Take The First Step Towards Web Design While Touring CERN Virtually

Hicret Erkoc
6 min readMay 7, 2022

Hi, I am Hicret. It was a busy week where my mid-exams had their peak and made me want to jump out of my window. And everything just overlapped like there was no other time in my whole life. I had to choose some good things over some other good things. So I made sacrifices and had to consider some things carefully.

In this post, I want to share my thoughts and experience on a workshop I participated in recently—the seminar held by DJANGO GIRLS and CERN. I learned about the workshop purely by chance while visiting the CERN site and applied immediately. CERN also shared it on their Instagram account, and a friend of mine informed me about it.

And here I am! Firstly, let me talk about the workshop a bit — I’d like to introduce what DjangoGirls is and its goal.

Django Girls is a non-profit organization and a community that empowers and helps women to organize free, one-day programming workshops by providing tools, resources, and support. We are a volunteer-run organization with hundreds of people contributing to bringing more amazing women into the world of technology. We are making technology more approachable by creating resources designed with empathy. During each event, 30–60 women build their first web application using HTML, CSS, Python, and Django. [1]

As written on their site, they have a significant and beautiful purpose.

I didn’t know anything about Django when I attended the workshop. And as I said, I didn’t have time to learn enough prior knowledge cause of my exams. I expected a more terrifying experience because CERN’s name was in the same sentence as the workshop. Still, it was the opposite of what I imagined and gave me a good experience, and it was one of the best initial steps I can take for a topic. Although I worked with Python, C and other programming languages, web design programs such as Django and CSS were a first for me, and I didn’t know anything about which ide to work on. The things we don’t know are usually the things that scare us the most.

They several times informed us about the program plan by e-mail and shared which applications and resources they would use. The Schedule was like this:

in GMT+2

I don’t know how many people attended in total. As far as I know, everyone started learning in teams of 3 and a mentor. My mentor was lovely and helpful, and my team was also hilarious and kind. The first day was about the introduction of the platform which they wanted to use — Glicth.com. And they shared a link that we used all day long:

If any of you want to start and learn Django, please use this resource; it’s helpful.

And later, the most curious part of the story is we had a long talk about CERN and LEIR. I enjoyed that times as well.

LEIR is a bit differently shaped than the other Accelerators

As I searched and read about LEIR splits each long pulse from Linac 3 into four shorter bunches, each containing 2.2×10^8 lead ions. In groups of two, it takes about 2.5 seconds for LEIR to accelerate the bunches from 4.2 MeV to 72 MeV. And later, the ions become suitable as energy to pass the Proton Synchrotron(PS). The LHC uses 592 bunches of ions per beam, so it takes around 10 minutes for LEIR to provide enough for a complete fill. [2]

The second day was about CODING and ZOOMBA! I enjoyed the times we had while coding and having problems. The funniest part is none of us had problems except my teammate — a Computer Engineering student. And it was relatively tricky trouble. I sent her this meme which I found very hilarious because, at the other end, I thought that my code had some troubles, but mine worked perfectly:

I was unaware that HTML was something that our teacher, who took our computer class in middle school, taught until I went to session 2. Suddenly, memories flooded my brain, and I remembered that we were doing simple things in HTML and notepad. I need to learn more about CSS and HTML for my first blog design.

One of the perfect parts was the zoomba part! I was too tired that day, so I took short naps between the sessions. I traveled 600 km at night by bus for +8 hours and did not sleep at all. And the sessions started two hours after I had just arrived home. But the zoomba part gave me a lot of energy!

And YEAH! It was funny and informative on my end! I enjoyed both the virtual visit to CERN and the coding part, where I just took my first step in Web Design. I believe they will hold these beautiful days for all of us around the world. I would like to share the sites and the resources they shared with us if it’s not a problem. I just copy-pasted their last email.

Additional information

Here are some additional tips if you want to create a website, especially a professional one. The use of an expert platform is strongly recommended, mainly to address questions related to security.

Some possibilities:

· https://wordpress.com/
· https://www.squarespace.com
· https://glitch.com/digitalocean

There are also many online resources to further develop your skills:

· https://code.org: online programming tutorials and games for all levels
· https://www.khanacademy.org: online classes for many subjects, including Computer Programming and Computer Science
· https://www.htmldog.com: extended tutorials in HTML, CSS, and Javascript
· https://www.edx.org/course/html5-and-css-fundamentals?index=product&queryID=1cdce001381a10cbd13a821ea4d87d7e&position=1: course to learn HTML
· https://www.codecademy.com/: courses to learn Python, HTML, CSS
· https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-computer-science-harvardx-cs50x: Harvard’s CS50 to learn the basics

Some events:

Take part in open-source projects. That is how you can learn!

· Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/
· PyLadies: https://pyladies.com/locations/
· PyCon conference: https://pycon.org/. There are editions around the world, e.g., PyConCZ
· DjangoCon: https://2022.djangocon.eu/

As a reminder:

· The starting project is available at https://glitch.com/~django-girls-starter
· The tutorial is available at https://cern.github.io/django-girls-tutorial

I wish you a healthy, beautiful, and informative day in which you learn thousands of new things and feel like you know nothing hehe ;)

For a better version of ourselves!

Let’s do our best!⭐