The GCE A/L Examination, which is considered to be one of the world's toughest tests for excellence is undoubtedly a key determinant of a Sri Lankan student's future. I chose the Physical Science stream as a result of the passion I had for technology, and ultimately I got the golden opportunity of entering the University of Moratuwa - the premier establishment for tertiary education of the country which opened up many avenues for me to explore in order to be technically savvy and be an all-rounder.
When it was time for me to actually get hands on experience of the industry by being part of the Industrial Training programme which is organized by the Training Division of the University in collaboration with the Department, I had to make a crucial decision regarding the companies which I would consider as my options.
By the time that I had to make a choice, the Sri Lankan IT industry was flourishing, and there were quite a number of firms engaged in various disciplines related to IT. But, I wanted to opt for the best among them and there were some parameters which I considered when making this decision. First of all, I wanted it to be an organization which would provide me exposure to many paradigms of technology and let me experience the entire software life-cycle since I did not want to be confined to someone's specification and then merely do my part and leave. I badly wanted to assess and improve any creativity and innovation that would be within me.
Secondly, I wanted to have a considerable exposure to non-technical aspects such as communication, team culture, people skills etc since I have always focused a lot more on such aspects and wanted to put them into test. In addition to these two main aspects, my instincts wanted me to be in an organization which is considered well established and large in size.
Looking at all these aspects, I made the first corporate decision of my life in selecting an organization with a Sri Lankan heart & soul - Virtusa Corporation. On the first day at work we had to go through a set of formalities, and for obvious reasons there was a sense of bewilderment in myself as to whether my stay for the next six months is going to be an exciting one or not. However, it did not take long to realize that Virtusa was indeed an organization of the present time, which has an enchanting culture, and I along with my other batch-mates sensed a welcome feeling right at the beginning.
I was extremely lucky to be selected to work in the unit known as the Global Technology Office, which is where the entire company is fuelled with the necessary technological initiatives. Once we settled down into our workspaces and had some ramping up on what we were expected to be a part of, just one thing came in to my mind. That is, "Bingo! It looks like that I've hit the bull's eye!"
The work I had to do was absolutely amazing. I along with two other interns from my University was assigned to develop a code analysis tool which was supposed to be released on all Java and .NET projects. This was not a simple dummy project where we could copy a code from the web, drag and drop controls from an IDE and deliver some functionality. It was a project which had an immense strategic value.
This actually made me learn concepts related to Compliers, BNF Grammars, Top Down Parsing, Code Quality Metrics and many more other concepts all by myself before starting off any productive work, and at this point in time I find that head start extremely handy in some course modules which I am taking in my Final Year in the University.
In addition to these technical aspects, it is with great pride I say that the three of us worked as a highly cohesive team and starting from the first step we kept in to implementation, we went through each phase of a development life-cycle and successfully released the tool to be deployed on almost all the Java and .NET projects handled by Virtusa.
The simple step taken by the organization to keep faith in us and gave my team such a high end project alone was a great exposure for me to hone many other non-technicalities like time management, handling stress, striving for perfection etc. Therefore, when I look back and evaluate whether my expectations were met with respect to technology, I can give a definite "Yes".
Apart from the experience related to my role in the development cycle, I got the opportunity to witness the overall process of the organization. Until then I never had seen an organization operating in such a streamlined manner. In addition, what inspired me so much was the fun filled atmosphere within the organization. I got to be a part of nearly every event organized for the enjoyment of the employees and I really enjoyed the work life balance I experienced in there.
After all the action packed days at Virtusa it was pretty hard for me to believe that my internship was coming to an end on 7th April 2008, which also happened to be my birthday. It wasn't the typical birthday delight for me on that day since I had to leave this amazing organization. However, all the good things that happened over there outweighed the sorrow of my internship coming to an end, by far. But, yet again, my instincts told me that the game was not over!
The CTO model which stands for 'Conceive' 'Transform' 'Optimize' is a concept which Virtusa prides itself as the axiom which helps its clients to revolutionize their businesses. When I sat back and thought for a while, it just struck to my mind that being a Virtusan during my internship, the same revolution has happened to me as well. At the beginning Virtusa gave me a clear vision of what is in store ahead of me and thus, I was 'Conceived'. I underwent a remarkable value adding process which paid off technically as well as non-technically and hence, I was 'Transformed'. So where does 'Optimize' come in to play?
Rightfully as my instincts told me that the game was not over, I got a second chance to be with the company when I got an offer to be a part of the Virtusa family as an Independent Contractor. Thus, the 'Optimization' is under way and being in my Final Year at my great University, I am also contributing to a great organization of the country.