Sri Lanka Association for the Software Industry (SLASI) – the national organization representing the Software Industry in Sri Lanka and a member of Federation of IT Industry and Services (FITISS) along with the Ministry of Education has made elaborate arrangements to conduct the Young Computer Scientist Contest 2009 for the 8th consecutive year in October. The Young Computer Scientist (YCS) competition is modeled on the lines of Asia Pacific ICT Awards (APICTA). The YCS competition gains more significance this year as 2009 has been declared as the Year of English and Information Technology in Sri Lanka by His Excellency the President. This year's YCS Competition 2009 provides an impetus to the national initiative for ICT and English, with the noble objective of harnessing and exposing the computing talents of school children at early stages and encouraging them to develop their talents and earn recognition for their innovations.
The winners of the YCS 2008 competition gained international exposure in participating in the Asia Pacific ICT Awards held in Indonesia, and the efforts of the organizers and sponsors were amply rewarded when the Sri Lankan winner of the YCS 2008 competition was adjudged as the winner of the Gold Award at the Asia Pacific ICT awards ceremony. The YCS competition is open for two groups of students – aged 10 to 16 the junior category, and 17 to 20 years, the senior category. The selection process is based on an initial assessment from a panel of judges, followed by a presentation/ demonstration by the students and a final judgment by the same panel selected amongst industry and academia. SLASI believes that many hidden IT talents can be discovered from this year competition too. The previous YCS contests mainly attracted participation from computer enthusiasts from Colombo schools. The highlight of this year's competition which has been organized with the collaboration of the Ministry of Education has increased the participation from rural schools where the new national level IT initiatives are helping more and more rural schools to produce high-caliber computer enthusiasts.