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Sri Lankan Robotics Challenge 2013 will be focusing on three major events: Flying Dutchman (university category),Black Pearl (school categoryand Endeavour (open category). The school and open category will be held on 12th of December and University category will be held on 13th of December at Civil auditorium, University of Moratuwa.

For more info, read here.

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SLASSCOM acts at the catalyst of growth of the Sri Lankan IT, BPM and KPO industry by facilitating trade and business, propagation of education and employment, encouragement of research and innovation, and by supporting the creation of a progressive national policy framework.  Being the trade chamber of IT, BPM and KPO companies in the country, SLASSCOM has set the industry targets of USD 5 billion revenue and 200,000 job opportunities by 2022. In achieving this growth, SLASSCOM has initiated various activities and Future Careers is one such initiative focusing on generating capacity for the industry.

The Future Careers initiative has two fold objectives. Firstly, it is focused on connecting the Sri Lankan youth to the exciting and rewarding job opportunities in the knowledge services industry for them to become truly global citizens. Secondly, it is aimed at expanding the talent pool available to the industry as part of this Capacity building program.

The Future Careers initiative of SLASSCOM is currently planning to hold an awareness workshop targeting students from the schools located in Colombo district. The main aim of this workshop is to educate students and the teachers about the career paths available in the IT/BPM/KPO industry. This initiative is supported by ICTA – Sri Lanka and Ministry of Education. Event details are given below:

Date                      :  04/12/2013

Time                     : 8.00am to 5.00pm

Target audience   : 700 students in 4 batches = 2800 students

Venue                   : Open University of Sri Lanka – Nawala

 

Career counseling for participating students is also included in the agenda and personnel from IT/BPM industry are invited to join as industry career counselors to educate students about IT/BPM industry. Further, volunteers are also invited to manage activities of the event. The requirements for career counselors and volunteers are given below:

Requirement for career counselors

•             Sound knowledge about career paths in IT/BPM industry

•             Fluency in Sinhala and Tamil or Sinhala/Tamil

•             Availability on 04/12/2013 from 8.00am to 5.00pm

 

Requirement for volunteers

•             Ability to manage assigned tasks in managing the event

•             Availability on 04/12/2013 from 8.00am to 5.00pm

 

Notes :

•             Career counselor and volunteers will be called for a briefing on 2/12/2013 at 3.00pm at SLASSCOM Corporate Office.

•             Lunch and refreshments will be provided for career counselors and volunteers.

 

Please send nominations for career counselors and volunteers along with contact numbers and email addresses of nominees tocorpoffice@slasscom.lk. For more information call Hajara on 011 7884462.

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In Sri Lanka, almost every student faces one common challenge after A/Ls – choosing the most suitable pathway in higher education. This decision is a challenging one due to many factors, such as personal aspirations, career prospects, and financial capabilities.  Additionally, there is the highly commercialized trade-show of higher education courses, diplomas and degrees promoted by third-party educational vendors.  The need for credible guidance to surpass the stereotypical options by having a more realistic and practical view on higher education opportunities is strongly felt now than ever before. 

SL2College VOICES 2013 strived to achieve just that by bringing prominent, learned individuals together to share their views and experiences with the public. SL2College VOICES 2013 was organized by SL2College* and was held on 25th of August, 2013 at Professor V. K. Samaranayake auditorium, University of Colombo School of Computing. This one-day conference attracted over 230 attendees from different sectors, including parents, students and university academics.

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The day began with the official opening of SL2College VOICES 2013 by the hosts, Arun Dias Bandaranayake, a veteran journalist and Ms. Dinasha Stephens. Thereafter, the keynote speech was given by Mr. Dian Gomes, group director of MAS holdings, who explained how decisions critical to his academic path contributed towards what he is today. He further discussed the need for commitment to and training for excellence without any expectations of financial reward. Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarna, software engineer and CEO of WSO2, spoke about the resourcefulness of SL2College that can be used as guidance, motivation and information at every step of one’s academic career. He assured the audience that it’s never too late to do what one is passionate about. Drawing from personal experience, Mr. Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, Executive Director of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS), stressed the importance of connecting with the world since it is a critical component towards advancing one’s career.

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Prof. Ajith De Alwis, Professor at the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, highlighted that career and academic development require continuous training for excellence.  He further added that carving a niche for oneself is essential to thrive in today’s competitive markets. A strategist and dramatist, Mr. Arj Wignaraja urged the audience to actively look for opportunities that can convert a passion into a career. Vidya Jothi Prof. Arjuna Aluwihare, Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the University of Peradeniya, remarked on how Sri Lanka has a lot to offer for graduates returning from studying abroad and encouraged the audience to work against the brain drain of Sri Lanka.

Mr. Charitha Ratwatte, Chief Manager of Sustainability at Dialog Axiata PLC, explained how and why he selected his university programs and how learning from failures can lead to better judgment on crafting the next step in one’s career. Team Leader of the Human Capital Research Program at LIRNEasia, Dr. Sujata Gamage, educated the audience on why the legitimacy and track record of a  higher education institute should be examined before making a choice. There were question and answer sessions where members of the audience were actively involved in discussing their concerns with the speakers.

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Several prominent organizations that are involved in higher education, such as British Council, The German Academic Exchange Service and Australian Trade Commission discussed the various undergraduate opportunities available in their representative countries. The attendees were served lunch and a snacks as the conference proceeded. The day ended with closing remarks from Mr. Nayana Samaranayake, software engineer at Google Inc. and founder of SL2College, reiterating that SL2College is the platform to use to empower people by guiding them to make smarter decisions in their higher education. He also thanked all the onshore and offshore volunteers for making the event a great success.

