– Microsoft Sri Lanka, together with Sarvodaya Fusion, hosted YouthSpark Live – an event meant to encourage, empower, and excite participants of all ages and varying backgrounds to learn more about computer science and what a career in technology and the digital space might look like. The event, which was held at Trace City in Maradana, taught participants not only how to use technology, but also how to create technology to become drivers of innovation and growth within their communities.
During the event, participants were taken on a guided tour emphasizing the importance of computer science now and in the future. A Microsoft Student Partner booth focused on the significance of the field for youth while a Job Opportunities booth touched on the growing demand for computer science education in the workforce. Attendees were able to engage in mock interviews and receive career guidance tips from Microsoft representatives.
Speaking about Microsoft’s YouthSpark Live initiative Hon. Harin Fernando, Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure said, “The world we interact in is now full of innovation, and computer science happens to be the foundation for much of it. Computer science involves creativity, problem-solving, programming, data, and thinking about the impact of technology in our community. The YouthSpark event hosted by Microsoft Sri Lanka is a great initiative to inspire our youth and show them the myriad opportunities available to them in the fields of technology, entrepreneurship, digital innovation and communication.”
Shanil Fernando, Managing Director of Cakes Labs, an IT and Services company changing the way restaurant’s connect with and engage customers, as well as Peter D’Almeida, Chief Executive of N*able, the IT arm of Hemas Holdings, which stands at the forefront of the IT development and training field in Sri Lanka addressed the participants, giving them valuable insight regarding the opportunities available in the IT field. Ajitha and Nalin Gunawardene, field experts, shared their views on the fourth industrial revolution and Chonil Jayanaka, Social Media Coordinator at the recently established media house, Octocompus, shared insights regarding on the reality of social media in a local context.
Attendees were able to participate in a team-based coding marathon with the Ministry of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure. Themes for the marathon were Frozen, Minecraft, and Star Wars. At the end of the marathon, participants received certificates and opportunities to win a number of awards.
“We’re excited to host YouthSpark Live,” said Janakie Karunaratne, communications and community lead at Microsoft Sri Lanka. “YouthSpark live showcases the many career paths available to our youth in technology related fields and we believe that hearing from field experts is a truly inspiring experience for the participants. We are grateful to the Microsoft Student Partners who played an active role in supporting the event.”
YouthSpark Live is in line with Microsoft’s goals to support initiatives that assist Sri Lanka on its journey of digital transformation, and spark innovation amongst the nation’s youth.