I wanted to summarize how I went from the Dev Side to the Product Side. Finshing to turn to the Product Side is what took my time lately. That is why you did not see any new articles last year.
First, you need to understand that I love to code and I will always consider myself as a developer. Coding is an art but it’s not enough to be software engineer from my point of view. Software engineer have a deeper understanding of the business, the context and the constraints.
So come with me and let me explain
First step : More than coder
This was first shift right from the Dev Side. I was always empathic for users and try to be overly curious about what was my code supposed to do. I was suggesting, proposing even questioning sometimes.
Second step : There is somebody else at the end of the line, and in the middle too!
I switch to a job position as a technical and release manager + support to production. I had real users over the phone, real people, real problems. As I was partly developer, partly support, partly business expert, partly release manager, I faced the reality of our business. There is complexity all over the line. Value can be hidden where you don’t expect.
Third step : Help the team, Lead the team
Then I started to realize that I could have a better impact if unveil the skills of my coworkers. And why not be more efficient as a group. I started to take positions as Scrum master and project Leader.
Finally : Find the value, help you users
Finally my last mission was Product Owner. I never had officially this role. I created user stories in the past, i questioned user stories but I never really lead those explorations.
When I started as a Product Owner it felt natural, I was driven by understanding the real users but also I knew the value at every step of the workflow.
Product Owner is like an intrapreneur : it helps the company by producing value for the user or by reducing costs.
A great part of the job is about :
- Exploring the possibilities and confronting them with the reality,
- It requires a great deals of humility because (s)he can be wrong.
- So a projection capacity is required (it can be mentally but also with schema or mockup)
- Empathy is also required
This is about the “technical” part of the job, this other part is human :
- Communicating clearly
- Setting the goals / objectives
- Leading in some way
This is my way of being a Product Owner/Manager/Leader, but no matter what they say, I remain a Software Engineer. When I think about the product, I think also how to support it and how to scale it, on business level but also on technical level.
In order to do my job I am very resourceful ! I can use tools (Jira, Confluence, Gant, Swagger), I can use notions (Personna, UX/UI, OKR, Business values), I can use workshops (Xtreme quotation, Story Mapping, event storming).
Well any tool that will fit the need in fact.
Image by fancycrave1 from Pixabay