The event was endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka, and supported by generous sponsorships from Dialog Axiata PLC and Brandix, Edex Career as the conference partner, Upali newspapers as the official print media partner, Elephant House as the official beverage partner, Virakesari and Metro News as the Tamil media partners, and diGIT.lk – The IT Magazine and Readme.lk as digital media partners.

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In recognizing the need to resonate “VOICES” island-wide and thereby become the long awaited transformative voice in higher education in Sri Lanka, SL2College will organize similar events in other cities across Sri Lanka, thereby reaching out to a wider audience.

Visit www.sl2college.org for more information on the organization, and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email us at info@sl2college.org.

*SL2College is a volunteer driven nonprofit organization that provides unbiased advice and guidance to Sri Lankan students to pursue their higher education.

 

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Aeturnum Lanka, well-known in the industry for accelerating innovation, was bustling with activities on the 22nd of August 2013, with the University of Moratuwa Industry Visit. Aeturnum is a global provider of enterprise-class application development services and solutions.

The Sri Lankan office hosted 25 students who were keen on finding out what the industry had to offer after they graduate. The event was coordinated by Mohammed Sabry, HR Executive of Aeturnum Lanka. The students were welcomed by Hussain Shabbir, CTO and Head of Operations and the company briefing was done by Shavindri Dissanayake, Associate Executive for Corporate Communication and Marketing.

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In the second session, the students were briefed on the areas expected of them in the IT market, how to adapt with the innovating technologies and on how one can emerge successful, by Birendra Illeperuma, Senior Project Manager. They were also briefed on the not-so-new-yet-evolving Mobile Technology and the development areas they should be looking at in the near future by Nalaka Fernando, Senior Software Engineer.

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To break the momentum away from the technical and education aspects of the visit, the students participated in Ice Breaker events.Through the Ice Breakers, the Aeturnum staff succeeded in sending out a message to the freshers on the challenges faced when working in teams in the real-world environment and the importance of team moral/spirit.

It was indeed a successfully concluded Industry Visit and the feedbacks from the students were overwhelming:

aeternum-pic1“The Industry visit organized by Aeturnum has been the best we’ve had, we thank the company for hosting this event which helped us gain an in-depth insight of the industry” -

Rajitha Bandaranayaka, 2nd year undergraduate of University of Moratuwa.

 

 

 

aeternum-pic2“We are so excited to come and work at Aeturnum in the near future, as the work environment is unique and everyone is pleasant”-

Kavindu Jayawardana, 2nd year undergraduate of University of Moratuwa.

 

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The Fedora community sponsored by Red Hat kicked off another mind blowing Technical seminar with “Fedora 18” “the “Spherical cow” on 5th of August 2013 at the Applied Sciences faculty of Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. The Fedora project is a global partnership of free software community members which invests on upcoming IT enthusiast’s infrastructure and resources to collaborate and modify “Free & Open Source Software” projects.

The event was held at the university for the second consecutive time, with over 200+ participants representing Wayamba University of Sri lanka and Jaffna University too. The event coordinators had also organized the “twitterholic” competition as to keep the event moving and electrifying.

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Buddika Kurera the FAmSCo Member at Fedora project was the first to start the session with the introduction about “FOSS” and its applications in modern technologies. “Linux and many other open source software such as Fedora are playing a key role in modern mobile applications and modern PC applications” said Buddika.

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Hasitha Jayasooriya’s session gave a more technical approach to the event. Being an Ambassador at fedora Project he did his session about “Virtualization with KVM”. The session was full of practical demonstrations as to how to put up the hypervisor and how to actually run a virtual machine on your PC which is running Fedora. Surely it lit up green lights in the developers who wish to test their applications in different system platforms.

All the participants were given refreshments at the transit period of Hasitha and Uditha’s sessions.

Uditha Bandara Wijerathne who is an undergraduate from the Rajarata University is also a Fedora ambassador for APAC region demonstrated the use of Logical Volume Management (LVM) on a Fedora platform along with technical discussion among the participants. The interaction of the audience was really remarkable .It was quite interesting to see young talented undergraduates taking over the initiation of these technologies

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In his session Uditha specifically pointed out the usage and advantage of using “Raspberry Pi” along with Pidora (fedora remix optimized for Raspberry pi computer). The tweets of the official twitter hashtag #F18RUSL was also displayed on a wide LED screen with the magic inside “Pidora”.

After Uditha’s session Buddika again took the stage with the introduction about GsoC. (Google Summer of Code) giving a brief idea about the competition to the participants. Considering the active participation of the audience it was clear that most of them were inspired to apply to the next year’s competition.

The twitterholic competition was also underway throughout the event and it got over 1000 tweets making an impact on 56,000 tweeps around the world at the end of the session. And according to the twitter count, twitter handle @Rkvisit from University of Jaffna won the twitterholic prize. And as mentioned before winding up the event participants got the chance to check out a Raspberry Pi powered with “Pidora” and “OLPC-XO-01” with a Fedora distribution. And all were given “Fedora 18” installation DVDs at the end of the event along with fabulous fedora swags.

It made a positive impact on university undergraduates on making them more aware of Free and Open Source Software and its critical usage in modern technologies, which will definitely aid them in IT industry in future.

Few laughs have been elicited along the way. Almost all the participants were in hype about the event as well about Fedora 18.