First week in Genève!

Filed under: life — Tags: , , , — thomas11 @ 19:23

Wow. Tonight, it’s actually already a week and a day that I’m here. I guess I’ll have to start at the beginning as this is my first post since I announced my new job. On Saturday, May 3, my parents drove down to Genève (I’ll use the French spelling, now that I’m a proud resident!) with me and a first load of stuff. I’m staying at my colleague Alain’s house, which is a fabulous old mansion with a large garden and all, for the moment. I spent the weekend exploring some of the area with my parents, having my first cheese fondue, and on Monday started working right away.

My introduction at Swiss-Prot has been a very pleasant and painless experience. The people were so welcoming and helpful, and let me explore the large number of ongoing projects with all the documentation etc. before loading my task list. So, now I’ll spend my days sitting at my desk in the Swiss-Prot office, which manages to be a really nice place despite being an open-plan office. Actually, I suspect I’m the kind of person being prone to like that more than the seclusion of a private office anyway, seeing as I always preferred to live in colocation, too. Still, it’s bright, spacious, and reasonably quiet.

I won’t get into technical details here, that’s planned for a couple of posts in the tech category, suffice it to say that I’ll work on editors and their web front ends for database curators. The curators are biologists who review scientific publications and experimental data and enter the results in a concise form into our Swiss-Prot database (and related ones). The user interface is not the problem here, as it’s pretty straightforward; the challenge is the complex data model needed to describe the gazillion of entities involved in even simple biological processes, and their relations.


This weekend, I enjoyed the awesome weather and strolled throughout the city, with some leisurely reading and sightseeing breaks at the fabulous lake side. It’s a really, really beautiful place. Tomorrow I hope to get a longish hike done on the Salève, Genève’s landmark mountain. Yay, mountains!

Ting and me

I even met with two former fellow students from Karlsruhe, Qiangqiang and Ting. Qiangqiang works here since a few months, and it’s nice to have a contact you already know.

Ahem, didn’t I announce recently that there would be no diary-like entries? Well, perhaps it was good for me to recap the week, with all the new impressions. I hope I didn’t bore anyone. Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading or hearing from you (you’ll find me on Skype, btw). Cheers from Switzerland.

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