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The Importance Of A Proof Of Concept

Managing Expectations
Team Processes

19 June, 2018

Amandeep Midha
Amandeep Midha

Principal IT Consultant at BEC

Amandeep Midha discusses the importance of having a proof of concept and avoiding assumptions when project planning.

Problem

When I was working for Huawei, we were trying to build a 4G network casting tool, at a time when 2G was the de facto standard. After we decided on a proof of concept around how it would work, we realized that it would need to process 30,000 requests per second. However, the proof of concept demonstrated to us that none of the available technologies, such as C or Java, could spawn that number of processes at the same time.

Actions taken

We identified that Adaline would be able to handle the number of requests. However, our company didn't have any people with expertise in this area. While we tried to post job advertisement in the hopes that somebody could help us, nobody was available. Due to this, we had to build our competencies and knowledge from scratch. Over the course of seven months, a team of 11 people delivered code consisting of around 20,000 lines. This was a huge accomplishment.

Lessons learned

Having an early proof of concept and early means of technical validation always helps, as they prevent you from working off of assumptions. Assumptions are the key killers of expectations and clear plans. As an engineering manager, before walking into a meeting and discussing product plans, develop your proof of concept and technical validation strategies so you know what the technicall limitations are and what is and isn't possible.

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