We are lucky in 2018. We are living and working at a time when product management knowledge and know-how is easily available. Overwhelmingly, it is top-notch writing by people who are currently actively involved in PM roles. A lot of the writing out there focuses on making product management understandable and accessible to other people. Because of this, it usually tends to cover what product managers should do.
Craftsman lavish as much attention on their tools as they do on the craft itself. Product managers (at least the good ones) are craftsman and we care a lot about the tools we use. We can debate endlessly on the merits of analytics or design tools. But for some reason, we don’t give much attention to the tool we spend most of our working days on….our computer.
Since 2014, I have been writing on and off about cryptography, command prompt setups and product management from my blog - The Lonely Atoms. It started out as a managed Wordpress instance and is now a static site created using Jekyll and Amazon S3.
As a Product Manager, I have always worked on B2B products. Ever since I was first introduced to product management as a term, I have devoured any article, post, book or podcast I could find on it. These resources have been a treasure trove of information, best practices and have helped me tremendously in my product management journey. But, over the years I have realized that a lot of this content is written with certain risky assumptions -
I’m not a developer. I’ve never been a developer. But I’ve worked with a lot of them since I began my product management career. Software developers are my favorite people to work with as I share their basic ethos. I abhore sloppy work. I whole-heartedly embrace the craftsmanship approach. As do most software developers.
Managing a product in an agile environment is like juggling flaming torches on a unicycle crossing a trapeze line being yanked by a maniacal clown. It’s fast, chaotic and demands relentless focus. Luckily for us, in 2017, there is a proliferation of tools (most of them free or at least freemium) that help to tame the chaos.
I have always envied people who know exactly what they want to achieve in life. You know the people I’m talking about. People who have known from a very young age who they are and what they will do. It gives your life a purpose. Besides if you want to excel at something, the more time you put in the better.
As part of my job as product owner for everSENSE I sometimes need to diagnose problems at remote servers. My preffered way is to take access via SSH. But in many places, the server is behind a NAT router so I have to resort to the inelegant method of using Teamviewer. Don’t get me wrong. Teamviewer is a wonderful application. But once you have gotten used to the power and speed of the terminal, nothing else will do.
Whenever my friends are splitting the bill for a vacation I prefer having my cash transferred to me online. In 2016, most of us are comfortable doing online transactions, at least, with people we know. There are still a few holdouts though.