Yandex Math


In 2020, for about a year, I worked in Yandex.Practicum in an experimental project – creating a math curriculum product for high schoolers from scratch.

Yandex is a very large company – however, Practicum is kind of startup within Yandex, and School Math was a startup within a startup. We did what all startups do: searched for the product-market fit. In practice, we:

  • defined product vision hypotheses. I wrote multiple vision documents;
  • created math content according to the defined vision;
  • created prototype products (MVP) based on the math content;
  • tested the prototypes on up to 300 students;
  • analyzed results and validated hypotheses.

During my time in Yandex, we pivoted twice and tested 3 different visions.

Project highlight: Sigma CMS

The project I was most involved in was Sigma CMS – an internal content management system for writers, editors and illustrators.

To prepare the MVP, the team needed to produce 2000+ content units over ~3 months. The authors were ready to start writing, the illustrators – to illustrate. But there was no processes set up, no system to put content in, no software to interact with the produced content.

I did content production before, and I immediately saw the risk of writing unstructured content (in general-purpose apps like Google Docs or Notion).

With team's approval, I used my programming and designing skills to put together a CMS. It was not perfect, but it allowed us to produce structured content, where every part of every content unit had a semantic meaning.

Most importantly, the CMS included real-time preview of math content – authors could preview what they write immediately, "as a student". This feature later became the first MVP for user testing.

Here's a 10 minute video I recorded for authors (feel free to fast-forward), it gives a good overview of the CMS: