Maria Konstantinova

With Product In Mind

Author: Maria Konstantinova

Should I Learn How To Code?

I am a Product Manager, not a developer. Do I even need to know how to code? A question that many PMs ask themselves, including those who studied Computer Science in college.

My answer is a very certain Yes. I think everyone involved with the development of a product, regardless of their role, should know how software is built.

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Firefox Quantum Browser

This fox is on fire!

I have been a long-term fan of the browser, preferring it to any other, even when the population officially admitted that Chrome was no laughing matter. I remember how many in the industry tried to convince me of Chrome’s superiority.  And there was a time I honestly tried to switch camps and join the Google tribe.

But there was always something about their browser that made me return to Firefox. Firefox was useful, it was dear, it was like a pair of favorite shoes. There was only one issue though, and everyone could feel that pebble in their favorite shoes. The speed. Watching any videos or trying to open a heavy content website in Firefox was accompanied by expected cringe. During years I found my peace knowing that Netflix streaming automatically goes to Chrome, so does browsing Youtube.

I’m happy to admit that after all these years of struggle and adjustments, Firefox finally delivered. These shoes are still cozy and familiar, but the pebble has finally been removed, and there’s nothing lagging my internet experience now. The new polished logo is a nice touch as well. Excellent job, Mozilla!

Upwork Enterprise – Hiring Manager Experience

If you have ever had to hire a freelancer, or a whole team for your project, you have probably heard of Upwork, or, as they used to be known, oDesk and Elance. I’ve built several products by hiring and finding a one-time project talents on freelance platforms. My least favorite of them would be, but I digress.

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What Is an MVP?

MVP = Minimum Viable Product

Whether you are an aspiring product manager or an entrepreneur who just got into software industry with an idea to build the next “It” App, you have probably heard about MVP.

The original term was introduced by Eric Ries in his book The Lean Startup Framework. if you have not read the book, try and fix that mistake ASAP.

Many in the industry refer to an MVP as a basic version of a product, which isn’t exactly true.

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Upwork Native Apps – Freelancer Experience

I always enjoy doing case studies for the industry’s big and small players. This time I had a pleasure working with Upwork folks and did a couple of case studies for them. This particular one was done in August 2017 for their current version of Upwork Mobile App, particularly for the Freelancer’s end of the app.

The Problem:

Currently, freelancers are able to Search and Save Jobs, Submit Proposals, Accept Invitations and Offers, and Send Messages. They are not able to see or access submitted proposal which might significantly shorten the time spent on the apps while forced to access and track submitted proposals on the web. This interrupts the natural flow in Freelancer’s interaction with the apps. Judging by the freelancers’ feedback, the lack of Proposals feature is negatively affecting the overall user experience with the product, which might cause lower user engagement and, as a result, possible decline in revenue.

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Apple Watch Series 3, iPhone 8, and iPhone X

Last night Apple had its September keynote event at the brand new Steve Jobs Theater. The company unveiled Apple Watch 3 Series, iPhone 8, and the highly anticipated iPhone X.

The biggest splash was made by Apple Watch Series 3

I was one of those who did not initially believe in Apple Watch. I even had a couple of arguments with the pro-Apple Watch people, trying to convince them that nothing will get close to a well-made time piece with centuries long legacy like Rolex or Cartier. I was wrong.

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Project Manager VS. Product Manager

I think it’s time to put this confusion to rest. Most people assume that Project Manager and Product Manager are a same thing. They really aren’t. More so, beware of a company that thinks that the two are pretty similar, if you’re looking for a job.

Product Management isn’t formally taught in college. That’s why people still get confused what the profession is really about. Most people who become Product Managers come from two backgrounds: design and coding. ‘Coders’ create Androids, ‘Designers’ create iOSes, if you follow my metaphor. 😉 Both types are needed, they just approach product from different perspective. I, for example, come from a designer’s background, my coding skills are pretty soft, but I feel at home when it comes to UI and UX.

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© 2019 Maria Konstantinova