Monday, November 29, 2010

On Llovizna itself..

Since I started my blog on the 11th of November, 2008, it has seen many posts - mostly my random thoughts or product updates under the name of a blog post. With recent enhancements of blogspot, we are able to view the mostly viewed posts by time (now, day, week, month, always), which I guess worth mentioning.. ;)

I should mention one point. The mostly viewed pages weren't the ones that I took much time to write, nor the ones that I wrote with much care. Viewers decide what to view, themselves.. :D

Update as on the 6th of May, 2012.

Auto Scaling With Amazon EC2 [Feb 1, 2011]
How to apply/create an svn patch (for beginners [Apr 1, 2009]
how to ignore someone you love [Apr 24, 2011]
SVN Commit in windows [Could not use external edi... [Mar 28, 2009]
Google Summer of Code 2012 [Dec 18, 2011]

Sunday, November 28, 2010

as an undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa.. (1)

This post is part of the Series: As an undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa.
Level 1
First semester of the first year didn't go well, if I consider the grades. First difference I saw from the advanced level was, in advanced level I knew questions as well as the answers when I sat for the exams. In undergraduate studies, for some modules, I felt like I even didn't know the questions ;) I did score well, and was in the GPA of 3.96 (out of 4.20), when we got the results for 5 modules out of 6, with all A+, A's and A-. But a single module was powerful enough to change the result. It was a C- for Thermodynamics. This immediately dragged my GPA from 3.96 to 3.58. After all, it was just a 2 credit module (13 total credits for the semester). Amazingly almost all the friends were with A+'s and A's for the very same module! I later learned that most of the questions were from the past papers, where unfortunately I didn't even have a single paper for that module.

Lessons learned
  • Unlike in school, a lower grade for a single module can be poisonous - In school, I happened to get lower marks to not-so-interesting modules like Social studies, which never made any impact to my rank, as Mathematics and other *good* subjects always saved me with 90+'s. :)
  • GPA system is weird. It starts with a big interval, and all of a sudden, even for a difference of 5 marks the grade falls like hell. C has a GPA of 2.0 where C- has 1.5, just with 5 marks interval for C and C-, where A+ has 4.20, and A got 4.0 where the interval is [85,100] and [75,85).
  • Past papers are life-savers. I didn't know the fact that past papers are stored in the library for the students to get photocopies. I got to know this only at my level 2. I could have gone to the library and got some past papers for that module.
  • Getting two A's is better than getting an A+ and an A-, as far as GPA's are considered.
  • We can score maximum of C, in a second attempt. I always thought of upgrading my C- of thermodynamics to C, but never did that as I hate repetition!
  • Everything works in this world according to the theory of relativity. If we do average in an easy exam, that will essentially make our score to the bare minimum. Here *easy exam* means, an exam where many people get high score.
  • You can't just omit/ignore a single module. No this-is-my-module sentiments.
  • The first year was an important year in our undergraduate life. After the first two semesters, we will be allowed to choose our preferred major. But stuff doesn't work like that. Everyone prefers some departments, hence it goes with the GPA. That made first year the most competitive year of all! We are batch 06'. With Batch 09' it was changed to First semester. That means, after first semester students will be divided into the departments.
As I scored lower for the first semester, I had to work smart (please note the usage of the phrase *work smart* instead of *work hard*. I worked hard in the first semester. No doubt.) for the second semester to avoid ending up with a department that I do not like much. Getting lower grade means, you will lose the freedom to choose. That's it!

To be on the safer side, I tried to attend the 'kuppi' classes (whatever the media it is), though personally I hate those type of *classes*. These 'kuppi' classes are classes where senior students explain the particular module in Sinhala/Tamil medium. Mostly they will explain the concepts or do some past paper questions. I don't like huge crowds, but it was a good memory to recall. I DID feel some of those classes were just wasting my time. ;) This time, I paid attention to the past papers. With all A+'s, A's, and A-'s, I was able to get 4.00 for the second semester, which I consider a reasonable success.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

as an undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa.. (2)

This post is part of the Series: As an undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa.

Level 2
I entered the department of Computer Science and Engineering, which we prefer to call CSE, with the GPA of 3.78. And this is how the family of 06CSE was formed at 2007. Most of the time in level 2, Electronics (EN) and Electrical (EE) departments share the same modules with us (CS). That means, we had to learn EE and EN modules, in addition to CS modules. For the L2S1 too, a 5 credit module from the Electrical department spoilt my grade, and reduced it from 4.01 to 3.66 as a single module. This time the lessons were, 5 credit modules are damn powerful, and respect the other department modules too. :D Second semester went smooth, and ended with a GPA of 3.81. 

Mentoring was an interesting concept introduced to us in Level 2. We were divided into groups and each group is sent to a company for their mentoring session. We were assigned a mentor from the company. I got my mentoring from Virtusa along with 9 others from 06CSE. We also had a drama festival and 'CSE ourbounds' - a social outdoor event to welcome the juniors to the department. CSE Outbounds evolved with time, and junior batches had the same event with different names 'CSE Indifference' and 'CSE BeyondWavez' in the following years. I should also mention about the june terms, which carry very low work load than the semester, and come with 2 or 3 modules. In the meantime, we were able to contribute to the localization efforts named as 'Lakapps' which are made with the support of Lakapps and the department. It was an interesting learning experience for us.

