99x’s innovative use of technology saw over 600 undergraduates from across the island virtually participate in the inter-university hackathon Hacktitude last week. After nine hours of non-stop coding, Dalana Dharmathilake, Ashan Rathnaweera and Visal Jayathilaka of University of Colombo’s School of Computing (UCSC) walked away with top honours.
Just 12 teams from the 230 registered were able to score the full points and it was these outstanding 12 teams that were recognised at the awards ceremony hosted at Kingsbury, Colombo earlier this week. The winning team from UCSC received developer-grade, high-end Apple MacBooks for the entire team. The first and second runners-up were from the University of Moratuwa’s Computer Science and Engineering Faculty (UOM-CSE), and this faculty was also awarded the Hackitude Championship Trophy as the highest scoring university.
“Most undergraduates possess knowledge but lack the skills and capabilities required when entering the job market,” observed 99x Chief People Officer Damitha Jayasinghe. “However, by participating in Hacktitude, these 600+ students challenged themselves and improved their technical skills. The tests were created to give participants exposure to problems faced in real client projects, allowing them to develop their industry readiness before entering the job market.”
He added that it was an inspiring and exciting time for the 99x team as well, especially with the numerous positive comments received by the participants, who shared that they had learned a lot from the event.
Commenting on their Hacktitude experience, Dalana Dharmathilake of the winning team ‘NamakNa’, stated: “The format of the hackathon was a new experience for us all. It was challenging but very enjoyable. I think Hacktitude is a great competition for undergraduates to test and improve their skills in developing production-grade code. We are looking forward to participating in the next year as well. Thank you 99x for organizing such an amazing hackathon.”
Hacktitude saw undergraduates from 18 state and private universities participate and a noteworthy contribution from a group of enterprising boys from Ananda College. UCSC and UOM-CSE dominated the top 10 with their technical prowess, with the 11th and 12th teams hailing from the National School of Business Management (NSBM) and University of Moratuwa’s Information Technology faculty respectively.
A compulsory requirement of each participating team was the inclusion of an academic coach, a member of the university faculty who will mentor the teams throughout the competition. Pasindu Marasinghe, as academic coach of the winning UCSC team, also walked away with a MacBook and many prizes as he coached three other teams in the top 10.
The entire event was made possible by DevGrade, a first-of-its-kind platform developed by 99x to train product engineers, which too was put to the test in supporting the work of over 600 young developers over a period of nine hours. Given this success, 99x plans to continue Hacktitude as an annual event and is now exploring the possibility of extending it to schoolchildren, to educate them about ICT from a young age.
99x is a technology company co-creating well-engineered, innovative digital products for the Scandinavian market. Its expertise has been proven through a portfolio of over 150 impactful global digital products, developed together with leading Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). 99x employs over 350 technology and product specialists, who are high achievers, creative thinkers and team players. The company is one of Asia’s Best Workplaces for 2021 and has been named a Best Workplace in Sri Lanka for nine consecutive years.