In my experience, my Sri Lankan colleagues are some of the most reliable, responsible and dedicated professionals that I have ever worked with.
If you value technical soundness, tenacity, and creativity, that is. For everything we say about how the modern education system educates creativity out of our children, I’ve found local talent to be some of the best when it comes to getting the job done. Good programmers know how to follow documentation and put things together, but great programmers look at what’s in front of them and figure out ingenious ways to build something totally new. The latter is the common thread which binds every great programmer the world has ever known.
Tech – The great catalyst for Sri Lanka
While the country awaits a deal with the IMF, I believe tech can be a powerful tool through which the economy can stage a rapid recovery. Sri Lanka’s IT industry doubled between 2015 and 2020, both in terms of revenue and the size of the workforce. By 2030, the industry could very well generate over US $ 6 billion in revenue, if it plays its cards right. Also, consider this: The total investment to produce a graduate amounts to nearly LKR 1.6 million (i.e. the cost of a bachelor’s degree from a private institute). But, the value each IT professional can generate in a single calendar year alone is many multiples of that. Not many industries can boast of such great investment dynamics (Source).
Imagine how much better things could be if we could reduce the cost and time taken to produce a tech grad, so that they can at least have a foot in the door?
The two choices before us
Now, there are two ways to get things moving in the right direction. You can push for top-down change (i.e. at the policy level), or get things going at the grassroots level. The former is necessary though time-consuming, but the latter is very much doable. And if the results are good enough, pushing for policy-level change will be so much easier.
That is why as a company, we launched Calcey Springboard.
Springboard is a 12-month, fully-funded coding bootcamp we’ve put together to support talented students get into tech. Calcey’s own engineers and industry leaders will guide them while they learn from a globally recognized curriculum of MOOCs, and they will be tested each semester by us. Students will be able to attend weekly mentoring sessions, and will get the chance to meet and interact with accomplished tech professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds (and a lot of interesting stories). Once they graduate, they can seek out an internship at any company they like!
We chose to put together a curriculum consisting of MOOCs simply because they’re proven, recognised, and are of a high standard. We’ve vetted them personally and can vouch for their quality. Sometimes, we even use them to train our own people on emerging technologies.
Why are we doing this?
The way we see it, we are simply giving back to society and doing our part to widen the pool of tech talent in Sri Lanka. We owe a debt of gratitude to Sri Lanka’s public education system which produced the awesome people who built Calcey into what it is today, and this is our way of paying back our dues.
Now that you know the what, the why, and the how behind Springboard, I have one more favor to ask you. We want to make sure we can award as many scholarships as we possibly can, and would be really glad if you could spread the word. Applications close on November 30th, which means whoever wishes to apply has 15 more days to do so.
Apply for a Springboard scholarship at https://calcey.com/springboard/ !
Mangala Karunaratne is the Founder and CEO of Calcey.