How to make a good product–Yanwen


Building up a concept and converting it into the reality is the most enjoyable process. Over the summer, I was invited to SAP Hybris Yass opening ceremony and fortunately witnessed many incredible products’ releases. Presenters vividly described their products from beginning ideas to the now well formed systems. The processes were basically the same, failed, tried again and failed again. Experiences like those are common in every developing course; however, those are also moments when new ideas pop out. During that time, I was stuck with the data setting and algorithm in a Credit Investigation Evaluation System project and our team had been rewriting the code and testing for 3 days on the same problem. Creating a system from zero is never easy and one call at 11 pm told me that we made it through by giving up using MongoDB to build the muti-axis index and instead, collaborating geohash to reduce the compute workload for the server. That was one of those moments that I felt fulfilled during a project.


Coding and testing process didn’t stop us from speeding to the final success, and the real struggle came from documentation. A group of programmers, four college students and one high student, with the upcoming deadline, knew nothing about how to write a business plan for our product and present it in time to Citi Bank for the final check. So we had to start from zero again, not for the system, but for documentation. Less than 15 days left to the final presentation, the project was still waiting for us to go over previous writings and learn the main points in a good business plan. The real irony rose when we obtained our product but didn’t know how to market it and attract our potential customers. Target audiences wouldn’t wait to see us going through our code and realize how amazing the project is. We sat together researching, complaining, learning and writing. Writing things like business plan were not our strength but we were forced to process it because it was the crucial part of a project.


Coding only doesn’t make a good product.


While still working on the Credit Investigation project, I was lucky enough to meet the new project that I proposed as my independent project. Informed by T. Tom during summer vacation, I got the chance to work with Napier Group company with their new program: Group Leadership Intensive Workshop. In this project, I will collaborate with staff from Napier Group to derive one of their programs into a new independent company. Not only responsible for writing the new website for the new company, I also need to deeply understand their running model, marketing strategies and organization in order to finally present a business plan and future develop suggestions to the company. To accomplish the goal, I have to first meet with the principal and then investigate the market associated with leadership training workshop. This is a rather hard undertaking and hopefully at the end of the semester I can really learn a lot about marketing and promotion, because knowing how to code is only a small part in a big project.






5 thoughts on “How to make a good product–Yanwen

  1. kevinwang11

    I like the way you emphasize the importance of documentation and I totally agree with the statement that “coding alone doesn’t make a good product.”
    Looking forward to working with you together on the Napier Group project!

  2. maxydu

    I like the line “Coding only doesn’t make a good product.”

    I’ve had a summer job at a company that mainly wants to do a web conference app. Although the job itself was to translate their documents and web UIs form Mandarin to English, I had a really hard time navigating through their beta app. This was not because the app was “bugged” in any means, but rather it had lots of designs that weren’t really as intuitive as what I would consider to be well done. The line mentioned above really resonates with me as I myself really like well-developed products that users would fall in love with at their first glance.

  3. wbdrisco

    I really enjoyed how you talked about starting to work on the business side of programming with how much of a challenge it was compared to what you may be used to. I can’t wait to see how you respond to and meet the challenge of working in the business world while keeping your feet rooted in the world of programming as the year progresses.


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