Friday, June 23, 2017

4 things I gain by being at YGC Junior

The school children who compete in YGC has continued to surprise and inspire us. Its been a great platform for these children, they had excelled and showcased their talents. I believe that part of the story, describing why it has been good for children is well understood, but what gets overlooked on why it has been useful to me by being there.

1. I learn from kids
It might sound weird, but the truth is - Being an adult (or an old man!) YGC made me accept that I have an 'adulterated mind' and when it comes to creativity it works counter intuitively. Dealing with smart kids, I see them proposing creative solutions to real life problems, which should have been straight forward but due to my prejudices and learnings I had got blinded to the 'obvious'. YGC is a good place to wind off, unlearn and look at the world from the eyes of smart, intelligent children immersed in a time bound problem solving environment.

2. Learnt the introverts way of networking
I had attended countless business networking events and being an introvert, my hit rate has been very limited at converting good sustainable associations there after. But strangely, I find the connections made from YGC has been more long term and sustainable. Being a tech event, perhaps its a place where there is an equal mix of introverts and extroverts! Making it easy for even the introverts to network and it gives you two whole days to get to know more people and expand your network while working for a common cause.

3. Chance to meet a lot of good hearted people
Volunteering brings together people who have a big heart. I find that the need to give your time and energy without a monetary gain in return serves as a natural filter of good hearted people. With all due respect to others who doesn't get to volunteer, just want to emphasise that I am not implying the vice versa of this.

4. I leave with a lot of hope and a bit of self satisfaction
Looking at those children and their creativity, passion and talent, I always leave after YGC Junior with a very positive outlook about the future. It reassures every time that the future generation is much more smarter and capable than our generation and the future is in safe hands. Finally and most importantly it makes me feel satisfied that I had done a small bit to make the future better.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ūki the Coding Accelerator

[10th of April 2017 in Jaffna]
Yarl IT Hub in collaboration with SERVE foundation officially commenced operations of Ūki, a full scholarship based coding accelerator with a cohort of 16 students (9 female and 7 males) by short listing from 43 applicants. Its named as - meaning catalyst in Tamil.
The inauguration was conducted as a small function for the selected students and their parents in the presence of partners of this programme and Yarl IT Hub Community members. Find the pictures of the function at
The goal of the programme is to train students who had sat for Advanced level examinations and doesn't have access to University education or Vocational training to go through a full time rigorous training programme for six month on the basic skills required to get their foot in to door of the IT Industry as interns.
The following areas will be covered during the six months.
  1. Full stack programming - Using Node JS and Maria DB
  2. English Language training - This course component is offered by our Educational Partner British Council Jaffna. To provide high quality English Language Training and soft skills program to the students.
  3. Introduction to basics of business
  4. Personal Coaching
  5. Personal project - Each student will work and complete a personal software development project.
We are signing up leading Technology companies as Corporate partners and they had committed to have their in house experts interact with the students during the programme and share knowledge with the students and once the students complete the programme to offer them an opportunity to face interviews for internships at their organization. If you wish to collaborate, please do get in touch with us.
The big dream is to tweak and get the formula right and eventually scale the programme to positively influence more people! A big thank you to everyone who has been contributing in many different ways to get to this point, it has been a true community effort and looking forward to all the support to make this social initiative successful.
Posted on behalf of the Yarl IT Hub Community

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Trying to immediately apply everything you learn

Few years ago, I used to have this craze of trying to apply the latest thing I had learnt or read at the immediate next task. When I learnt the "Facade pattern", I wanted to include it in the next piece of code I wrote. When I learnt the blue ocean strategy, I wanted to call every other market opportunity a blue ocean. After a while I realised that I  had passed the epidemic to others too. At times it was to embarrassing levels where people around me started freely using the term "untapped market" in embarrassing contexts.

The wake up call came from a colleague, who bluntly criticised me for this obsession. My ego was heavily wounded. Spontaneously I attempted to defend myself, but in my head I knew his observation was correct.

In my own journey I haven't still come out of this syndrome, not sure whether I could ever come out. But by following a few quick things, I think I have managed to keep my urge under check. In case, if someone else also has the same 'syndrome', I thought sharing my 'therapy' might help and open a discussion on how others deal with this and learn from them.

Now I try to reflect and try to observe my own analytical process gravitating towards the latest read item, which is helping me to suppress the instinctive urge to use the latest thing I had learnt out of context.  I have started asking tough questions from myself, on the contextual relevance and applicability. Secondly I had started to do these experimentations alone on a piece of paper, so it doesn't happen in public, till I really know its relevant. Thirdly, I had increased the amount of time spent on reading, so that I read things for the joy of gaining knowledge and perspective, than with the intent of applying immediately.