Student assistant at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

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When studying towards a BSc in computer science I was offered a position for a student assistant job after making an initial positive impression with the structure of some Java Code that I produced for a workshop. From previous experience I knew that I’d enjoy the addition of some project work to my studies, and so I jumped at this opportunity.

In this position I was part of two successive projects at the former department of linguistics [pdf] at the Max Planck institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig.


This position complemented my studies with practical experiences. I developed a website according to specific linguistic needs using a LAMP stack along with some JavaScript. The linguistic background brought along requirements for full support of unicode, especially IPA symbols as well as audio and geographical information.


The first project started 2011-01 and was about programming a new interface for the website according to specific requirements. The new website was launched in spring 2013 and further expanded in scope of this project till 2014. The departments project descriptions can be found here:

Over the course of this project I could familiarize myself with the linguistic background, the inherited database structure, the available audio recordings and the previous website that was to be replaced. In addition to that several features were developed and adjusted.

Screenshot of the initial release of the soundcomparisons website Screenshot of the soundcomparisons website taken 2022-03-05

Tasks and challenges

Some examples of the tasks I took care of and the challenges I encountered are:

Along with the technical challenges this position allowed me to practice communication of technical details and requirement engineering.