Clarifying Clarifai Champions

Finally, I am back with my blogging :P At least, here is a new article!

In my previous post I mentioned that I completed Clarifai Champions Online Course and also promised to write a review of it. So, here comes the review!

First of all, I want to say that this is not an advertisement ;) Secondly, I will be mostly describing the course and not assessing it. And lastly, I want to keep it short. If you have further questions — feel free to ask in comments or privately.

Let’s start with the aim of the course. It was designed (at least I was told so) to educate new technology evangelists. A technology evangelist is a person who builds a critical mass of support for a given technology, and then establishes it as a technical standard in a market that is subject to network effects [from wiki]. So, generally speaking, we (students) should complete the course with good skill in selling some particular technology. At least, this is how I saw it at the beginning.

The whole course was split into four parts: speaking, writing, organizing events and working with the open-source.

During the speaking part, we had a chance to give a talk of our choice on any technical topic at the nearest related conference/meetup/etc. I talked about SignalR at .NET users meetup. To be honest, that wasn’t a huge success, because I was worried I would say something wrong and that’s why I was rushing through the presentation. But, in the end, I think I achieved the aim of my talk: more people become aware of that tool, and, moreover, I was even told that somebody was really disappointed he didn’t know about this framework a few months ago while developing some software, where SignalR could be very handy.

During the writing part, we were asked to write two articles. I wrote “Bots will conquer the world!”, what was educational for me — I had a chance to refresh my knowledge of Python (probably, my favorite language at this point) and a chance to work with Telegram API (definitely my favorite messenger at this point). Also I wrote “Careful payments or race conditions in real life”, that was the topic I wanted to cover for more than a year, but it was always very raw. Now it’s not, check it out! ;)

During the event organization part, I set up a small intro to Web API for freshmen in my university. Together, we were shocked by the complexity of image recognition algorithms and relieved by the simplicity of Clarifai API, which helps to solve such a complex problem with a few lines of code and a few seconds of time!

During the open-source project part, we were asked to make a pull request for one random repository on the web and start our own project on Github. I helped one guy to structure the README file (in the pretty way we were taught during the course), and also I added LinkedIn login for the markdown based resume generation website. For the personal open-source project I implemented the chrome extension for color-blind people aimed to simplify their internet browsing. Colorifai (this is how I named it, using Clarifai API under the hood) adds main colors of the picture as the caption to that image. Feel free to contribute!

Additional point is that before doing all of this stuff what I mentioned above, we listened to the lectures on the corresponding topic from experienced Cassidy Williams and Cami Williams. Also, very important, our “homework” was reviewed and we got the detailed responses on what was good and what should be done better next time. And finally, in my course description above I definitely missed something — don’t blame me for that, the program was really intense!

And also, there is a thing I want to emphasize on: I made some impact on the real world! Isn’t this what we all dream(-ed) about? Let me elaborate on this a little bit:

  • I informed some thankful listeners about SignalR, and now they can build new awesome products faster!
  • I helped someone organize the Github repo. Maybe, that will be a sign for them to resume work on the suspended projects?
  • I told kids about Clarifai and about the power of web APIs in general. Now they know more, they can more! *superman sign*
  • I wrote couple of informative articles on the web. They caught some attention, and I hope people learned something and maybe even got inspired!

To sum up, that was a great course. I learned a lot, I did a lot of things I was too lazy or too scared to do, and I meet some interesting people (my course mates are now everywhere: Uber, Verizon, Google and even at Clarifai!)

Shhh, Clarifai is now accepting applications for the second class, and only couple of days left (probably, today is the day!).

So, you should stop reading this and go straight to application page!

If you still read this: I offered my help with the course, so, who knows: maybe I will met you online soon ;)

Thanks for reading! Cheers!