WSO2, Ballerina, Lanka Software Foundation
The United States to Sri Lanka, the man behind the world of open-source technology, and a brain behind how the world's technology came to what it is today!
Creating technologies that can change the world, Sanjiva Weerawarana's latest creation Ballerina is Sri Lanka's first programming language and the world's first cloud-native programming language.
At the age of 15, one day I picked up my phone and called Sanjiva, now it has to be made clear that Sanjiva didn't know who I was, and I got his contact number from an [undisclosed method]. I dialled to his number, and talked to him for a good 10 minutes, introducing myself, and giving a good (don't know whether it was really good) pitch about a new project that I was working on. He's a really good listener and he made it clear after the pitch, that he's not the right person to the project, that was understandable because he actually had nothing to do with the education industry in Sri Lanka. But he didn't stop there, he told me then, that there is a good friend of his who might actually be very interested in my project, and he didn't hesitate to intro me to that person.
Weerawarana studied Applied Mathematics / Computer Science at Kent State University before completing her PhD at Purdue University. He then joined IBM Research in Hawthorne, New York, until he left to create the startup WSO2. Currently lives in Colombo.
Weerawarana has been working at the Apache Software Foundation since 2000, when he was working on the original Apache SOAP project. Weerawarana is an elected member of the foundation and an affidavit for various projects. A complete and up-to-date list of the Apache projects he has participated in can be found here: Apache Committers.
In 2004, he established the Lanka Software Foundation to encourage open source activities in Sri Lanka. He is the director there.