99x launches DevGrade to fast-track search for tech talent inthe ‘New Normal’

Corporates have had to rapidly adapt to new, virtual processes in the past year and an area
heavily impacted by this has been recruitment. The search for tech talent, far from slowing
down, has been fueled by the pandemic across industries globally, leaving recruiters scrambling
to meet this increasing demand. Identifying a gap in the market, technology company 99x
stepped into this space with ‘DevGrade’, an assessment platform to enhance the recruitment of
specialized tech talent in the virtual era.
DevGrade is a first-of-its-kind solution geared towards hiring technical talent. The fully
automated assessment platform allows recruiters to hire the best by evaluating them in
simulated real project environments – virtually. It has been built and tested to recognize the
skills gaps not just for recruitment, but also for employee allocation and training.
Its range of value-added features follow a two-fold approach in enhancing the hiring experience.
Certain features are dedicated to improving usability and increasing productivity in the overall
recruitment process, such as dedicated workflows for different vacancies, notifications
throughout the recruitment process, etc. The other features focus solely on the assessment of
each candidate and these include objective candidate analysis, automatic evaluation on multiple
developer attributes such as code quality, productivity, accuracy, code comprehension and bug-
fixing, and more. All other similar products in the space fail to simulate a real project
environment for the candidate, making DevGrade unique in this space.
“As product specialists, the people of 99x constantly strive to use technology to improve how we
work – not just for our customers, but internally as well. Having understood the multiple issues
faced by the recruitment team during this past year of WFH, a team of Xians brainstormed ideas
to see how technology could be harnessed to address this issue,” explained 99x Chief
Technology Officer Hasith Yaggahavita, when describing how this product idea came about.
“Through technological creativity and months of hard work, DevGrade finally emerged, not just
as a platform to drive our internal recruitment but one that could scale to be a commercial
product offering.”
The traditional recruitment process consists of several stages that does not function efficiently in
a browser-based virtual environment. Often, amidst this lengthy process, the selection of a
candidate can become subjective. It was in response to this problem and the lack of locally and
commercially available solutions that the 99x team developed DevGrade, an assessment
platform to improve the effectiveness of hiring processes and ensure unbiased evaluation and
hiring of candidates by minimizing subjectivity.
“To really explain how this platform works, imagine you must hire a receptionist and to do so,
you could create a simulated environment where the person could be assessed through a full
cycle of daily activities. DevGrade does precisely this, for tech recruitment,” stated 99x Senior
Technical Lead Rumesh Hapuarachchi, when describing how the platform works. “It was an
interesting challenge to understand how we could solve what began as an internal issue using
our technological know-how. We are extremely keen to see how the platform will work in further
real-world hiring processes and look forward to enhancing it further.”

Since the DevGrade launch, 99x has recorded a total impact of 18.4% of time saved at technical
interviews and a 20% conversion rate from passed to hired within a short time. Thanks to these
results, 99x was successful in onboarding eLearning.lk as a beta customer on the platform. ““I
can say that using DevGrade gave me the best hire of my professional career. This process
was nothing like I had ever seen. I managed to save my time, overcome bias and in the end,
hired the correct person for the task,” said eLearning.lk Founder and CEO Sanjaya Elvitigala.
The platform was recently recognized at the National Ingenuity Awards 2021, where
DevGrade was crowned winner in the ‘Best Innovation in Internal Processes’ category for the
Western Province and named National runner-up in the same category. For more information on
the DevGrade platform, visit https://devgrade.io/.
Headquartered in Sri Lanka, 99x is a technology company co-creating well-engineered,
innovative digital products for the Scandinavian market. Its expertise has been proven through a
portfolio of over 150 impactful global digital products developed since 2004, together with
leading Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). 99x employs over 350 technology and product
specialists, who are high achievers, creative thinkers and team players. The company is one of
Asia’s Best Workplaces for 2020 and has been named a Best Workplace in Sri Lanka for eight
consecutive years.

99x Senior Technical Lead Rumesh Hapuarachchi accepts an award from SLASSCOM Vice
Chairman Ashique Ali (right) and BOI Chairman Sanjaya Mohottala (left) for DevGrade, which
won National and Provincial awards in the ‘Best Innovation in Internal Processes’ category

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