Since I’m big on self-improvement and always looking for ways to get better at my professional craft, I was intrigued by this post from Marty Cagan from several years back. A post with a title the same as mine got me interested. Over the last few years I’ve occasionally read other companies’ job descriptions for that role to understand what they look for in skillsets and orientation.
It certainly matches broadly with my perception of the proper focus areas. I do think we’re particularly strong in what he terms “product culture”:
A strong product culture means that the team understands the importance of continuous and rapid testing and learning. They understand that they need to make mistakes in order to learn, but they need to make them quickly and mitigate the risks. They understand the need for continuous innovation. They know that great products are the result of true collaboration. They respect and value their designers and engineers. They understand the power of a motivated product team.
The makeup of our team is such that we don’t have to harp on these things much at all. It’s sort of the default mode for our crew how to approach developing product, not just code or software. Our team is comfortable with the core product development approaches of assessing pros/cons, opportunity cost, future technical debt implications, long-term support strategy, and creating a balance of small, medium, and large muscle movements to create the best end result.