Level 3
Level 3 has only one semester and it became the semester with the highest workload of all the 7 semesters of our undergraduate life. We no more had any modules from the other departments as compulsory modules. In level 3 and 4, we are given options. That means, not all the modules are compulsory. Level 3 had 10 modules. I always do a comparison of Level 3 with O/L and Level 4 with A/L due to this subject count and the workload. I always feel, I could have omitted the Embedded Systems module after receiving a C+ for that, making my Semester GPA 3.62. 

By end of the semester, we were given the option to apply for our preferred companies for the internship. I applied for WSO2, Virtusa, and Duo Software, and got selected for all the three companies. As WSO2 matched my personal interests more, I finally decided to join WSO2 as an intern. I consider choosing WSO2 for my internship was the cleverest decision I took as an undergraduate. Life at WSO2 as an intern made a strong impact in me, which also encouraged me more into open source technologies, that lead me into participating and getting selected to Google Summer of Code in 2009 with AbiWord and 2010 with OGSA-DAI of OMII-UK. At the end of our internship, 4 WSO2 interns formed a group and picked a project "Mashup Generator for XBaya" with the title "Mooshabaya", where another group of four WSO2 interns formed a group "Bissa".  After completing the final year, the team Mooshabaya joined WSO2 as software engineers.

Friday, November 26, 2010

as an undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa.. (3)

This post is part of the Series: As an undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa.

Level 4
Level 4 has become the most interesting and successful academic year (With GPA's 3.74 and 4.04 for semester 1 and 2) among the four. We were busy with final year project and a huge array of assignments, still managed everything efficiently. Our Database paper and Final year project (Mooshabaya) paper got selected to conferences held in Paris and Bangalore respectively. Somehow the final year turned me into an 'owl', which made me work more on mid-nights. Our final year was mostly group-oriented too. We have spent much of the time as the final year project group. Fortnight reports, monthly presentations and meetings. We were spending most of the time in the research lab. 

During the level 4, I was able to work as an instructor for the level 2 operating systems module, which reminded me 2007 more often. I tried to get some students into the AbiWord projects for their Programming Project module. It should be noted, that during our batch, we were just producing dummy projects most of the time, for the level 3 programming project module, which was turned as an open source module from 07CSE onwards, which is really an interesting change. I am pretty sure, that would have motivated my juniors more into open source and open source programs like Google Summer of Code. We also faced the mile stone 25 years anniversary of CSE, during our final year. As the batch, we organized IT seminars allover the island to mark the anniversary. It is an interesting fact that CSE has started on 29th of January, 1985 (exactly two years before my birthday.. :D)

The final days of the final semester were full of interviews. We all secured our jobs even before we completed the final semester. Interestingly we joined WSO2 on 13th of September, a Programmer Day. Programmer Day is the 256th day of every year, September 13th or the 12th on leap years. Our work started with a remarkable event marking the 5th year anniversary of WSO2, and it was September 17th, 2010.

Friday, November 19, 2010

As an undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa..

With the release of the finalized results, I feel the urge to post a short summary of my life as an undergraduate for the 4+ years (2006 - 2010) at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Moratuwa. In short, I see my undergraduate studies a successful one, which essentially makes the year 2010, the most remarkable year of my life so far. An A+ for the final year project which happens to be the 10 credit module, making the final semester GPA to be 4.04, as well as the final overall GPA of 3.80 which puts me into the first class became the highlights of the year. The blog post series "As an undergraduate at the University of Moratuwa.." provides a summary of my undergraduate life for the past 4 years.

Monday, November 15, 2010

WSO2 Stratos - an update

WSO2 Stratos is not a stranger to the world of SOA Middleware enterprise. Rather it deploys the WSO2 Carbon platform as-a-Service on cloud infrastructure. Hence Stratos by default provides all the products that are built on top of WSO2 Carbon as services, while managing your underlying cloud infrastructure,  handling the scalability demands of your applications seamlessly. You just sign up once and use the entire WSO2 middleware platform without worrying about installing or configuring them. Single sign-on made it easy, where you just have a single account with a manager to manage all the services.

* You can either deploy Stratos as a private cloud for your organization, so that client organizations, project teams, or departments can run in an independent environment, sharing the same middleware platform utilizing your resources.
* Or simply register your domain in the WSO2's public cloud Stratos deployment (, and start experimenting with the services now!

The last couple of days WSO2 team was energized in shaping up the most powerful PaaS (Platform as a Service) it has to offer. Stratos is a complete middleware platform as a service. Standing as the backbone of WSO2 Stratos, WSO2 Carbon is a complete SOA middleware platform. Stratos - 1.0.0 was released today and it has become yet another impressive and creative piece of work from WSO2.
For the last couple of weeks, both the Stratos team lead by Azeez and Shankar and the QA team lead by Charitha were in action shaping up the young Stratos.  Not just the Stratos team, but the entire team of WSO2 was there for Stratos. I'd say nightly coding is stylish. You would love it if you give it a try in a perfect environment for coding. After the hackathon and war modes, the Stratos team has got to celebrate it. It was a nice experience being at WSO2, when the Stratos 1.0.0 was deployed for the public, replacing its predecessor stratos-alpha. It was like Dec 31st Night, and it worthed the celebration!

Haven't you signed up yet for WSO2 Stratos Services? Sign up an account for your organization free in the public cloud

Download Stratos from here.

Stratos Community and Product home.

Samisa's post on Stratos explains why is Stratos so special.