to ensure that tasks are completed on schedule and that the project stays on track.

Conclusion: A Rewarding Internship at SAP

In conclusion, my internship at SAP was a valuable and rewarding experience that has helped me to develop my skills in software development and project management. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such a talented team and am confident that the skills and knowledge I gained during my time at SAP will be invaluable as I pursue a career in the software industry.

Want to know more about my journey in the software industry? Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn for more insights.

This blog post is an excerpt from the Personal Development section of my internship report written for my university.