Pivoting, Python and Product

Photographer: Matt Jones, courtesy of Stocksnap.io


Currently, I am enrolled at Product School , working on a Software Product Management Certificate. Product management is a natural extension of my experiences and interests: engineering, marketing, and user experience/interaction. While I have worked on cross-functional teams to build products, the process was ill-defined and the tools were non-existent; our focus was on GSD, with periodic fire drills. Product School is helping me to learn a more efficient way to build products, along with teaching me how to use helpful tools. Regardless of where I work, what role I play, and who I work with, what I am learning is invaluable!


It has been a while since I have used python on a regular basis. My recent work has not involved much coding apart from the occasional HTML5/CSS3, and on rare occasions, JavaScript.  So, I decided to go back to the books to refresh and update myself. I am grateful for the latest Humble Book Bundle, which contains a bunch of python e-books from No Starch Press.

The book I am working from first is: Doing Math with Python: Use Programming to Explore Algebra, Statistics, Calculus, and More! It has examples and exercises in Python 3. At school, we used Python 2.7, so I am excited to learn more Python 3. I installed Python 3.4 months ago as part of an open source project I worked on, but I haven’t used it since. The book also uses Anaconda, but the latest release appears to work with Python 2.7 or 3.6. I used this cheat sheet that lists the data science libraries included with Anaconda 4+, and then I used pip to install these libraries in a virtual environment, (along with python 3.4). I didn’t install R essentials or the Juptyer notebook. Here’s to Python 3, the exercises today in Chapter One were good warmups.


Last night, I continued reading Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Jeff Gothelf. The book was published in 2013, but much of it still applies. While I am in the beginning chapters, the trends noted then are now ubiquitous: design thinking, agile software development, and MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Likewise, the principles are now synonymous with standard business practices: cross-functional teams, outcomes over processes and output, focus on problem-solving instead of feature addition, continuous discovery, team over rockstar, making rather than over- analyzing, being okay with failure, and my personal favorite – GOOB (getting out of the building.) To me, GOOB is imperative, whether it is to get user feedback, to take an inspirational break, to develop business, or to service a client, getting out of the office regularly can have a profoundly positive business impact.


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