Practising Jiu-Jitsu and Working on Smart Mobility

Cracking the Code with Technical Specialist Naveen

In our recurring series “Cracking the Code” we ask inspiring team members at Gapstars five questions about what they’re working on and how their fulfilling career aspirations.

Today we’re talking to Naveen Wijeyratne, Technical Specialist for our partner Monotch, to learn more about how practising jiu-jitsu is helping his well-being while working from home, the beginnings of getting into tech and how the pandemic has impacted his priorities.

What excites you about your role and what you’re working on right now?

I’m part of the Monotch team, a partner of Gapstars. Monotch focuses on smart, secure and sustainable mobility in Europe. Monotch’s Smart Mobility platform aims to provide solutions for efficient travel.

Traffic and road congestion is an increasing problem faced around the world and it’s exciting to be working on a platform that aims to fix this.

We work closely together on managing and developing Monotch’s Smart Mobility platforms built to improve traffic flows. The platform combines data and other sources offered as a central service which enables people to travel efficiently from A to B.

The Netherlands has a highly developed highway system and cycling path network already. And we are working on a solution to make it even better, which is extremely interesting.

Tell us more about your childhood interests. How did you decide to start a career in Software Engineering?

Ever since I got my first computer which was running on OS Windows 95, I’ve always been interested in working with different software.

All I used to do was play with MS paint all day.

How has the current climate impacted your priorities and work?

It has definitely changed the way we work. We’ve completely embraced working from home. Gapstars has been very supportive in ensuring we have the right resources to make work as smooth as possible.

Being in lockdown is not easy. I find myself losing track of time with work and it’s not necessarily healthy. It’s important to have proper time to recharge and avoid burnout. Scheduling the day with proper breakouts is important and it has helped a lot to remain focused on the right things.

What do you enjoy doing, when you’re not coding?

Other than the usual music and movies, I love learning new skills. Right now I’m learning jiu-jitsu through instructionals. It’s helping me keep fit during the lockdown, especially since gyms are closed.

I’m also a travel lover, photography enthusiast, and interested in tech gadgets.

What would be your perfect day?

The perfect day would depend on what I’m trying to achieve at that point. But since we are all locked in I’ll prefer a getaway. Here’s my perfect day.

  • Wake up at 10.
  • Put on comfortable beachwear
  • Pick up one or two of my close friends
  • Head down south towards to coastal parts of Sri Lanka
  • Have some good food down in Galle
  • Zone out at Unawatuna with a cold one and wood fire pizza
  • Head out and look for a cosy food joint for dinner
  • Head back to Colombo (or Not)
  • Clock Out

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Practising Jiu-Jitsu and Working on Smart Mobility was originally published in Gapstars on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.