From growing up in a small village in Badulla, Sri Lanka, to now working as a Senior Software Engineer and Product Delivery Manager at Adventus.io, Ishanka Samaraweera’s journey has been anything but ordinary.
We sat down with Ishanka to talk about her background, what she’s working on and the transformations she’s witnessed during her time at Adventus.io so far.
From humble beginnings to tech triumphs
Ishanka was born in Kandy as an only child and came to Colombo to do her Advanced Levels schooling at St. Joseph’s Girls’ School. She was then selected to study at the University Of Colombo in the School Of Computing, which is where she developed her passion for Computer Science.
Ishanka isn’t a stranger to the tech industry. After graduating in 2009, she began working as a web developer. Soon after, she met her husband at work – who also worked in tech as a Tech Lead in software and telecommunication – and the two love to travel around Sri Lanka, chasing waterfalls and visiting forests.
Then, after working with a few different local companies, Ishanka made the decision to jump onboard with Adventus.io for a new challenge. That was three years ago.
“I have more than 10 years experience in tech,” Ishanka explains, “and when I joined Adventus.io it was a younger startup. We had a Project Manager and CTO, then I joined as the first developer.”
In the early days, Ishanka learned the ropes from our tech leaders but soon learned how to build and use more advanced technologies.
“We didn’t have many work processes at the start, but the team helped me to find my feet and create the processes I needed to do good work. With this help, I was able to grow.”
Not just a Senior Software Engineer
At Adventus.io, Ishanka’s role is flexible: it’s not your typical software engineer gig.
“Currently, I’m playing Product Delivery Manager in one team,” she explains, “and Senior Software Engineer in another.”
Team members have dedicated tech teams they’re part of, but for Ishanka, there’s also time set aside to support others, experiment and learn the newest technologies.
“I’m part of one specific team and allocate a percentage of my time to help another team on their project,” she explains. “I really enjoy helping the other team with delivery work. I love the variety and getting more responsibility, as well as the opportunity to learn new skills.”
A typical day in an Adventus.io tech team
Adventus.io currently has 10 tech teams dedicated to a range of different projects. There are five dedicated to feature development, then the remaining teams are focused on our mobile app development, data analysis, UI/UX, devops and other one-off projects.
“It’s a nice environment and culture to work in,” Ishanka shares. “Even though most of us are working from home these days because of the COVID-19 situation, we still have regular standups and meetings following Agile processes.”
In June 2019, the Sri Lankan tech team moved to a new office,” Ishanka recalls, “but the main focus was the launch in 2020. We started the Agile process with only two squads – now it’s five times bigger!”
“While I didn’t have a leading role in these events, I have been involved in a lot of technical development and changes in my career. I rolled out the migration project for Lucid architecture, introduced the “Account Manager” role to the app, built a solution to keep Personal Identification Information secure, and other more general improvements along the way.”
Experiencing change and growth
Adventus.io has changed quite considerably since its inception – and in the last three years, Ishasnka has had a front row seat for it all, specifically on the tech side.
“Technically wise, we changed the architecture to lucid architecture,” she recounts, “and I was part of making that happen. I learned a lot of valuable things. Now, we’re experimenting with microservices and I get to learn new skills at the same time.”
A key component to Adventus.io continuing development and tech success was the implementation of Agile processes across the company.
“We established our Agile processes slowly,” Ishanka offers. “I was able to learn how to create projects from scratch, whereas previously everything was templated. Then, we were able to hire other devs, QAs and managers to support our goals.”
It’s not all about work for Ishanka
The best part of her role is getting to learn different technologies and the challenges that come from learning new skills. But Ishanka doesn’t just focus on tech – she has passions for other things outside of her role.
“In my leisure time, I do yoga and practice mindfulness meditation,” she offers. “I also love reading books by local Sri Lankan authors and anything to do with psychology or personal development.”
After three years with the team, Ishanka is still inspired by the work we do and pleased by her accomplishments to date.
“I’m proud of how much my Laravel, problem solving and management skills have improved,” she beams, “and that I get the chance to practise agile processes each and every day. I hope to continue doing work and developing as a person at the same time.”
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