On October 28, 2016, the ZCash blockchain went live. Developers released the genesis block that morning, and people begun mining and transacting on the new cryptocurrency. Fast forward today, the ZCash Company will celebrate ZEC's first birthday in less than three days. ZCash grew stronger thanks to both core and third-party developers, so it's logical to ask users to support the latter with "some ZEC".
The project has recently tweeted about its coming birthday celebration. It also mentioned a blog post which lists a set of third-party developers who "contribute not just to the ecosystem but also as part of the community". They are all "open source community projects are the heart of the Zcash ecosystem".
Among these third-party projects are ports of the official Zcash client to various operating systems, a messaging platform which leverages the shielded address encrypted memo field and a private, decentralized storage network that uses Zcash for payments.