ScholarX 2021 — How it goes | Part 1
My journey on ScholarX mentoring program
What is ScholarX?
Let’s start off with an intro to the ScholarX program.
Founded by Sustainable Education Foundation, ScholarX is a 6-month program for Sri-Lankan undergraduates who would like to get free premium mentoring during their study period
As it says ScholarX is a program where the Sri Lankan students get to engage in a great mentoring program with top notch mentors. Each student gets a mentor to him/herself for the duration of the program. The program happens yearly and I was able to get selected as a mentee for the year 2021.
What Happens at ScholarX?
One thing I wasn’t clear of until the program started is “What really happens at ScholarX”. I read through a bunch of blog posts when applying and I saw each blog post has something different and I wasn’t clear what the exact plan was if I get selected. The truth is that there is no one thing or a defined process you follow for the ScholarX program. Its totally upto you and your mentor to decide what you need to work on. It can be career counselling, it can be a research project, it can be working on improving skills or anything. Why you we don’t have a clear explanation about what happens at ScholarX mentoring program is because there is no one way to do it. You are free to do what you like!
My Experience with ScholarX?
Before anything I must introduce my mentor who has been guiding me for the last couple of months with his valuable advice. He is Mr. Hasitha Liyanage who is previously Vice President — Engineering at Sysco LABS Sri Lanka and currently the Vice President of Engineering at :Different. His almost 2 decades of experience in the software engineering has been instrumental in helping to shape my future in the software industry.
When I applied for ScholarX, my goal was to get to know about the software industry from the perspective of an experienced professional and that’s exactly what we are doing in my mentoring program. We have weekly/bi-weekly meetings where we discuss about interesting topics in the field of software engineering. Note that these are friendly discussions, not lecture kind of meetings so you can get a ton of feedback on what you think as you are free to ask question. Quite often i present my perspective on something interesting and he explains what’s right and wrong with it, more info about it and what else I can follow regarding that. To clarify this a little bit further, I’ll put down a few interesting topics that we talked about in the past 2 months below. I’d like to point that these are some topics we(Me and my friends) often talked and argued about — But we never had a chance to ask all of these one by one from a well experienced professional until now
- What programming languages will be important in the future? Are the languages like JAVA, PHP dead and is Javascrip and GoLang the way to go…
- Will Machine Learning continue with the current hype and is it the correct time to drop off everything and hop onto machine learning train?
- Startup vs. Established Company — What’s better to work at?
- Tech career vs. Entrepreneurship — Which one is better to pursue
These are just few topics of what we talked about and the answers will depend on your skill set and how you look at it and I am looking forward to have a lot of interesting discussions like this.