With over 3,000 graduates that are currently empowering over 250 multinational and local blue-chip companies, the Informatics Institute of Technology (IIT) is renowned for producing innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders. Nuwan Jayawardene is an all-round BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate from IIT who has achieved much success following graduation. Nuwan is currently employed as a Technical Evangelist at Entgra Pvt Ltd, which is a company providing open-source IoT and EMM solutions. In addition, he is also a Postgraduate Research Assistant at University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Following are excerpts of the interview with Nuwan, who shared his thoughts on his journey at IIT.
1. Can you give a brief introduction to yourself?
My name is Nuwan Jayawardene. I attended St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa from elementary school up until my A/ Levels after which I joined IIT for my undergraduate studies. I’d call myself a writer who just happens to be in tech.
2. Let us know a bit about your school education
For A/Levels I followed the Physical Science stream where took up ICT instead of Chemistry. I was a member of the Computer Science club at school and engaged in several projects. I also had the privilege of serving as a Junior and Senior prefect for 3 terms and was also a member of the College Choir. In keeping with my creative pursuits, I also took part in several competitions on Creative Writing and Dictation.
3. What made you decide you follow your higher education at IIT?
A family friend of ours was actually studying at IIT and recommended at the time. In addition to that, we also received positive remarks through few senior individuals from the industry of IIT Graduates. Because of this, it was an easy decision to choose IIT once my A/Levels were over.
4. How was your student life and experiences like at IIT?
The four years I’ve spent at IIT was fulfilling. In our 1st year, we won the 1st place in the 2016 Cutting Edge Expo. In the 2nd year, my team managed to make it to the semi-finals of the annual GSEA competition. My biggest achievement was, obtaining an internship placement at WSO2. The internship proved to be a paradigm shift for me as it made me realize where my passion lies and what my future ambitions were. In my final year I was able to present a research paper at an international conference.
5. What are your notable achievements at IIT?
In my 2nd year, I was fortunate enough to be appointed as the Vice-Chairperson of the IEEE Student chapter in IIT for 2017. During that period, we organized and hosted the 2nd annual CodeSprint Hackathon in partnership with Dialog Ideamart as well as several other projects. I manage to successfully complete my Final Year Project and win the Best Project award for Computer Science but I also managed to publish two research papers in two international IEEE conferences. The conferences that I published to were The 5th IEEE International Conference on Edge Computing and Scalable Cloud (IEEE EdgeCom 2019) in Paris, France and 2019 IEEE 43rd Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference (COMPSAC) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US. I also had the opportunity to present one of them on location at the conference in Paris.
6. Has IIT shaped you for corporate success?
If so, how? I would honestly say that it’s a definite yes. I can personally attest since my career choice even before graduation was influenced by my placement year, allowing me to land a Technical Evangelist role at Entgra Pvt. Ltd. a leading IoT company on the island. This is in addition to the Postgraduate Research Assistant role that I’m currently working full time at the University of Moratuwa.
7. Can you describe the support you received from the staff and the faculty of IIT?
The support was immeasurable and tremendous. I’m forever grateful to all the lecturers especially my final year supervisor; Mr. Pumudu Fernando as well as Senior Lecturer Mr. Cassim Farook for guiding me and advising me throughout.
8. What are your reasons to recommend IIT to students?
If one is looking to build a career in Computer Science or Software Engineering I could recommend no better place. I personally believe IIT grants you is a tireless work ethic, one that you carry on for the rest of your life. Simply put, if one has the right mindset and is willing to put in the work, IIT will take care of the rest. IIT is an award-winning campus, which has bagged many accolades for innovation in local and international competitions such as Microsoft Imagine Cup, National Best Quality Software Awards (NBQSA), APICTA, British Council-HSBC Youth Enterprise Award, and e-Swabhimani. With its strong international affiliations, outstanding resources and focus on quality higher education, IIT is without a doubt an ideal place for students to follow world-renowned IT and Business degrees.
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