During our weekly Saturday ritual event called Incredible Stories Of Community Entrepreneurs, we had a conversation with Pawan Kumar. Pawan is the founder of Codepur (coder.dev), a platform to help people kickstart their developer journeys. He is also one of the first Google Developer Experts for the Flutter Community in the world.
Pawan created the Flutter development online community called Let's Flutter with Dart with over 44k members. This Flutter development online community supports Flutter developers from across the globe. He has also evangelized the platform at various global and national events.
In this exclusive conversation with Pawan, we got to know:
... And much more.
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Pawan started contributing to the Flutter developer online community through his YouTube channel - MTechViral. It is now renamed Codepur. The idea of Codepur came into being around 2015. When he was in college, Pawan was not very tech-savvy and was skeptical about becoming a programmer. And he had a friend who was also unhappy with the education system of our country.
So for the next couple of years, Pawan learned programming and realized that there were tons of people out there who knew more than him. After this, he shifted his focus towards finding out the reason behind the same. Someone told him that most of these people had learned about computers and programming in their 11th and 12th grades. But Pawan had Physical Education as his extra subject, so he did not know anything about computer science.
So when he started college, he was unable to understand the concept of programming initially, and it took him a while to understand how everything works. His interest lay in Flutter forum app development because when he used to travel in the metro and see people play games like Temple Run, he decided that this is something that he wants to create.
After finishing college, Pawan started working and realized that he should do something by which people can learn. The difficulties that he faced, other people should not have to. During his time, the internet was still a far-fetched thing, and Jio was about to make an impact. As he says, "It's a story before Jio'.
So a lot of people were not using the internet that much, at least not for learning. So he thought that it was the right time and started making some android tutorials. That was good for him too, because he was learning new things as well. Initially, he was very bad in all the departments, from looking at the camera and talking to explaining things. But then he started gaining more and more confidence with time.
He understood after a while that he's indeed good at explaining things because people were liking the way he used to explain, so that is where his journey began. And then, he randomly thought of the name of his YouTube channel. He started with TechViral, but then that domain was unavailable because someone else took it before he could. And he had to switch to M-TechViral because he was mostly focused on mobile app developments, and most of his applications started with M.
With time, he decided to create a platform that can help people in learning and that is how the idea of Codepur came into his mind. It took him some time to get the execution done. He started and experimented with a lot of frameworks and platforms, but none of them worked well enough for him apart from Flutter.
When he started in India, the Flutter forum app was at a very early stage. No one had even heard about the awesome Flutter in 2016-17. After 4 years now, it looks like a long journey to him. That is how he started his Flutter developer community, and once he started this development process, a lot of people started joining him.
In Pawan's words, "And when people join you, you make a community. It can be 5 or 10 or 15 people. Once you start exploring, you get to know more and more people, around different cities and countries. That's more or less my journey."
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When you start something, you just go with the flow, and that's what Pawan did. He started creating more and more videos using different dev community technologies to gather more audience and also to showcase his work so that he can get better opportunities in the future.
He also started exploring open-source-related things - what is open source, how to contribute, etc. And that is when the idea of Flutter development online community came into his mind - how it works and why would someone open source a product or a particular application? Because there is no direct benefit and that is why a lot of people are still hesitant towards it even now. One cannot predict how much money one will earn.
But he tried to understand why people were doing it and what was the purpose behind it. And then, he looked into communities and found that there are various communities that one can join. There were various opportunities on these open-source platforms where a person could contribute. And how it works is that basically everyone who is a part of the community will all get benefit out of it.
People are trying to help each other. That is how he understood the concept of community, and then he decided to try the same. Everyone, when they start, is not that confident about their work and contribution, as some people might find them foolish, but then everything comes with the flow. Once a person starts doing the work, they get to know those particular things better and better with time.
And that is how it started, and he realized that he should do more of this. Till now, Pawan was a part of the Flutter community, but now he wanted to create his own. Not because he was good at it but because he wanted to promote that particular area of interest. He wanted to tell the world why the awesome Flutter forum app should be known to so many people.
There is no such particular story that Pawan talks about because there are a lot of stories. But genuinely, what he likes is when someone reaches out to him and tells him that Pawan because of you, we got a job. In his words, "People at my place learned from my videos. And a lot of companies reached out to me that a lot of our Flutter developers watched your videos, and we have jumped to this particular technology because of you."
He also added, "Most of the people just come and tell me that they got this big job, this huge package because of me." So Pawan does not think it is because of him, but he has played a role somewhere. They might have learned from it, and that is the impact he always wanted to create.
There are various YouTube channels and a lot of things which one can do like watch on the internet. If that something can give you benefit in terms of job or the satisfaction of learning something new, he thinks that there is nothing better than that. If someone is happy because of him, that means everything.
No single story, but all the stories mean the same! He was able to change some people's lives, something in their lives, for a positive reason.
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Pawan is very keen to learn technology, and he experiments a lot. Back in 2017, when he was doing an awesome Flutter forum event, he tried to find out some open communities which were available. He found some, but then he thought of doing something on Facebook because a lot of people were using Facebook back then.
Today what Instagram is, at that time, Facebook was. In terms of active users, Facebook is still relevant, but it was more relevant back then. So then he created this Flutter development online community, and luckily a lot of people joined, and it gained so much support.
In terms of moderating, he had to do a lot because when people were joining the Facebook group, he used to know what they are talking about and what their experience is. Then from those people only, he used to make moderators.
Some people are always answering the questions that are being asked in the Flutter community group. So then he used to reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in being the moderator and overlook what is happening in the group because he cannot be available all the time. He needed people like those super users, and gradually, that number kept increasing with time.
A lot of his friends also joined, and he made some of them the moderators. So he never took the whole thing very seriously because he knew people are there in the Flutter development online community for learning.
He was never that worried about what will happen if something goes wrong, in terms of someone posting bad content because there were people who would delete it, or he would directly take proper action. He was also confident that there are smart and sensible people in the group, and they will ignore such negativity.
Pawan personally feels that community means growing together. If you are a part of the Flutter community and people are not growing together, then it is not a community. He said that he knows a few communities here and there that do not follow this rule, and they just try to be the boss of everyone. They are the only ones getting the benefit out of the Flutter community. That is not the right way according to him.
Growing Together is the word that best suits communities. If every member of the Flutter development online community is growing, then only the Flutter community is growing.
If you have a strong will to do something for people, just go ahead and do it. Do not think about what flaws and barriers you are currently facing. Because once you start working towards it, you will find the solutions. And when people see you doing something for them, they will also come and start helping you do bigger things.
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