The second set for a product management program at the CS center: what students say

Computer science center Is a joint initiative Computer Science Club at POMI RAS, companies Jetbrains and Data Analysis Schools Yandex. The center exists to enable talented students and graduates to develop in areas of interest to them: Computer Science, Data Science or Software Engineering.

Last academic year, the center launched an experimental launch of a product management program. The teachers are product and process managers, as well as marketing specialists from JetBrains, Yandex, Wrike, Arrival, Hyperskill and other companies.

The course enrolled 28 students and female students: analysts, marketers, product designers and UX researchers, programmers and novice project managers.

About how the training took place, say graduates and graduates of the past stream:

  • Maxim, team leader of the Wrike mobile testing team.
  • Anya, product manager at Severgroup Medicine, in the past – product manager at Selectel.
  • Egor, a student in the direction of “Software Engineering” at the St. Petersburg State University math.
  • Luba, CEO at Radella.

About why you decided to go to study

Maxim: At some point, I realized that the current impact on the product is not enough for me. In addition, my view on its development was non-systemic, the product decisions made were incomprehensible. I understood well as we are developing new features from the technical side, but little understood what for we develop them from the side of business, why we do what we do. The course was the best answer to all these questions.

Egor: Change of focus from “I do, because I need to” to “done so that <...>“And gaining an understanding of how to achieve this focus. The desire to try myself in a new field and understand how close the role of the product is to me. Exit the comfort zone.

Anya: August 2019. A couple of months ago, from an analyst, I was made a junior product manager. No product, no customers. I’m very scared, I’m studying the market and for the first time in my life I am writing requirements for a product. At some point, I stopped understanding what value I bring to the team, what the guys generally expect from me. We talked about this with our team leader, and he threw off the link to the course in the CS center, I decided to try and sent an application.

Lyuba: I was self-taught and went on a course to systematize my knowledge in product management and expand my horizons in management in the IT industry.

About career changes after training

Maxim: At the moment, my role in the company has not changed, but I plan to try to conduct a side project on sports topics, get a certain amount of experience and bruises and fully declare my intention to retrain into a product manager. Now I better understand the processes within the company, the scope of my work interests has expanded and I know better what I want to do.

Egor: I have not yet become a product, but I have built a plan on how to achieve this. I try to follow it.

Anya: From a junior product, I became ordinary, and after that I completely changed the company in order to apply my skills in a product that was more understandable to me.

Lyuba: I managed to shift many of the course’s practices to my field of activity – the development of hardware solutions for the Safe City systems.

Impression test

Egor: There were no terrible memories left from the social security agency 🙂 On the other hand, I spent a couple of months in order to make up for the lack of experience by studying any different and very new theory for me.

Lyuba: My programmers warned that you need to go to the CS center for interviews with a clear broadcast of your motivation. Her definition helped me both in enrolling and in realizing for myself what I want from the course. Before entering, I watched several lectures from Yandex on product management – it was useful.

Study load

Maxim: The load varied as follows: the closer to the end of the course, the more needed to be done to the graduation project. At first, everything seems pretty sharp and clear, but when you start an interview, all your initial hypotheses collapse, a dozen new ones arise. It’s like a hydra that cannot be overcome.

Anya: Quite a lot of time was spent on homework and practice. For practice, we were divided into groups and assigned to each group of mentors. We had Lena Chernyshova and Nastya Lisovtseva from Yandex.Shef. The task was to come up with a new project, somehow related to food: from choosing an idea and testing hypotheses to creating an MVP, launching advertising and the first “sales”. Together we made a clear plan, which involved a fairly large amount of work in a limited time. Of the 4 people in our group, only 2 reached the final defense of the projects. It was hard, but very interesting!

About what the program gave

Maxim: I have received confirmation that I want to do this, that I feel passion and excitement. This is in addition to commonplace and very important things – knowledge and new skills, the ability to apply knowledge on your own project, a terrific curator who tried to show how everything really happens when no one will run after you and ask: “What about your progress, do you need help? ” Everything was like in a battle, for real.

Egor: Understanding that the role of the product is close to me, and testing this in a combat environment. Acquaintance with space children, mentors and teachers. Obtaining responsibility for part of a working product and the opportunity to develop this responsibility as a product manager, while developing a fairly wide arsenal of products.

Anya: Firstly, and most importantly, I have gained more knowledge, they have become more structured, I realized what the benefits of my work are. As a result, there was more confidence. Secondly, it’s networking. This is cooler than any conference, all the guys in the group with very different backgrounds: developers, analysts, designers, entrepreneurs, all very talented and cool. And, of course, teachers: all successful professionals who are happy to share their experience with beginners. Priceless!

Lyuba: The course is a real simulation of the role of product management on a training project. When I entered, I realized that I would get knowledge on product management and did not doubt their quality, because the program was from the CS center. But in the end, the program struck me with the fact that this knowledge was not divorced from practice – each lecture was useful both in the implementation of the final project and in my work. In addition, the course also gave me a community, which is incredibly valuable.

Advice for those planning to enter

Maxim: Immediately decide for yourself that this is a serious investment in yourself, and no one will run after you. If you want, do it. If in doubt – do not take up a place in vain, places are so limited.

Egor: Do not plan, but act. And after admission, make the most of the opportunity to communicate with space guys and teachers on the topic of the food approach and not only. Well, the squeezed maximum, no matter how cruel it may sound, should be directed to the practical application of product tools within the framework of practice.

Anya: Rather fill out an application! But count your strengths, of course. Yes, you can just listen to the lectures in the recording, but it is communication with the group and teachers and practice on the course that gives 80% of the result.

Lyuba: Be prepared for the fact that the program can irreparably change your thinking on the grocery.

Come do this year

Recruitment is already underway: 36 people will be enrolled in the course: they will occupy 18 free and 18 paid places. Training lasts six months and is designed for 6-8 hours a week.

To enter, submit an application for participation until June 19: the organizers will carefully look at each and invite part of the applicants to the next stage – an interview. At the selection stage, the organizers evaluate the resume, participation in the launch of products and projects, experience in IT.

Learn more and apply

And on June 11 at 19:00 there will be an online meeting with the organizers and graduates of the program. The link will come to your mail after registration.

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