Harnessing technology to empower Lankan undergraduates

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Understanding the importance of minimising the impact COVID-19 has on the education of Lankan undergraduates, 99X Technology’s university outreach programme ‘Dotitude’ stepped in, conducting webinars for universities and higher education institutes across the country.

In a time where almost every industry and even simple daily activities have been disrupted and are struggling to enter the digital arena, the emergence of a pandemic has been no deterrent to the ‘Xians’, as the employees of 99X Technology call themselves. They’ve harnessed a method already second nature to them, thanks to years of development for European clients, and fine-tuned it to reach out to undergraduates across the country.

The online sessions commenced shortly after the Xians began working from home and have covered topics ranging from introductions to basic programming to soft skills development and CV writing. It has included topics highly geared to current times, such as webinars on ‘post-COVID challenges and opportunities’.
“We have always been dedicated to working closely and sharing our knowledge with Lankan academia and undergraduates. It has been inspiring to see that despite limitations faced, our employees continue to work together to share their skills with these students,” noted 99X Technology Senior Technical Lead and ‘Dotitude’ Manager AnuraAdhikari. “In fact, I believe we will end up reaching out to more students than ever, thanks to these online sessions! A great effort by the team who continue to do all this from their homes.”

The 99X Technology university outreach programme ‘Dotitude’ has been in operation for nearly a decade and has reached out to over 50,000 undergraduates during this time through a multitude of activities. In the last year alone, the volunteer-based initiative reached out to over 3,500 undergraduates through collaborations with 12 universities and higher education institutes, and supported 15 research projects, among other activities.

University of Moratuwa Head of Division of Information Technology Kalpana Galappaththi, commenting on a recent session, said:“Thank you very much for accepting our invitation and doing a very good educational and motivating session for our first batch of NDT in IT students with your team from 99X Technology. Keep up all your good work to educate younger generations.We received very positive comments from our students.”
With sometimes nearly 200 students joining per session, these webinars have been incredibly popular, especially during a time when studies have been disrupted for many. A popular online series has been one on ‘Quality Engineering’, originally conducted to the undergraduates of the University of Colombo School of Computing and then made available online for public viewing. Topics covered within the series included ‘Continuous Testing’ by AravinthanRamraj, ‘Cypress’ by MaheeshaLunuwila and Chanaka Uduweriya, ‘Security Testing’ by PraniethChandrasekara and‘Performance Testing’ by ChamathDidulanga.

“Our focus through such sessions has been to educate them about new developments in the tech space and to also show them the many career paths available to undergraduates in the IT industry. Our ‘Quality Engineering’ series, for example, has created a lot of awareness about Quality Assurance career opportunities,” observed 99X Technology Quality Assurance Engineer JayashaniGunarathne, who helped spearhead this particular online series.
Headquartered in Sri Lanka, 99X Technology is a product engineering company co-creating well-engineered, innovative digital products for the Scandinavian market. Its expertise has been proven through a portfolio of over 150 impactful global digital products developed since 2004, together with leading Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). 99X Technology employs over 300 technology and product specialists, who are high achievers, creative thinkers and team players. The company has been adjudged one of Asia’s Best Workplaces for 2020. It is ranked among Sri Lanka’s 100 Most Respected Entities by LMD Magazine and has been named a Best Workplace in the country for seven consecutive years.

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