We have Sir Tim Berners-Lee to thank for quite a lot. From search engines to social media, Berners-Lee’s invention has served as a powerful central platform for so many of today’s innovations. Berners-Lee is the inventor of the World Wide Web.
He was born in England in 1955 to parents involved in the development of the first commercial computer, Ferranti Mark 1. He would go on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from The Queen’s College of Oxford and work as a software engineer for a telecommunications company.
While working as an independent contractor in 1989, Berners-Lee began developing an information management system based on now familiar concept of hypertext. The system would facilitate the sharing of information between researchers. He named his prototype ENQUIRE.
Several years later, after gaining valuable experience in computer networking, Berners-Lee applied his hypertext model to existing Internet infrastructures, like Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the domain name system to create the World Wide Web. He developed the first web browser to navigate this new documentation system, along with the first Web editor and server.
The first web page, hosted on the first web site and server, was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html. The page provided information on the World Wide Web project and instructions for using a browser and setting up a web server.
Today, Berners-Lee is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which is involved in the continual development of the Web. He contributes his expertise to a number of technology and education institutions. In 2004, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his work as a “pioneer” in technology.
Berners-Lee’s high level of abstract thinking and revolutionary approach to information management led to the development of the largest platform for innovation of our time. The WWW serves as proof: a big idea can be a vehicle for future generations of big ideas.