What is your area of expertise?

– I have 15 years experience in the software industry. I have worked for a Swedish product development company as software engineer, tech lead, and software architect and carried out roles as scrum master. I am specialized in the supply chain product development domain, among other things in 2014 involved in developing a platform for mobile operators to manage customer care services and activities. The platform was built using cloud based micro services on top of AWS.

 – In 2018 I decided I needed a career change. I like to constantly improve myself and learn new technologies instead of stagnating with the same skill set I’ve used the last 5 or 10 years. Through LinkedIn I got in contact with Nina from TechPeople. She approached me and told me there was a consultancy opportunity in Denmark, and that is how it started.


What is it you are doing in Topdanmark?

– It is a new challenge. Topdanmark has decided to initiate an IoT platform. I joined in June 2018 and started to implement it using the Amazon Web Services cloud platform. The platform is designed to integrate different types of sensors, like temperature or humidity, to process and enrich the sensor data and give meaningful insights based on the sensor type.

– The initial Proof of Concept we are working with is a warning system used in agriculture aimed at farmers.


There are other IoT platforms out there. How is this one different?

– Our platform is generic, scalable and robust and will integrate any type of sensor. Different sensor providers have built their own IoT platform, but what we are doing is something else. It is a generic end-to-end streaming and visualization platform, and we work with making the sensor readings meaningful to the end user, generating real time reports, triggering warnings etc. In this way the platform can cater to many different requirements of Topdanmark’s insurance customers.


How did the first few weeks in your new job go?

– I have worked for a Swedish company, so I am used to the Nordic work culture. But still it is a huge change for me. The work culture at Topdanmark is very open, very free. They value teamwork, and we can have open discussions regarding the project. Also, the project itself is very challenging and interesting. Obviously, before coming to Denmark I had doubts and I was a bit nervous. But from day one everything has gone really well, and my colleagues have been very supportive, so I feel like being part of a family.

– Also regarding TechPeople, they have been very helpful. After our initial discussions, I had to go through the process of applying for visa etc. That takes a couple of months, but in that time Nina from TechPeople scheduled weekly meetings, and she handled all impediments along the way. She arranged accommodations for me as well, in Farum. The people I stayed with treated me as a family member, so everything has been really nice. That has made my life much easier and it has been a very smooth and joyful transition.

– Moreover, after I started working at Topdanmark, TechPeople arranged monthly feedback meetings to make sure everything was going well.


And then Topdanmark offered you a job…..

– Yes. Initially my wife and I agreed that I should move here to see if Denmark would be a good country to raise our daughter. I soon found out that it was, and a few months after I had moved here my wife and daughter followed. Soon after that, Topdanmark offered me a permanent position, and then I thought being responsible for the family and having just moved here I needed a contract that would stabilize the situation. TechPeople supported and encouraged me to do it, although it meant I had to quit being a consultant.   


How is your family doing?

– One of the main reasons to move here is our five and a half year old daughter Hesara Nethmi. She has just started schooling, and we thought, that here they have a better education system with a lot of freedom, and I am sure she will have a good childhood. In Sri Lanka it is very competitive, and the children go to extra classes etc., so more or less they don’t have much childhood. That is not the case here. They have free thinking and a free mind.

– Initially we wanted her to attend a Danish school. But instead we decided to send her to an international school, so it will be easier if we choose to move to another country later or back to Sri Lanka at some point. They still teach Danish at the international schools too, though.

– Then we ran into a common problem for expats: In Copenhagen there are not enough international schools, and there are huge waiting lists. So, we decided to relocate to Odense. It is a little bit of a hassle, but now we are quite happy with where we ended up.


Does your wife have any plans?

– Soon she will start taking Danish classes, and I am planning to do the same. Then we will see.


What are your plans for the future?

– Well, now everything seems very promising, so maybe we’ll stay in Denmark. We are planning on applying for permanent residency, and for that you need to learn the language, so now it’s time to follow those processes. We are also hooking up with the Sri Lankan community in Denmark. For instance, some Sri Lankan doctors have migrated to Denmark. And we have met some nice people at our daughter’s school.


Was it hard to leave your home country?

– In Sri Lanka, to be honest, the political and economic situation is not good. We have a good educational system but politically we are doing very badly. So, many professionals migrate to different countries. If you are an IT professional with the right skill set, you can go wherever you want. It is not such a hard decision, considering the situation in Sri Lanka right now. You improve your living conditions a lot by moving away, especially when moving to the Scandinavian countries.


So, will you try to persuade some of the Sri Lankan IT professionals you know to come to Denmark as well?

– Yes of course. I’ve contacted some of them and recommended TechPeople to them. It would be great to give them an opportunity like the one I’ve been given. I’ll introduce my friends to them, that is how I am, that is part of me.

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