Life at Calcey

From Senior Software Engineer to Vice President of Research – the story of a Peradeniya University Graduate’s career at Calcey

Dhanushka Jayathilake

Dhanushka Jayathilake is Vice President of Research at Calcey and has been at Calcey for eight years, serving various engineering positions since February 2008.

Whilst speaking to Dhanushka it’s quite easy to understand the reasons for his longevity in the company. He has a natural and breezy aura about him, which lends itself to the informal corporate culture at Calcey. Not one to fuss about titles or talk about himself seriously, Dhanushka, embodies the quintessential Calcey employee. His cool, calm and sometimes crazy spirit enables him to thrive within the Calcey ecosystem.

Calcey was his third job and, as the saying goes, the third time’s the charm. After graduating from The University of Peradeniya’s Faculty of Engineering in 2003, and for a short while working as a software engineer, he got an opportunity to work in two leading software companies. He worked as a Software Engineer and Senior Software Engineer for a year and a half. It was during this time period that he met Chamindu Munasinghe, and they worked together on a .NET development project. When Chamindu joined Calcey, he recommended that Dhanushka also apply, and therein began his voyage with Calcey.

Calcey was tough, as the time he joined was the start of what would become one of the company’s largest development projects, to build an online product comparison marketplace for a Silicon Valley client, using the latest Microsoft tools and technologies available at the time. He was assigned a leadership role within the development team, to implement the database layer and oversee deployment and production issues.

He fondly recalls the numerous all-nighters the team pulled sharing sleeping bags and hot chocolate. Code reviews, late nights, customer calls, sprint retrospectives, bug prioritization and the gamut of it all at the same time prepared him to get his act together and work smart as a Lead Developer. This project and his role in it really set the tone for his future; both professionally and personally.
Subsequently, his rise was quite meteoric within the company, being promoted to Technology Lead in 2010, and after that an Associate Software Architect, Software Architect and finally VP of Research in November last year. Dhanushka has improved his knowledge of several technologies, like Java, Python, Android and iOS. All these different technologies have their strengths and uses and are commonplace at Calcey.

Calcey has nurtured Dhanushka’s personality to be very much true to what he was 8 years ago; competitive but relaxed. He indulges in his love for sports and continues to swim and play basketball on and off at Calcey. The laissez-faire management style, coupled with flexible hours and work patterns really contributed to his longevity in the company. Also, something Dhanushka relishes is the freehand he has to research different technologies and provide recommendations to clients.

His fondness for the company is strengthened by the evolving nature of the company’s ethos. The management strategies, processes and practices keep getting adjusted with the times. The informal management and communication style enables a completely linear and transparent operation. Taking a nap on a beanbag for an hour after lunch, and no one being offended by it, has inspired many minds including Dhanushka’s, to think sharper in the evenings.

Dhanushka recalls an early incident at Calcey, to which he attributes his longevity at Calcey.

I remember there was a pre-holiday paan and parippu party at work and everyone was totally intoxicated. I was still at my desk nervously trying to meet a deadline for one of our biggest clients. Suddenly I saw drops of wine dripping on my keyboard. My coworker, clearly in high spirits, had come over, to get me to join in the fun. I still remember freezing, thinking about hardware damage, but he leaned over wiped it with a tissue and dragged me over to the party. We then became best friends. That’s the Calcey difference, the depth and quality of friendships here is unparalleled. I enjoy it and it is probably the primary reason I stayed.