Year in Review — 2017

Yan Chummar
Nov 10, 2019 · 5 min read

I was thinking lately on how to document my work and journey in a detailed but yet short way, and the best yet idea I have is to write a year review summing up all the major things that happened in that year. So here goes nothing.

To communities, events and people.

I’m calling 2017 as a potential turning-point since most of the best shots I have today would originally root from that particular year and age. I was a 13-year-old with 5 published apps on Google Play back then. (3 of which are still available).
I considered my small project of building and launching apps like a small startup and named it as Zuo Developers.

Google Developers Group Cochin

I was introduced to Google Developers Group Cochin by Shibin in December 2016, where I was then invited for my first ever public talk session in the same month.

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This is me at GDG Cochin’s DevDay event attempting my first ever “talk”

Things after…

Soon after my GDG event I connected with a bunch of enthusiastic college students — have to mention Soorya — who willingly took me a 13-year-old with them to many more events that came after. But the events that followed turned out to be a gem for me in growing my network and knowledge of the things happening in the industry, and I met people like Shibin, Saleeh, Anees, Sijo and a lot more such amazing people, whom I owe big-time.

I went to almost all the tech events I possibly could. I travelled Kochi, Trivandrum and Thrissur for participating in various events and have had the opportunity to address the crowd at a few of the events I went to.

In the start of 2017, I got featured on Manorama Online for having built a few apps at 13.

Talk at CUSAT

In February of 2017, I got invited to give a talk at Cochin University of Science and Technology as part of their College Fest, and this is was huge for me. I had heard about CUSAT a couple of times and getting an invite as a guest to college while I was doing my 8th grade blew me off.

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And more than anything I was psyched to be a speaker at an event gathering Sijo Kuruvilla, C.Balagopal Sir and Dr.J.Letha.

WordCamp “17

Soon after CUSAT, I was travelling to my next event WordCamp in Kochi, which I didn’t know was a gathering of almost all the amazing creators in the Kerala tech community. I met a reporter from Madhyamam there. I got interviewed by Sujith Bakthan as part of a vlog in his brilliant YouTube channel. Last but not least I met Joe Hoyle, CTO of HumanMade who gifted me his old MacBook which at that time I was in very need of.

The above events were among the first and hence listed here.

Things after…

I started getting invited to more events and talk session, started getting media attention at a certain point, all which was certainly very exciting. And also got opportunities to take workshops and sessions at colleges to college students, and that for me felt a bit weird as I was just 13. A quarter of the year was mostly packed with events and articles and gave way for a lot for exposure and hence helped connect with a lot more people. But it was all just the start to a journey that I’m still figuring out.

Instead of writing about all the events and articles I’ve got, I’d try to sum it up with all the images that I have. And also in an attempt to keep this story short.

Links to a few online articles -
Manorama Online
Deccan Chronicle
The New Indian Express

MyPolly Hackathon

There was a hackathon happening in Kochi around mid-2017 and was my first hackathon. The agenda was to build a chatbot using a tool called MyPolly. Had a fair amount of participants and among the hosts, many were from Kerala. The prize was an Amazon Echo Dot and I so badly wanted to try out one, and to my surprise, I ended up winning the hackathon to bag an Echo Dot home.

But the actual prize was not the Echo Dot it was not until 2018 that I got to realise it. To give a sneak-peak sorta, I connected with Malaikannan Sankarasubbu who was then the CTO of the company running the hackathon and presently the VP of AI Research at Saama Technologies, while my first interaction with him I had shown him my previously built mobile apps and had also connected on facebook.

The rest of the story can only be explained in 2018’s year review

Building more

With all the hype that was around, I had to make it a point to focus more on what mattered and went onto building the next thing I found interesting and ended up building Learnate, which was an app for students to find tutors and tuition centres around them. It was more of a learning project and a product where I learned more about building APIs, and about SQL databases and many more.

Summing up

2017 has changed my aspirations and grasp on a lot of things and leveraged my mind to think in different ways and paved way for me to start working on greater things and to learn more. And the network that I gained has been priceless to date. 2017 has been a year of growth in terms of network and my thought-process and stays very close to my heart.

For the love of growth! ❤️

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