Javier García: “I didn’t know anything about Big Data before I went to CERN”
Javier García, developer at MMG, is one of the lucky young men who was able to work at CERN this summer. In other words, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, where the world’s largest particle physics laboratory is located. In addition, this prestigious centre located in Switzerland develops projects in fields such as artificial intelligence and Big Data, an area in which the he has worked.
A member of the Artificial Intelligence and Research team of the Spanish company, Javier García was awarded a scholarship within the Openlab Summer Student Programme of CERN. This has allowed him to work there for 9 weeks on a Big Data project. Specifically, on the evaluation of Parquet compression codecs, an open source column storage format for Hadoop. The latter is a storage system based on the distribution of files in nodes, as well as an environment for the execution of cluster applications.
The developer’s task was to create a script capable of handling more than 4000 files to compress each file using the different codecs they wanted to test. Then, he had to draw metrics to make the comparison and determine which codec was the most optimal for Parquet. The ultimate goal of the project was to compare that codec with the new one being developed by Oracle, the company sponsoring the research. García, however, did not make that comparison, since CERN only works with open source and, therefore, that work was left in the hands of the company.
9 weeks at CERN
The first thing Javier García did when he arrived at CERN was to document himself. For two weeks, his supervisor explained the project to him and provided him with the necessary information to carry it out. The remaining 7 weeks of his stay were dedicated to developing the project and preparing the final presentation. At the same time, he and his colleagues visited the facilities to get to know how the centre works. They also visited the offices of several companies in Zurich. For example, IBM.
“The truth is that I had no idea about Big Data before I went to CERN”, admits Javier García, who has learned a lot from his supervisor.
The developer combines his part-time work at MMG with his studies in Software Engineering at Centro Universitario de Tecnología y Arte Digital U-Tad. Before that, he studied a Higher Cycle of Multiplatform Application Development at Centro Cultural Salmantino. “I’m very glad I did it before my degree. Because it is not as heavy as the first years of the career can be and because thanks to that now I have 2 years of experience as a programmer,” he says.
“If I hadn’t studied the training cycle, I wouldn’t have gone to CERN either”, admits the young man, for whom his time at the European centre has been very positive.
“It has been a very good experience to work with the technology they have, the knowledge they offer you and the visits they organize. And because everything is well organized,” says Javier García, selected among 3000 applicants along with 39 other young people from different countries. Now, his objective is to finish his studies and be able to apply the knowledge acquired in Switzerland to his work at MMG.