Goodbye LSF!

Janith Silva
5 min readNov 3, 2020

It’s time for me to move on from the Lanka Software Foundation.

How It All Started

After I completed my internship at WSO2 in late 2019 It was my final year of academic activities at the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology. During my internship period, I developed a big love for open-source technologies. Since I was doing my academic activities at weekends, I had a little time on my hand to spent on other things. Then I started looking for something that can help the community as well as my knowledge. Viola! I found that the Lanka Software Foundation is looking for new interns to work on a collaborative project with the Ministry of Education in Sri Lanka. For those who have no idea what the Lanka Software Foundation does is that it is a non-profit organization that helps improve the technology that runs Sri Lanka by voluntarily helping the government digitally transform by creating Technologies, architecting solutions, and building open-source solutions. You can find more details on that from here (https://opensource.lk/). This was my first email.

One more engineer for MoE SIS: Janith Silva

<sanXXX@weerXXXX.org>

Wed, Jan 1, 12:20 PM

to G.M.Niel, me, Mohamed, Sherazad, Kosala

Hi Niel,

Please meet Janith Silva, a final year student at SLIIT. He will be joining the MoE SIS effort starting immediately. He’s based in Malabe and has classes only during the weekends so will be able to come to MoE and work most days. Please organize a meeting at MoE (with Nizar too) to get going!

Janith also please meet Nizar who’s been the lead (and only for the most part) engineer on the SIS effort. Nizar please help Janith get started and assign him some work from your todo list. Please send links to the GitHub projects etc. to get him started.

Cheers,

Sanjiva.

So That Collaborative Project?

Ah yes, back to that. So as I previously mentioned the project was a combined effort from the Lanka Software Foundation and the Ministry of Education in Sri Lankan. Basically what that project does is managing the student information and other school-related transactions in Sri Lanka. The project was a fork from OpenEMIS, Open Education Management Information System, which is an Education Management Information System for the education sector. Its main purpose is to collect, analyze, and report data related to the management of educational activities. You can find the GitHub repository here (https://github.com/moe-lk/sis-php).

At first, I was introduced to the Director of Data Management branch in the Ministry of Education Mr. Niel Gunadasa, now the Additional Secretary of the State Ministry of Education Reforms, Open Universities, and Distance Learning Promotion, and Dr. Sanjiva, the founder of LSF and WSO2. And then the crew from MoE Mrs. Jeewana, Mr. Reshan, and few other teammates. Finally, Mrs. Sherazad, who is the program manager introduced me to the LSF team lead by Mr. Nizar, a very talented person who is working as the senior software engineer for the SIS project, and Mr. Kosala, a super talented DevOps guy!. So after that, we got along and worked on the SIS project.

Life at LSF

LSF is a place that you have a brilliant working environment with minimum pressure. We always have scrum meetings and daily stand up meetings to discuss the blockers and issues related to project development. When I got into the LSF I had a good understanding of the Laravel PHP framework, which turned out to be the main software framework on one of the MoE projects (https://github.com/moe-lk/bulk-upload). But the project SIS which I mentioned earlier was a fork from OpenEMIS, OpenEMIS, or Open Education Management Information System, which is an Education Management Information System for the education sector. Its main purpose is to collect, analyze, and report data related to the management of educational activities that were developed using Cake PHP. Even though I had the fundamental knowledge but I didn’t have the full-on experience on that framework. I had a little time to get familiar with the system and received an enormous amount of help from Nizar. I was able to finally write even a whole password rule module for the OpenEMIS to improve the security of the application. It’s not only the technical skills I gained during my internship, I learned how to interact with the clients, how to divide and conquer a big issue, how to interact with the team, and many many more!

LSF Team

It’s not a full-on Goodbye!

Even though I’m ‘officially’ out of LSF I won’t be leaving the project. Since it is an opensource project I will be contributing whenever I get some free time. Originally my internship was for a period of 6 months. But I felt it was better for me to stay up there till I finish my studies to sharpen my skill set as well as get good experience in the software engineering sector. Now that I have completed 10 months in LSF and I feel like it’s time to move on. On a final note thank you all who supported me in many ways and wish you all the very best! Let’s catch up later for sure.

Finally, let me share the email I sent to all my team members on my final day at LSF.

Hi all,

Today is my final (official) day working here at Lanka Software Foundation as a Software Engineer. I would like to take a moment to thank you for all your invaluable support and guidance which you have provided me over the past 10 months. It’s been so great working with you and getting to know you. The people here at LSF and MoE have honestly been one of the best parts of working here.

While I won’t be in the office anymore, I’m hoping to keep in touch with you all as soon as I finish my final exams. My personal email address is janiXXXX@gmail.com, so don’t hesitate to reach out whenever.

Thank you all for making my stay here a memorable and enjoyable one. I wish all of you all the very best for the future!

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