Coding Curiosity: Journeying with Justin Jacob Through Passion, Challenges, and Innovation

IEEE Computer Society Team
Published 12/07/2023
Share this on:

Headshot of Justin JacobEmbarking on a journey of insatiable curiosity for technology, Justin Jacob uncovered his passion for computer science from an early age, driven by an innate desire to unravel the secrets behind innovation. Transitioning from the United Arab Emirates to India for international education satisfied his thirst for knowledge. It added an extra layer of excitement to a passion shaping his academic and professional pursuits.

In the dynamic landscape of CSE, Jacob overcame challenges and mastered the balance of coursework, career decisions, and co-founding a startup. Jacob immersed himself in the IEEE community, progressing from a webmaster role to helping establish an IEEE Student Branch Chapter and earning the Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Now serving as chief operating officer at Zimulate Consultech, Jacob shares in this interview how his determination turned challenges into stepping stones for growth and innovation.

Tell us about your journey. How did you come to study computer science? Did you enjoy it right away?

My journey into computer science began with a simple love for figuring things out. I was that kid always asking, “How does this work?” and “What’s the secret behind it?” Thanks to my dad, I was exposed to the world of technology and innovation from a young age. This curiosity led me to choose engineering as a path for problem-solving and innovation.

What makes my journey unique is that I wanted to explore international education, and I had the opportunity to do so when I got admitted to a reputable program at a prestigious institution in India. Moving from the UAE to India not only satisfied my quest for knowledge but also added an extra layer of excitement due to the shift in environment and culture.

During my college years, my interest in computer science deepened. I found myself falling in love with coding and the thrill of solving complex problems. It wasn’t just a subject; it became a passion. Creating software and exploring the endless possibilities in this field brought me immense joy.

So, yes, I can honestly say I enjoyed studying computer science right from the start. It was a journey filled with learning, discovery, and the excitement of creating in the digital realm. This passion has been my guiding star throughout my education and career.

What challenges did you face as a CSE student? How did you overcome them? Would you say these were common among other CSE students?

As a CSE student, I faced some common challenges. The CSE program was incredibly demanding, making it tough to balance coursework, volunteering, and other activities. In the beginning, grasping complex coding and keeping up with ever-changing technology was a struggle. But over time, I got the hang of it.

Managing my time and setting priorities was also a hurdle, given the workload. I had to learn effective time management and prioritize tasks to maintain academic excellence.

On top of all this, there was the big decision of whether to follow a traditional career path or jump into the startup world. Ultimately, my passion for tech and innovation led me to co-found a startup while completing my education.

These challenges are not unique; many CSE students face similar hurdles. To overcome them, I believe that determination, time management, and a strong passion for the field are key.

How did you learn about IEEE and SYP? When or How did you come to get involved as a volunteer?

My journey with IEEE began a little over a year ago, sparked by a casual chat with the Chair of my Student Branch. He needed someone to be the webmaster to revive our inactive SB, and that’s how I got involved with IEEE.

As I explored my role as a webmaster, I realized the wealth of opportunities and resources IEEE offered, and the idea of joining a global community of tech enthusiasts excited me. Over time, I expanded my involvement, founded the IEEE CS SBC at my college, and took on various roles within IEEE, from mentoring at our Student Branch to interning at the Kerala Section.

Receiving the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the IEEE CS Kerala Chapter in 2022 for my contributions was a turning point. This motivated me to continue my journey with IEEE.

In my final year of college, I came across an opportunity in SYP and decided to apply. I was selected as the Kochi Hub Coordinator for SYP at IEEE Computer Society Kerala Chapter, marking a new chapter in my IEEE journey.

IEEE not only provided a platform for me to learn and make a meaningful impact but also introduced me to mentors who supported me along the way. It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m eagerly looking forward to what comes next.

Tell us about your experience as the founder-Chair of IEEE CS Student Branch Chapter of Sree Narayana Gurukulam College of Engineering (SNGCE). What would you recommend other students who are considering getting involved in their school branch?

