Gapstars – a B2B service provider helping innovative Dutch software companies grow rapidly with high-performing agile offshore development teams in Sri Lanka, successfully concluded their largest virtual Tech Conference – ‘Explorer Expanded’ on June 16, 2022. The two  day virtual tech conference became the first of its kind to be held specifically for the Sri Lankan Community, and was aimed at uplifting the tech community through knowledge-sharing, networking and kick-starting the dialogue on innovative solutions through collaboration.
‘Explorer Expanded’ is an Extension of the popular webinar series ‘Explorer Series’ hosted by Gapstars. ‘EX 2022’ has been regarded as the first of its kind and largest in scale, virtual conference to have been held for the local industry. Organised and powered by Gapstars, the game-changing conference was hosted by Digital Creator, Comedian and Entertainer – Gehan Blok, and welcomed over 500 registrants to the programme.
The conference was carefully curated with the objective of providing Sri Lanka’s tech community with access to global industry-leaders, experts and innovators. Attendees received invaluable learnings from eight  key speakers, across all emerging technology markets, namely – Author of Continuous Architecture in Practice – Murat Erder, Founder, Carv.com/ Founder and former CEO, Harver.com – Barend Raaff, Senior Engineering Manager, Front – Chandni Jain, Practice Lead – XR and 3D, Boston Consulting Group – Mukundan Govindaraj, Software Architect, Gapstars/ Rentman – John Pereira, Software Architect, Atlassian – Roshan Paiva, Co-Founder, Nuclei Technologies/ Technology Consultant, Gapstars – Anjana Somathilake, and Vice President of Engineering, :Different – Hasitha Liyanage.
Speaking with Gapstars Pvt Ltd, CEO – Hugo Hemmen on the recently concluded virtual conference, Hemmen, stated: “In a time where most events were cancelled, Gapstars organised ‘EX 2022’ with two main goals in mind. (1) To create a platform to uplift and support the momentum of Sri Lanka’s tech industry through knowledge-sharing via our network of global experts, and (2) provide our Gapstars members with a creative outlet that would also rejuvenate and inspire them to forge forward in industry”.
Attendees were privy to in-depth knowledge-sharing by the line-up of experts, as well as opportunities for discussion and idea sharing. Topics covered included ‘Continuous Architecture in Practice’ by Murat Erder, ‘Building a World-Class Product’ by Barend Raaff, ‘Engineering Management and the Way Forward’ by Chandni Jain, ‘Entering the Metaverse’ by Mukundan Govindaraj, ‘Preparing for System Failure: An Incident Response Framework’ by John Pereira, and ‘Lessons Learned Building Platform Services’ by Roshan Paiva.
Each conference day was concluded with a Panel Discussion led by Anjana Somathilake and Hasitha Liyanage, where speakers at the conference shared their unique perspectives and approaches regarding a plethora of technical challenges and schools of thought.
Commenting on the success of the event, Gapstars, Associate Technical Lead – Ashani Ganlath, stated “It was a very worthwhile experience! The sessions and the experiences shared by the speakers expanded my knowledge on how to build a quality product and how to blend with and manage a team effectively. Loved the way it ended in style with gales of laughter.”
From its earliest days, Gapstars has invested in several initiatives towards the personal and professional development of its employees. These were the foundations upon which it has built its culture. Focus of the company’s ethos remains on the well-being of its employees at all levels, by giving them a voice and offering them opportunities to grow.
Gapstars continually invests in the growth and empowerment of their employees living by the belief that ‘while good IT professionals understand technology, great IT professionals understand how it can be utilised to solve challenges and enable their clients to succeed’.
Gapstars in the Netherlands was founded in 2015 and is currently under the leadership of its Co-Founder & CEO – Hugo Hemmen, and Co-Founder and COO – David Bijker. The international company provides software development services for start-ups and scale-ups based in the Netherlands. As a company that is growing rapidly, Gapstars has a workforce of 180+ employees based in Colombo and seeks to expand the team to 300+ engineers by the end of 2023.