TinkerHub Story #3

How a 16-Year-Old Schoolboy from Kerala has been Blurring Age Barriers with Technology

Yan Chummar has been building apps since he was 10.

TinkerHub Foundation
Published in
8 min readJul 20, 2019


On the TinkerHub story this month, we’re featuring an android and iOS developer, data scientist, entrepreneur and tech enthusiast — who is also 16 years old.

If you’re thinking, “Is this for real?”, then this story reads to you. And if you’re on the other side, then you’re welcome to read and share this story as a believer of a learning culture that has nothing to do with age.

Read our previous story here:

Yan Chummar is a 16-year-old tech prodigy from Kottayam, Kerala. He came into the spotlight in the tech community at a very young age when Lamina, an Artificial Intelligence API he developed, became the ProductHunt product of the day.

Join us at TinkerHub as we sit down and have a chat with the exceptionally bright future of the tech community!

Hello, Yan! Tell us a bit about yourself :)

Hi! I’m Yan Chummar, a 16-year-old school student from Kottayam, Kerala. In the tech community, I am a developer and an entrepreneur, experienced mainly in mobile development on both Android and iOS.

How a 16 Year Old has been Blurring Age Barriers with Technology
Hello! Yan here :)

Apart from that, I build back end systems, APIs, websites and much more. I also do a bit of graphic designing, video editing and animation. But what I love the most is working on Deep Learning and Machine Learning.

Wow! When did your awesomeness begin? 😎

I was 10 when I started diving into building software. Until then, I had a strong passion for technology but never got to tinker with it much. It was when I turned ten that my cousin Abin taught me HTML.

I wanted to start creating blogging websites at that time. From there, it was a pretty sweet journey of self-learning CSS, JavaScript, Android, Java, Python, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and so on.

Weren’t there challenges to start learning and building at 10?

When I was starting, I was the only person in my family who was into software. I lacked some resources at first, like an uninterrupted internet connection or the right advice on what I should do. That is where I believe a community like TinkerHub can ultimately accelerate the process of getting people started on something. With a push in the right direction and access to resources, they multiply the pace of growth of new learners.

Yan hosting a session for students

Having a network of resourceful people is more than just a help when it comes to getting technical assistance or advice. My journey until now has seen contributions from various people mixed with mine. If it weren’t for all of them, I wouldn’t have any of the opportunities or resources I have now.

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What’s it like to be a CEO at 13?

Technically, I cannot register a legal organisation because I am a minor. But what I mean by ‘CEO’ in my profile is the idea of an unregistered startup which till date has launched five apps in the Play Store. I had also completed a few open-source projects too back in 2016.

By the end of last year, I had shipped a SaaS product called Lamina, which is a Deep Learning product that provides AI as a service, in simpler terms.

I wouldn’t be able to comment on how the experience of being a ‘CEO’ has been because I’ve just started. I have only recently begun building things and forming a business out of it. However, I can say that the idea of building and shipping products and projects gets me pumped up.

Tell us all about Lamina

I was tremendously happy when Lamina was chosen as the product of the day by ProductHunt. I honestly wasn’t expecting a lot, but it ended up being in the top 5 on ProductHunt that day.

Credits: ProductHunt

The support and comments I received from the people were the best part of it all. Knowing that there exists such a wonderful community of people to support what you do is an amazing feeling. I am happy that I did the launch. I also got a lot of feedback and made a few friends at PH and on Twitter through the launch.

How did you get to know about TinkerHub?

The first tech event I ever went to was a GDG summit. At the event, Muhammed Shibin, the Community Manager at GDG Cochin, introduced me to TinkerHub and connected me with a lot of resourceful people. I owe communities such as TinkerHub a lot because the amount of exposure and resources I got out of them was terrific.

At GDG Cochin, 2016

Since then, I’ve had an army of supportive and helpful people around me. I’ve got lots of opportunities to take sessions, workshops and even judge hackathons, all by meeting people from different communities.

TinkerHub is one such fantastic community which, I can say, has maintained its quality since Day One. I’d say my tech career took off after becoming a member of TinkerHub back in 2016 when I was just 13.

Yan speaking at the Innovation Catalysts Workshop 2018 hosted by TinkerHub

You’ve also been speaking at colleges and companies!

On the one hand, I feel grateful for all the opportunities I’ve gotten until now. But on the other hand, I still feel like a beginner who has a lot more to discover, explore and learn.

Even though I take sessions at colleges and companies, I keep reminding myself that I’m a beginner in what I do and I have a long exciting journey of learning ahead.

It’s always exciting to have a lot of exciting things to learn apart from the usual school curriculum, be it learning by myself or from the people around me. I would always want to share my knowledge and gain more understanding from my circles.

Recalling: Product Summit ‘18

Mehar MP, CEO and Co-founder of Tinkerhub Foundation, shares a memory from the IEDC Summit ’18, where TinkerHub organised a track titled Product Summit.

That’s Yan speaking at the Product Summit ‘18.

He says, “Yan was a speaker at Product Summit ’18. It was one of the tracks at the IEDC Summit 2018, which was attended by a crowd of over 4000, including students and professionals. The session engaged by Yan was the one that got the most attention. I remember how they endlessly clapped as he talked about his journey and projects so far. It’s a very fond memory of him that I have.”

The Future?

As for my plans for the future, “growing” would be the simplest way to express it. In a few years I would like to see myself doing things that I love doing.

Being a successful entrepreneur has always been the goal, so I will be working towards it in the long term. I also plan on shipping a lot more cool side projects and products and look forward to working with a lot of amazing people.

I’d be happy if I’m able to produce work that inspires people and can make their lives easier.

Accolades and awards for Yan

Throughout the journey, my short term goals and plans will keep updating constantly. I wanted to be a software developer when I was 9. Now that I’ve achieved that, the threshold is set high again. This cycle is repeating constantly as I accomplish my goals.

Epilogue: Words of advice to people who are trying to get into software development on their own?

My simplest advice would be just to get started. I didn’t know what I was about to do or learn or face when I started to build apps and websites.

I never had a notion in my mind that coding is hard and difficult to master. I was driven by my passion to create software, apps and websites and I just wanted to do that so badly. I worked for that and I didn’t give up. I never found it stressful because I felt that I was doing what I wanted to do. Even now, the love for building software has sustained in me.

Once you start doing what you love, no one can stop you. I believe your passion will drive you to find happiness in what you’re doing.

My passion was to be a software developer, and I didn’t want to wait until I was 18 or 20 to start doing what I wanted to. That early start I made brought me here. In a position where I am building apps and working on things which is ultimately what I love doing.

At a time when fully grown adults struggle with staying focused on a goal, Yan’s words ring with truth and encouragement. Get started. When you have to stop, get help. And never stop doing what you love and loving what you do!

So that’s a wrap, tinkerers. We hope Yan’s story has been able to trigger your innovative spirits!

This TinkerHub story was brought to you by Sreeram Venkitesh, Abhijith G Anil and Amrin Kareem from the TinkerHub Team! If you loved reading this post, show your appreciation by clapping below! Stay tuned to us for more reads on learning, building and collaborating.

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