Certainly, founding the IEEE CS Student Branch Chapter at SNGCE was quite the adventure. We had our share of challenges, especially when it came to getting the college’s approval. It took some persistent convincing, but eventually, they saw the value in having a strong community on campus.

What made it even more interesting was the timing. This was during the post-COVID period, and getting things off the ground while adapting to a tight academic schedule was a bit of a juggle. But despite the odds, we managed to organize about 22 events in just six months.

The college really stepped up to support us. They not only approved the chapter but also sponsored the membership for our chapter advisor and even provided some financial assistance for our events.

For students looking to get involved with their school branch, my advice would be to stay persistent and advocate for initiatives that can benefit everyone. Challenges are part of the journey, but with determination and support, you can overcome them. Don’t be afraid to explore opportunities; they can lead to amazing experiences and leave a positive mark on your college and fellow students. Embrace the journey, learn from the bumps in the road, and keep pushing for excellence.

You’re COO of Zimulate Consultech – Congratulations! Tell us about this role. How did you come to be in it? What do you enjoy most about it?

Certainly! Serving as the Chief Operating Officer at Zimulate Consultech has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I became a part of this venture during my final semester of undergraduate studies when a group of us decided to start this company.

As the COO, I handle various aspects of the company’s operations, from project management to team coordination and strategic decision-making. What truly excites me in this role is the ability to turn our innovative ideas into real-world solutions, particularly those with a humanitarian focus. For instance, we’ve developed systems to monitor water levels and automate water pumping in regions facing water scarcity.

Working in a startup environment means there’s always something new to learn, and I thrive on the challenges and the constant growth it offers. Seeing our projects make a real difference in the world is what keeps me motivated and excited about what we do. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey and exploring even more opportunities in the future.

You recently volunteered at the All India Computer Society Student and Young Professional Congress 2023. Can you tell us about your experience at AICSSYC’23 and the key takeaways from this event?

Volunteering at AICSSYC’23 was an amazing experience, offering insights and opportunities beyond expectations. It was a chance to connect with some really inspiring guests and faculty members like Jyotika Athavale, Eric Berkowitz, Shivam Abhilash, Prasanth Mohan, Mohamed Rawidean Mohd Kassim, and Islam Tharwat Abdel Halim. These interactions were not only inspiring but also educational, allowing me to learn about the latest trends and innovations.

Another big part of it was the chance to help organize the event. I was involved in planning, coordinating, and making sure everything ran smoothly. This experience taught me a lot about teamwork and event management.

Overall, AICSSYC’23 strengthened my belief in the importance of volunteering. It was a great learning experience, and I’m really thankful for it. I’m excited for upcoming opportunities to grow and collaborate in the future.

About Justin Jacob

Justin Jacob is an emerging leader in the field of computer science and engineering. He holds a Bachelor of Technology (Honors) degree in Computer Science and Engineering with a minor in Electronics and Communication Engineering from APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University. Justin is passionate about technology, innovation, and information security.

Apart from his outstanding academic achievements, Justin is a Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Zimulate Consultech. This venture focuses on technological solutions that address real-world challenges, such as water level monitoring systems and automated water pumping projects. Justin has not only excelled academically but has also applied his knowledge to create impactful, innovative solutions.

In addition to his role at Zimulate Consultech, Justin is actively involved in the IEEE community. He holds several positions within IEEE, including Intern at IEEE Region 10 Young Professionals and Intern at IEEE Kerala Section. He serves as the Kochi Hub Coordinator for the SYP Team at IEEE Computer Society Kerala Chapter and as reviewer for IEEE Puzzlers. Justin’s contributions and dedication have earned him the Outstanding Student Volunteer Award from IEEE CS Kerala Chapter in 2022, as well as the Best Outgoing Student Award from his college in 2023.

Justin’s journey is a testament to his passion for technology and his commitment to making a positive impact on society through innovation and technological solutions. His future aspirations are centered around information security and technology, where he aims to contribute to the growth and innovation of his organization and society as a whole.