In case you weren’t there at the Google IO 2013 Colombo (and what an event you missed out), there was a bona-fide hackathon going on. In a proud moment for the University of Colombo, the first and the second – Salinda Sandaruwan Karunarathna and Rasika Perera, respectively – have turned out to be UCSC students. The hackathon was based around Android software dev, something Sri Lanka has been gradually easing into. The exact details of their projects have not yet been released (will they ever be? We’d certainly like to know what the competitors came up with).
This is an iconic win from many aspects. One, this was the first Google IO ever held in Sri Lanka. Salinda and Rasika are going to have their names etched in a small piece of local history from now on. Two, there was a sizeable crowd – our estimates fall around 800 – of students from almost every higher educational institute in Colombo. There was definitely enough of them to crash a couple of WIFi networks. Quite a few of them tried their hand at the hackathon: when you consider the folks there, that’s some serious competition Salinda and Rasika faced. Not many people can claim to have surpassed a small army of talented geeks from private and public universities alike.
Thirdly, events like these – traditionally, at least – have been the forte of the University of Moratuwa, whose IT faculty is almost a matter of national pride. Whether by chance or in deliberation, UCSC has been repeatedly showing its mettle. The Imagine Cup, NBQSA, now this.
We believe this is progress. The more universities – and subsequently, more and more young students – enter the fray and seek to outdo eachother, the better. Competition is always healthy. Let there be strife.
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