#WeArePlay | The app co-founders helping people with speech disorders

Posted by Leticia Lago, Developer Marketing

Anshul, Meet, and Harsh became friends while living and working together. They never realised Meet used to stutter until he explained he taught himself speech therapy exercises to overcome the disorder. This motivated the trio to found their company Stamurai Speech Therapy, creating an app to help thousands of people just like Meet. Their inspirational story becomes our latest to be featured in #WeArePlay, our campaign celebrating the people behind apps and games around the world.

“Stuttering had a huge impact on me since I was a kid”, explains Meet. “It affected my professional and personal life. I decided to look for help as it is not only a speech disorder, it is an emotional disorder as well”. 

After hours of studying medical books and practicing therapies, he learned how to manage stuttering and grow his confidence to complete seemingly simple tasks which previously made him anxious. 

“I avoided ordering my favorite food, going shopping and talking to strangers. These speech exercises allowed me to do things that seemed simple for some, but were a struggle to me”.
Meet, co-founder of Stamurai Speech Therapy
They realized there was a gap in the market for people to easily find help to manage disorders like his. Having a background in coding for Android, they got to work and created their app Stamurai Stuttering Therapy on Google Play.

Now available in 150 countries, they’re looking to the future as they begin working on adding more languages and more exercises. The positive impact the app is having spurs them on – “we like reading the reviews to see how the app has changed people’s lives. Some are simply commenting they are now doing job interviews. This was something that could be a struggle for many”.

Check out all the stories now at g.co/play/weareplay and stay tuned for even more coming soon.

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#WeArePlay | Discover what inspired 4 game creators around the world

Posted by Leticia Lago, Developer Marketing

From exploring the great outdoors to getting your first computer – a seemingly random moment in your life might one day be the very thing which inspires you to go out there and follow your dreams. That’s what happened to four game studio founders featured in our latest release of #WeArePlay stories. Find out what inspired them to create games which are entertaining millions around the globe.

Born and raised in Salvador, Brazil, Filipe was so inspired by the city’s cultural heritage that he studied History before becoming a teacher. One day, he realised games could be a powerful medium to share Brazilian history and culture with the world. So he founded Aoca Game Lab, and their first title, ÁRIDA: Backland’s Awakening, is a survival game based in the historic town of Canudos. Aoca Game Lab took part in the Indie Games Accelerator and have also been selected to receive the Indie Games Fund. With the help from these Google Play programs, they will take the game and studio to the next level.
#WeArePlay Marko Peaskel Nis, Serbia
Next, Marko from Serbia. As a chemistry student, he was never really interested in tech – then he received his first computer and everything changed. He quit his degree to focus on his new passion and now owns his successful studio Peaksel with over 480 million downloads. One of their most popular titles is 100 Doors Games: School Escape, with over 100 levels to challenge the minds of even the most experienced players.
#WeArePlay Liene Roadgames Riga Latvia
And now onto Liene from Latvia. She often braves the big outdoors and discovers what nature has to offer – so much so that she organizes team-building, orienteering based games for the team at work. Seeing their joy as they explore the world around them inspired her to create Roadgames. It guides players through adventurous scavenger hunts, discovering new terrain.
#WeArePlay Xin Savy Soda Melbourne, Australia
And lastly, Xin from Australia. After years working in corporate tech, he gave it all up to pursue his dream of making mobile games inspired by the 90’s video games he played as a child. Now he owns his studio, Pixel Starships, and despite all his success with millions of downloads, his five-year-old child gives him plenty of feedback.

Check out all the stories now at g.co/play/weareplay and stay tuned for even more coming soon.

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#WeArePlay Xin Savy Soda Melbourne, Australia Google Play g.co/play/weareplay

From a personal notebook to 100k YouTube subscriptions: How Carlos Azaustre turned his notes into a YouTube channel

Posted by Kevin Hernandez, Developer Relations Community Manager

Carlos Azaustre, smiling while holding his Silver Button Creator Award from YouTube
Carlos Azaustre with his Silver Button Creator Award from YouTube
When Carlos Azaustre, Web Technologies GDE, finished university, he started a blog to share his personal notes and learnings to teach others about Angular and JavaScript. These personal notes later evolved into tutorials that then turned into a blossoming YouTube channel with 105k subscriptions at the time of this writing. With his 10 years of experience as a Telecommunications Engineer focused on front end development, he has a breadth of experience that he shares with his viewers in a sea of competing content currently on YouTube. Carlos has successfully created a channel focused on technical topics related to JavaScript and has some valuable advice for those looking to educate on the platform.

