As the country’s economy sets into a free-fall, it is our skills that will help build a stronger foundation for a better future, and the world of Information Technology will be one of the most crucial fields in making it happen. Many Sri Lankan youth are interested in coding and IT, and the Rotaract clubs of St. Peter’s and St. Joseph’s Colleges are organising a hackathon to encourage the future of Sri Lanka’s IT industry and discover hidden talent.

Speaking with the organising committee of the hackathon, we learned that the event, dubbed CodeFest ‘22 will take place on the coming weekend will involve a competition style event where young coders will be pitted against one another to develop creative solutions to a set of problems using their coding skills within a short period of time. There will also be a small quiz competition to help them get warmed up beforehand as well.

The 12 problems that will be presented have to be solved using the languages permitted by the judges’ panel, which includes Python, Java, Javascript, C/C++ as well as C#, without the use of the internet or any other form of plagiarism.

Participants will also be restricted by the tools they use, coding with the above languages using Visual Studio Plus, Sublime Text or Notepad++.

“By participating in hackathons such as this, you’re able to get a better understanding of problem solving. The beauty of hackathons is that depending on the type of hackathon, you are able to meet many like-minded individuals from different areas of expertise, collaborate, network and solve problems together. It builds communities and creates opportunities to engage with industry experts as well connect with other aspiring individuals who are passionate about IT,” shared one of the judges of Codefest, Mithushan Jalangan.

“I’m very excited to be contributing and taking part in CodeFest, and am looking forward to seeing how the participants are going to solve the problems that we have prepared for them.”

Having been involved in teaching coding himself, Jalangan notes that there is a significant increase among those who are interested in learning how to code, and interested in the IT industry, and hopes that hackathons such as CodeFest continue to be organised, even after the past couple of years and current economic hardships due to the benefits that participants can obtain simply from taking part.

“Simply participating alone in a hackathon is definitely a great learning experience, especially for university students” he added. “You get to network, not only with those who are enthusiastic about IT and the industry, but also with seasoned professionals, which will be immensely advantageous for them when entering the industry.”

As such, the organisers hope to create the thrill of competition and solving problems using the skills they have in CodeFest, all in the spirit of competition.

“With CodeFest, we wanted to involve those with beginner level experience to take part in a hackathon, and enjoy the experience as well, to help them become more enthusiastic in continuing to participate in hackathons and become more involved and connected in Sri Lanka’s IT industry as they grow,” shared the organising committee.

“We couldn’t have done it without the massive support from Rev. Fr. Ranjith Andradi, Rev. Fr. Rohitha Rodrigo, Rectors of the two schools, Nimala Perera, Manel Silva, Staff advisors of both the clubs, Int. Darin Wewita, Int. Dulain Hettiarachchi, Int. Thaaqi Jeffrey, (President, Secretary, Vice President from St. Joseph’s)

Int. Usmaan Mowlana, Int. Shakeel Hassimdeen, Int. Anuksha Rupasinghe (President, Secretary, Vice President from St. Peter’s) Int. Ashen Attanayake, Int. PP. Julian Fernandopulle, Int. PP. Thareen Jayadewa, Int. Rezon David (Joe Pete media and district council) either.”

The chairpersons Int. Jezon Fernando, Int. Inuka De Silva and the organising committee presents to you CODEFEST’22 which will take place on 19 June 2022 at the Clock Tower Study Hall at St. Joseph’s College from 9.00a.m onwards.

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage