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Commoncog Case Library Software

Note: this project has been taken and is no longer available.

The Commoncog Case Library is a library of business cases. It currently lives as a set of hacked-together templates on Ghost, the blogging platform that Commoncog runs on.

I would like to rebuild this case library as custom software, as the templates and Zapier integrations that I used for the Beta test are starting to become extremely unwieldy.

What’s the Goal?

The goal of this project is to build a basic CMS (content management system) to use as a foundation for future iteration.

The longer term goal (beyond the scope of this project) is to make the Commoncog Case Library the largest library of business concept instantiations in the world. I want to see if this is possible. If it works, this will be a boon for business knowledge.

I have certain technical requirements. Because I intend to maintain this software, you would (unfortunately!) not get to choose the tech stack for this project. We’ll be using Pagoda as a template. The software will be written in Go, the data store will be Postgres and Redis, and the frontend will use Tailwind, htmx and as little Javascript as possible. (I apologise in advance!)

What You’ll Learn

(Assuming you’re interested. If you just want to treat this as a freelance project, skip this section.)

Most of the lessons you’ll learn from this project will be about building products instead of technical chops. In Singapore it’s easier to learn software engineering. It’s not that easy to learn to build products.

In truth, this project is going to be technically boring. The interesting bits lie in the shipping. You will launch a first version in two weeks. I intend to speedrun this and ship multiple versions over the course of two months. If you want to structure this as an internship, I’ll give you the autonomy to manage releases. I’ll teach you to write PR/FAQs, we’ll work on instrumentation together, and I’ll teach you to read and interpret data alongside me. The goal is to help you develop product taste; you’re expected to have some web dev knowledge coming into this.

My promise as a boss or client: I’ve been on the other side of the table before, and I know what bad clients are like. I promise that I won’t waste your time. My specifications will be small and tightly scoped, I won’t shove last minute changes down your throat, and any iteration that happens will occur in clearly defined cycles.

If you want to structure this as an internship, I commit to doing code reviews with you.

This project should not take longer than three months to complete.

How Much?

This depends on whether you’d like to structure this as an internship or a freelance project. If you’d like this to be an internship, I’ll have to treat this as a full-time gig and will be responsible for your training; I won’t pay you as much as if you were a freelancer. We can have that conversation when we talk.

If you’d like to work part-time freelance, email me and we’ll discuss rates. I’m good with either per-project rates or per-hour rates.

Next Steps

If you’re interested, please email me at cedric [at] commoncog.com. Link your LinkedIn or Github, and tell me which project you’re interested in working on.

I’ll set up an hour long call with you, and will decide within five days after the call.

Who Am I?

My name is Cedric Chin. If you’re in Singapore, the following references might make sense to you: I helped create the NUS Hackers back when I was a student. (I created Friday Hacks and organised the first Hack&Roll).

I wrote the Two Tiers of Singapore’s Tech Companies essay back in 2017, which should give you an idea of how I think about Singapore’s software engineering labour landscape (I’ve been told the essay affected policy, but I’m not 100% sure). From late 2014-2017 I ran the Vietnam engineering office for a Singapore company, helped my boss pivot the company from consulting to product, and then helped him bootstrap the business to S$4.5m in annual revenue. I hired three people to replace me and left. In 2019-2020 I helped Holistics reposition their company and doubled their annual recurring revenue in eight months, without any additional marketing spend.

If you’d like a reference for what I’m like to work with, feel free to ask NUS Hackers alumni!

I spend most of my time now working on Commoncog, and a small amount of time on other bets.

I look forward to working with you.

Last Updated: 19 Jun 2023

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