Transcript from the "Introduction" Lesson
>> Hello, and welcome to the complete intro to product management, or learn to become a better PM, which is the best subtitle that I could fathom in a very short period of time. So that's what we start with. I am Brian Holt and I work at Snowflake. So if you are learning with me on this particular course, I want you to head to pm.holt.courses, and that'll take you to this particular website.
[00:00:31] This is just my course notes for everything that you're about to be learning today. So you can follow along if you get behind, you can read my notes. And feel free to share these with other people. So I'm gonna click in here to the introduction page. So this is the complete intro to product management as taught by me, Brian Holt.
[00:00:50] This course is designed to give you kind of an introduction to what it means to be a product manager in tech. This is gonna come from a very software-oriented background, cuz that's what my background is. But I can see this being useful in hardware design. I can see this being useful in, I don't know, biotech or something like that.
[00:01:08] But yeah, just know that it's gonna be from a software background, cuz that's what I do. I'm gonna see this course as mostly geared towards people that are already in tech and looking to make a lateral move from engineering into being a product manager or a project manager to product manager, or something like that.
[00:01:28] But it could be useful for an MBA student or an undergrad. It's like, do I wanna be a product manager? So in this course, we'll go over what a products manager does, what they don't do, how I found to be an effective product manager, and some tips and tricks of the trade as I have learned them over the years.
[00:01:49] So one critical note that I'm gonna kind of note here is that there are many, many, many, many, many good ways to be a good product manager. And this is just gonna be one very biased, from my perspective, way of doing that. The reason why I mentioned that is, when I teach my React courses or when I teach my containers courses or things like that, there's a realm of correct ways to do those things.
[00:02:17] And you can have some opinions about which way you choose to orient yourself in that sphere of what's correct. But generally, there's more or less a subset of ways or a set of ways to do it. That is not the case for product management. I know product managers that do my exact same job in very different ways that are as effective or more effective than me at it.
[00:02:42] So this is my invitation to you as you're listening to me talk about my experience as being a product manager. Listen to what i have to say. Evaluate in your head as, does that make sense to me given who I am and the environment I'm working in? And if it's good, maybe try it, see if it works for you.
[00:02:59] And if you don't agree with it, maybe that's forcing you to down a different pathway thinking it's like, Brian said to do it this way, but I think this is gonna be more effective for me given who I am and the way I wanna do things. So that's all I wanna say here is, there's many correct ways.
[00:03:15] Everything I'm gonna tell you today is gonna be steeped in survivorship bias, confirmation bias, all of the biases, being a white guy in tech bias, right? All those things are gonna be kind of baked into my perspective here, because that's just who I am and that's the perspective I have.
[00:03:29] But I want you to consider this in your light given who you are and what your strengths are, and who you're talking with. So who is this course for? This course, hopefully, is for you. I designed it to be listenable to a wide demographic of people. So generally if you wanna be a product manager, I'm hoping this is gonna be helpful to you.
[00:03:51] I'll do my best to speak to everyone, particularly those that are already in tech. But let me know if there's other ways that we should address this, and subsequent versions we can definitely address those. This is an open source project that you're looking at here. So if you have issues with it, either with grammar, cuz I know there's a bunch of them, or spelling, there's probably even more of those, you can click on this link here.
[00:04:15] This will take you to the GitHub repo and you can file issues here against the products management repo. Or even better, you can open a poll request and fix it yourself. Again, this site is free and open source forever. Feel free to refer to this before and after the course, feel free to share with other people.
[00:04:35] This is designed to be a shareable resource for all of you. I mean, it's literally you can see my notes here. So this is what I'm referring to as I'm speaking to you right now. Cool, who am I? I'm Brian Holt. I've taught numerous courses here at Frontend Masters over the years.
[00:04:52] I love being here. I am now currently a products manager at Snowflake, which is a big data company. And I manage a project specifically called Streamlet. And the aspect of Streamlet that I manage is called Community Cloud, which is the ability to share Python data visualization applications with people.
[00:05:12] If you're familiar with something like CodePen or StackBlitz or CodeSandbox or something like that, it's like that, but for data people. That's the kind of thing that I get to work on. It's like the Instagram of data viz. It's kind of fun to think about. So I've enjoyed that, I've been doing that for about a year now.
[00:05:58] I never thought I'd be a PM. If you asked me really early in my careers like, Brian, do you wanna be a PM? I would have said, absolutely not, I really enjoy singing code and kinda that visceral nature of see something change. And what happened is, I kind of accidentally became a PM by virtue of the fact that I saw an opening to work on Visual Studio Code as a product manager and they required a lot of engineering background for it.
[00:06:26] And so I applied for it and got the position and ended up really liking it. So I've been doing that for about five years now. So, again, I just wanna shine a light on my bias here. I come from a very technical background, I'm still really biased in that way.
[00:06:40] I still write a lot of code. And I work specifically on developer tools, and I've always worked in developer tools. So it's not to say that I couldn't PM something more consumer-oriented like Pinterest or something like that, I just haven't yet. So just please take that nugget of bias with everything that I'm saying here.
[00:07:01] So when I'm not working, when I'm not doing Frontend Master's stuff, you'll find me in Seattle. I like to snowboard, travel, hang out with my wife and kid, play with my little jerk of a dog, and play Dota 2, Diablo IV. I'm really bad at both of them.
[00:07:21] I like to exercise and then I drink a lot of Scotch IPAs and coffee. So feel free to catch up with me on social media. I left my links here, Twitter, Blue Sky, LinkedIn, GitHub, and Peloton. Just so you know, I'm really pretty bad at answering my DM.
[00:07:39] So if you send me a DM, there's a high probability I don't see them because I get quite a few of them. So public tweeting is usually the best way to get at me. Or if you have an issue with the course, filing an issue on the course repos, actually the best way to get me.
[00:07:53] And one last request to stroke my vanity, please star this repo here. That's usually helps get some visibility on the site, and it lets me know that people like the course. So, awesome. So now that we've kind of gone over the introduction here, let's