When you're first starting out on a journey towards a new career, you look to find the organizations who have the best reputation for teaching people the core skills of a role.
In the world of product management, I think it's Product School who have the biggest reputation in this regard.
They have numerous courses, and instructors with immense product management experience, but their courses can be quite expensive.
In this post, I take a look at a couple of courses and provide you with access to some of the course content and instructors for free.
Founded in 2014, Product School provides product management training to professionals worldwide, with 20 campuses across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, as well as Online.
I completed the product career masterclass in May 2020, and it consists of five videos from product leaders with a variety of backgrounds: Google, Paypal, XO Group and lecturers at Berkeley.
The videos cover approximately 270 minutes of content, where the presenters talk you through a variety of subjects, providing theory and experiences from their own careers.
There are five speakers, each covering a different topic, including:
I’m not sure that the course holds together as ‘building your product career’, as it covers the highlighting of skills you’ll need plus a lot about how to interview for product roles.
I’d have liked to see a little more about how you can go about filling in the skills gaps, how you transition through the different levels of product roles within organisations, and the different skills that become your focus as you move up the career ladder.
There are however some really experienced product experts giving their view on the subjects covered, so there is value in there.
I completed this course in April 2020, which consists of seven videos from product leaders with a variety of backgrounds: former product team members at Netflix, Quora, Facebook, and Samsung, so a fair bit of experience in large organizations with strong product practices.
The videos cover approximately 160 minutes of content, where the presenters talk you through a variety of subjects, providing theory and experiences from their own careers.
There are seven speakers, each covering a different topic, including:
If you’re a day-to-day product manager, then asking your boss to spend $2k of his training budget on you doing this course is a big ask, especially when I think that maybe half the course is aimed at people further up the career ladder. I’d perhaps look around for a better targeted course.
If you’re a VP of product, then you can probably spare the $2k from your own budget, but you’ll only be using half of the course aimed at a strategic level, and in reality you might be able to pick up some of this insight from TED talks, webinars, or reaching out to experts via LinkedIn. The other half of the content you’d probably know anyway.
In 2005, Gibson Biddle joined Netflix as VP of Product, before moving on in 2010, to become Chief Product Officer at Chegg, a rental company that went public in 2014. He's currently an adviser for multiple consumer tech companies, teaches entrepreneurship at Stanford, and is a regular speaker in product management forums.
Minal has a CV that contains Amazon, LinkedIn, and the founding of her own company, but currently, she’s Head of Product of Youtube, leading a suite of products that serve the next billion users in emerging markets at YouTube, delivering growth while serving the distinct needs of users in emerging markets.
Alex has undertaken numerous roles within product teams, including Project Manager, Systems Engineer, Business Instructor, and a Product Lead, supporting small enterprises as well as successful multinationals such as Google, Twitter, and Airbnb. Alex is now Staff Product TPM at Slack.
Mamuna Oladipo is a tech leading Product executive with a track record of building products that have scaled to millions of users. She is currently the SVP of Product, Design and Engineering at Kickstarter, managing the product management, product design, brand design and engineering teams.
Mayank is a Product Manager with 8+ years of experience building online marketplaces which includes Uber (first 5 PMs at Uber), eBay, and Handy (marketplace for home services). Currently, he’s the Global Product Lead for Facebook’s marketplace’s Real Estate category, leading the strategy and execution of building an online global marketplace with a team of engineers, designers, researchers, product marketing, data science, and partnerships.