How he got started with his channel

Carlos started his blog with the primary mission of using it as a personal notebook that he could reference in the future. As he wrote increasingly, he started to notice that people were coming across his notebooks and sharing with others. This inspired him to record tutorials based on the topics of his blogs, but when he was beginning to record these tutorials, a secondary mission came to fruition: he wanted to make technical content accessible to the Spanish-speaking community. He reflects, “In the Spanish community, English is difficult for some people, so I started to create content in Spanish to eliminate barriers for people who are interested in learning new technologies. Learning new things is hard, but it’s easier when it’s in your natural language.”

In the beginning of his YouTube journey, he used the platform for side projects and would post irregularly. Then, 2 years ago, he started putting more effort into creating new content and started to post one video a week while promoting on social media. This change sparked more comments, and his view and total subscribers increased in tandem.

Tips and tricks he’s applied to his channel

Carlos leverages analytics data to adjust his strategy. He explains, “YouTube provides a lot of analytics tools to see if people are engaging and when they leave the video. So you can adjust your content and the timing (video length) because the timing is important.” The data taught Carlos that longer videos generally don’t do as well. He learned the ideal video length for lecture videos where he’s primarily speaking is about 6-8 minutes. But when it comes to tutorials, videos that are about 40 – 60 minutes in length tend to get more views.

Carlos has also taken advantage of YouTube Shorts, a short-form video-sharing platform. “I started to see that Shorts are great to increase your reach because the algorithm pushes your content to people who aren’t subscribed to your channel,” he pointed out. He recommends using YouTube Shorts as an effective way of getting started. When asked about other resources, Carlos mentioned that he primarily draws from his own experience but also turns to books and blogs to help with his channel and to stay up to date with technology.

Choosing video topics

Creating fresh weekly content can be a challenge. To address this, Carlos keeps a notebook of ideas and inspiration for his next videos. For example, he may come across a problem that lacks a clear solution at work and will jot this down. He also keeps track of articles or other tutorials that he feels can either be explained in a more straightforward way or can be translated into Spanish.

Carlos also draws inspiration from the comment section of his videos. He engages with his audience to show there is a real person behind the videos that can guide them. He adds, “this is one of the parts I like the most. They propose new ideas for content that I might’ve missed”.

Advice for starting a channel on technical topics

Carlos’ advice for people looking to start a channel based on technical content is simple: just get started. “If you’re creating great content, people will eventually reach you,” he comments. When he first started his channel, Carlos wasn’t preoccupied with the number of views, comments, or subscriptions. He started his content with himself in mind and would ask himself what kind of content he would want to see. He says, “As long as you’re engaged with the community, you’ll have a great channel. If you try to optimize the content for the algorithm, you’re going to go crazy.” He recommends new content creators start with YouTube Shorts, and once they gain an audience they can create more detailed videos.

It’s also necessary to spark conversation in the comments, and one way you can achieve this is through the title and description of your video. A great title that catches the attention of the viewer, sparks conversation, and implements keywords is essential. A simple way to do this is by asking a question in the title. For example, one of his videos is titled, “How do Promises and Async / Await function in JavaScript?” and also asks a question in the description. This video alone has 250+ comments with viewers answering the question posed by the title and the description. He’s also mindful of what keywords he’s including in his title and finds these keywords by looking at the most popular content with similar topics.

When asked about gear and equipment recommendations, he states that the most important piece of equipment is your microphone, since your voice can be more important than the image, especially if you’re filming a tutorial video. He goes on, “With time, you can update your setup. Maybe your camera is next and then the lighting. Start with your phone or your regular laptop – just start!”

So remember to just get started, and maybe in time, you’ll become the next big content creator for Machine Learning, Google Cloud, Android, or Web Technologies.

You can check out Carlos’ YouTube Channel, find him live on Twitch, or follow him on Twitter or Instagram.

The Google Developer Experts (GDE) program is a global network of highly experienced technology experts, influencers, and thought leaders who actively support developers, companies, and tech communities by speaking at events and publishing content.

#WeArePlay | Meet app founders helping people around the world

Posted by Leticia Lago, Developer Marketing

There are millions of apps available on Google Play, created by thousands of founders across the world. Each single app is unique and special in its own right, but they all have one thing in common – their purpose is to help. From helping motorhome enthusiasts find somewhere to camp, small business owners manage their finances or waste pickers make a reliable income – in this latest batch of #WeArePlay stories, we celebrate app founders who are helping people across the world in extraordinarily different ways.

