A Brief History of the Modern Web

So glad I decided to take up this opportunity of talking to some really amazing folks from the Coimbatore Frontend Meetup group.

In an attempt to take a completely informal session, I ended up delivering the entire talk without any slides/presentation.

The talk was a narrative around the start of the “internet” covering ARPAnet, CERN, the first website’s launch and growth to hundreds of websites & 14+ million users within 3 years of its launch – spawning the launch of a nerdy-looking portal – Yahoo!

Thankful to everyone who attended the talk and submitted their valuable feedback. It helps me grow as a speaker and learn something new every time.
I was anxious on my overall delivery of the talk, here is the feedback I received from the group: 100% attendees said they found it either "relevant" or "very relevant". Overall rating for the session was at 4.5/5.

Adding a few excerpts from the talk here – most of this is from memory, so please take with a pinch of salt…

We discussed the launch of the first web browser and the spin-offs it triggered including Netscape Navigator & IE 1.

Microsoft’s tryst with JScript and the internet’s demand for interactivity on the client side.

The history turned out to be magnificent and no less than a thriller unto itself. I learned a lot about the origins and evolution of a lot of tech giants – including Amazon, Netflix, Wikipedia, PayPal & more.

Two of the lead characters in my view, were:

  1. Tim Berners Lee – who created HTML, HTTP and pushed for the launch of the first website ever. He also worked on the first web browser – “WorldWideWeb”. This doubled as the first WYSIWYG style HTML editor as well.
  2. Marc Andreessen – A developer who had worked on Mosiac, another browser which was trying to build a better and faster browsing experience. Marc had worked in a part time role on the development of Mosiac but decided to setup his own company and created Mosaic Communications Corporation which had to then rename itself to Netscape Communications Corporation.
    They created the browser Netscape Navigator which helped millions of users navigate the internet for the first time. It was also the first browser to work across all popular operating systems including Unix, Classic MacOS & Windows.
    P.S. the internal codename for their browser was Mozilla, which stood for Mosiac Killer.

This talk deserves to be put out as a blog-post series in itself, look forward to more posts detailing some amazing facts from the history of the modern web. 🙂