About

I started PY Consulting in 2015, hoping to advocate the value of POC (proof-of-concept). I have done quite a few projects, both in my leisure and as a real product, with satisfactory results measured by a view point of technology. Yet, I have not found the sweet spot to convince its business value.

It has been a crusade to preach the important of POC, and why every project, every business, every application, should have, will have, and must have. There is no doubt in my mind, and I'm speaking this as a practitioner, that technologies are so complex these days that seeing a pretty web UI gives non-programmer an illusion that these can be had in a matter of days, weeks, if not hours, or even, instantly.

On the one hand, this illusion is true, justified. Toolsets have been developed in thousands to facilitate numerous path of implementation. Anything, any use case, one can think of, has a solution, readily canned solution, out there. How convenient! Therefore, it is no surprise that business side takes technology for granted as if it is commodity one buys off the shelf. And indeed the technologies promote such a perception that not only technology and its product, but the worker (aka. IT people) are nothing but a product ready to buy at the expanse of a sum on credit card or payroll → just slide, violla, it's done.

But on the other, this is completly untrue. Not only it is not true, I would even argue that this is exactly the wrong approach, wrong attitude, wrong perception of technology. What you see on shelf is a shrink wrapped product implemented by engineers who designed, wrote code, tested, and delivered, as a canned solution of, some problem. But it will be completly false to think that by using a credit card is an easy, quick, taking-a-minute-only to solve your problem, whatever it is. This isn't a shopping experience like others you do in life. The gap lies in a hidden fact that when you shop, say, grocery, you have an understanding of your problem, and a knowledge of your solution ← you know you want to eat cereal, and you have knowledge what cereal is, and you have even preference of which cereal you want (flavor, brand, degree of crunchiness). These are the actual foundation to make your solution, in this example buying grocery, so effective. This pattern applies to all other shoppings you do. It is this hidden knowledge that you have (but not necessarily communicated to anyone else) is making buying off the shelf product a valid solution.

Now imagine you don't know these. There are zillion tools, products you can buy, but it will futile to state that any can satisfy you, because, the problem is not defined. This is exactly the gap when business approaches technology while not analyzing its own problem first, or not communicating this list of attributes (brand, flavor, crunchiness of a cereal) to your evaluation. Then, what to buy!? These tools and products will never replace the analysis and the matrix of attributes.

Here comes in the value of POC. POC is a technique to manifest attributes and capture your preference in as short an iteration as possible. Nothing beats have the capability to visualize, to interact (even in an emulator), your own thoughts mapped right in front of you. However the manifest might be further from ideal, it gives you a starting point to criticize, to correct, and to progressively summarize the business objective, assumptions, and the characteristics that matter to the user and stakeholders. POC is not solution; rather, it is a method, like methods adopted in science research, to give you a path to remove noise, identify fallacy, and moving inches by inches towards, facts and truth.

In this process, therefore, developer is the one who understands the tools and the process, and is a translator to map a knowledge from your mind, from business lingual, from other artifacts, into a clearly defined abstract (aka. models), that is traceable, ready for review, ready for test, ready for change, while maintaining a hold of consistency that is only achievable by means of technology. Such capacity of consistency and clarity is exactly the value that a POC offers. So either yourself is a scientist and has figured out (and better written out so others can understand), or you adopt a method that can get to the bottom of it, there is no third option exist.

I have listed some demo showcases which I built over the last couple years while talking to various entrepreneurs who held a good idea and eager to bring it forward. I had the pleasure to understand their business case, and put them together using a technology stack I feel confident to take them further if they choose. All these have been written in a matter of 24 hours when the first iteration was complete, in which the UI you see, and the data models standing behind to support the case, have mostly done. It will be an exaggeration that 24 hour is all you need; but it is close.

Again, it is the process, and the capability to understand the problem and to map them into a technical solution that I'm advocating, not a product or a technology that I'm investing in. If you like this idea, then we should talk; if not, good luck.