First we begin with Cristian. Originally from Villa Rica in southern Chile, he made his family very proud by being the first to go to university. During his studies in Santiago, he learned about the local waste pickers – people who make an income by searching through trash cans and finding valuable materials to sell. Despite his mother’s wishes, he was so motivated to help them that he dropped out of university and dedicated all his time to creating an app. Reciclapp works by helping waste pickers connect with local businesses, so they can collect resellable materials directly from them. So far, the app has helped waste pickers across the city save time and guarantee a more reliable income. As Cristian has grown his company to a team of 12 and expanded into Mexico, his mother is now very proud of his bravery and success.

Next, Kennedy and Duke. When they were children, their father’s business sadly failed because managing his finances and tracking spending was too hard. Years later, after a successful career abroad in tech, Kennedy decided it was time to return to his homeland of Nigeria and build his own company. Inspired by his father’s struggle, he partnered with brother Duke and travelled across the country to interview other business owners about their financial struggles. Using this research, they created Kippa – the app simplifies bookkeeping to make sending invoices, storing receipts and setting up a bank account easy. It’s now used by over half a million businesses in Nigeria, as Kennedy mentions “without Google Play, we couldn’t help as many business owners”.

To round up today, Gijs and Eefje. The couple adore renting campervans and travelling around to explore the natural beauty of Europe, but they always seemed to struggle with one thing – easily finding places to stay. Feeling like nothing out there could help them, they decided to give app development a go and create Campy. The app works as a digital camping encyclopaedia: helping like-minded campervan enthusiasts discover the perfect spots to set up camp, plan their trips and meet others who love the outdoors. A few years after Campy launched, Gijs and Eefje now have 2 little girls to bring on their big adventures, and are elated with the feedback they have received – “it never ceases to amaze me what a tiny app can do for so many people”.

Check out all the stories from around the world at g.co/play/weareplay and stay tuned for more coming soon.

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#WeArePlay | Meet Sam from Chicago. More stories from Peru, Croatia and Estonia.

Posted by Leticia Lago, Developer Marketing

A medical game for doctors, a language game for kids, a scary game for horror lovers and an escape room game for thrill seekers! In this latest batch of #WeArePlay stories, we’re celebrating the founders behind a wonderful variety of games from all over the world. Have a read and get gaming! 

To start, let’s meet Sam from Chicago. Coming from a family of doctors, his Dad challenged him to make a game to help those in the medical field. Sam agreed, made a game and months later discovered over 100,000 doctors were able to practice medical procedures. This early success inspired him to found Level Ex – a company of 135, making world-class medical games for doctors across the globe. Despite his achievements, his Dad still hopes Sam may one day get into medicine himself and clinch a Nobel prize.

Next, a few more stories from around the world:

  • Aldo and Sandro from Peru – founders of Dark Dome. They combine storytelling and art to make thrilling and chilling games, filled with plot twists and jump scares.

  • Vladimir, Tomislav and Boris from Croatia – founders of Pine Studio. They won the Indie Games Festival 2021 with their game Cats In Time. 

  • Kelly, Mikk, Reimo and Madde from Estonia – founders of ALPA kids. Their language games for children have a huge impact on early education and language preservation.

Check out all the stories now at g.co/play/weareplay and stay tuned for even more coming soon.

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#WeArePlay | Meet George from the UK. More stories from Croatia, USA and Kenya.

Posted by Leticia Lago, Developer Marketing

Our celebration of app and game businesses continues with more #WeArePlay stories. Today, we’re starting with George from Bristol, UK – a young entrepreneur taking the streetwear industry by storm.

After spending hours and hours searching for the latest styles in sneakers and streetwear, George realised there’s a market in helping fellow enthusiasts find the latest drops. At just 16 years old, he took it upon himself to learn to code and created his app, Droplist. It points people to upcoming special collections from major labels around the world. Find out more about his story.

Today we also spotlight few more stories from around the world:

  • Anica and Kristijan from an island in Croatia – founders of Dub Studio Productions to help music lovers around the global turn up the bass or lower the treble on their favourite songs.

  • Robert from Wyoming, founder of Bluebird Languages – language learning apps with over 6 million hours of audio lessons spanning 164 languages, from Hungarian to Haitian Creole.

  • And one more new story – because why not! This time, featuring Annabel from Kenya. After struggling to find a mechanic when stuck on the roadside in Nairobi, she and her co-founder created Ziada to help people find local service providers.

Check out all the stories now at g.co/play/weareplay and stay tuned for even more coming soon.

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From offstage to onstage, my experience of becoming a Google Developer Expert

Written by Shuyu (Asher) Guo, Dart & Flutter GDE, China

At the end of May 2022, after more than a month of Google Developer Expert interviews, I finally became the fourth Flutter & Dart GDE in China.

I believe that the title of GDE should be very familiar for Android or Machine Learning developers. If you’re not familiar, the Google Developer Experts program is a global network of highly experienced technology experts, influencers, and thought leaders who have expertise in Google technologies, and are active leaders in the space and contribute to the wider developer and startup ecosystem.

