This Saturday, I had the privilege of attending Austin Teshuba’s Think Tank on “UI/UX Design, Software Development and Product Management” as a part of the Associate National Lead program. As part of this program, aside from getting to build and host my own conference, I get to build connections with industry professionals and leaders. My main takeaways from this Think Tank are:
Technology and product management may appear to be separate and different, but in order for any kind of success to happen, both are necessary and interconnected. People who work in technology and software development are focused on building something that works. They focus on creating and delivering the task at hand, but they are not so much responsible for making sure that what they make is necessary, user-friendly, or marketable. Product management, on the other hand, looks at it from a business perspective. They are the ones who make sure that the product is one that will actually be successful in a market and not just a functioning product with no actual purpose or competitive potential.
Obviously, both are very necessary and very important, but as the technology industry evolves, these roles will evolve as well. Being well-rounded and a person who understands both technology and business will certainly be helpful, regardless of what this industry looks like as the world becomes increasingly digital. One day, a lot of technology-related work such as programming could become automated, so it is important to be able to keep your horizons broad. Your value as an employee will not be jeopardized by most changes that are likely to occur in the future.
Other than skills, your personal brand and storytelling are also a huge part of what makes you stand out as a candidate for your dream job! Through genuine, authentic, curiosity, you will be able to make helpful connections at networking events. These connections are going to be a crucial part of helping you to make it through the hiring process quickly. Of course, you cannot forget about your resume either: it needs to be well-suited for the job you are applying for. Normally, you want your resume to be simple and straightforward, with nothing visually cluttering to trip up employers. However, if you are applying for a more creative job, a little creativity will help you stand out. Remember to always do research on your position of interest to make sure that you are fully prepared and aware of job-specific requirements and advice.
Generally speaking, I can be a pretty paranoid person. I worry at times about what I should do now and in the future in order to get the jobs that I want and to meet the goals that I set. I think that looking back on this Think Tank, some key takeaways for myself personally would be to try and branch out more in my knowledge (especially in technology!) as well as to be real, curious, and connect with people who I can learn from. Unfortunately, I was unable to stay for the last part of the meeting so I didn't get a chance to try my hand at coding, but I learned plenty in the time that I spent listening to the presentation. Thank you Austin for your insightful Think Tank, I hope to internalize all of this advice and make good use of it when I enter the job force in the future!