My journey to becoming a GDE

In 2013, Android Bus was my first exposure to the Android community and it was at the ApkBus conference that I came into contact with the first GDE I’ve ever met. At that conference, I made Android developer friends and I also met some event organizers who invited me to speak at future events.

After the conference, I started my public speaking journey and spoke about Flutter because of the opportunities that came from networking and meeting the right people. By being more active in the community through speaking, I received an invitation to become a GDE in 2020. However, I learned that the application process is conducted in English and because of this, I ultimately didn’t complete the application process.

In 2021, while I was speaking at the Google DevFest conference, a GDE friend asked me again if I was interested in becoming a GDE, and with the encouragement of a team member from Google, I finally started preparing for the GDE application.

Application process

During the application process, the Google team pays careful attention to two aspects:

  1. Technical competence: your technical expertise in the field you are applying for
  2. Technical influence: such as output in areas such as public speaking, articles, and open source

I was not confident in speaking in English so I practiced before my interviews and I also translated some of my articles and posted them to Medium in English. Then I started my interview journey. The first interviewer mainly focused on the technical content of Flutter and Dart and despite my little experience with Flutter, my first community interview was completed.

The day after I completed the initial interview, I received a notification that I was assigned an interviewer for the product interview. The content of the product interview mainly revolved around some of my experience with Flutter technology. The interviewer was interested in the content of the books I had written and some awards I won that happened to be in the bookcase behind me, proving to be an excellent conversation starter. The next day, I received an email letting me know that I passed the interview – and after I signed the various agreements and terms and conditions, I had a final meeting with the team to become a GDE! Once I officially received the confirmation email from the GDE program, I was pulled into various groups, Slack, and projects. As a developer, I consider accomplishing the feat of becoming a GDE a major milestone.

Whether it is the GDE community or a Googler conducting the interviews, everyone was very friendly. I received a lot of support throughout my journey to becoming a GDE and offer my support to anyone interested in joining the community. Please feel free to connect with me at https://github.com/carguo!

#WeArePlay | Meet Melissa from BringFido in South Carolina. More stories from Japan, India & France.

Posted by Leticia Lago, Developer Marketing

We’re back with more #WeArePlay stories to celebrate you: the global community of people behind apps and games businesses.

Following last week’s “virtual roadtrip” of all of the US, today we’re kicking off with Melissa from Greenville, South Carolina. She’s on a mission to make the world a more pet-friendly place. Her app, BringFido, helps people find somewhere to stay, eat or visit with their furry friends. In this film you will meet her, her dogs Ace and Roxy, and hear how she went from idea, to website, to growing app and thriving business.

This week we are also introducing you to game founders from other parts of the world:

  • Arnaud, an AI-enthusiast from Chartres in France, who founded Elokence. This 12-people team created Akinator, which has been downloaded over 260 million times on Google Play.
  • Daigo, a creative indie from Japan, founder of Odencat, whose games have won multiple accolades.
  • Keerti and Kashyap, a cricket-loving couple from Hyderabad in India, who used their life savings to start Hitwicket Cricket Games. Millions of fans worldwide enjoy their games.

Check out all the stories now at g.co/play/weareplay and stay tuned for even more coming soon.

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#WeArePlay | Discover the people building apps & games businesses

Posted by Patricia Correa, Director, Global Developer Marketing

Over 2.5 billion people come to Google Play every month to find apps and games created by millions of businesses from all over the world.

#WeArePlay celebrates you: the global community of people behind these businesses.

Each one of you creating an app or game has a different story to tell. Some of you have been coders since childhood, others are newbies who got into tech later in life. Some of you are based in busy cities, others in smaller towns. No matter who you are or how different your story is, you all have one thing in common – you have the passion to turn an idea into a business impacting people all over the world.

Now, and over the coming months, #WeArePlay celebrates you by sharing your stories.

We are kicking off the series with the story of Yvonne and Alyssa, the London-based mother and daughter duo who created Frobelles – a dress up game increasing representation of African and Caribbean hair styles.

You can now also discover the stories of friends Ronaldo, Carlos and Thadeu from Hand Talk Translator (Brazil – my home country!), art lover Zuzanna from DailyArt (Poland) and travel-loving couple Ina & Jonas from TravelSpend (Germany).

To all apps and games businesses – thank you for being a part of the Google Play community. Your dedication and ambition is helping millions of people learn, connect, relax, exercise, find jobs, give back, laugh, have fun, escape to fantasy lands, and so much more.

Read more and stay tuned for many more stories at g.co/play/weareplay

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