I first stumbled upon Product School when I attended a Lean Product & Lean UX Silicon Valley meetup. Carlos, the CEO of Product School, was one of the speakers at the session. During the informative session, he told us the first 10 people to email him will get a free resume review. Of course, I obliged and that’s when my interest for the school began. I’m currently a Product Manager, but I felt there were some skill sets I was lacking and wanted to get professional instruction on. The only option at the time was General Assembly, but we’re talking about a $10,000 course. Waaaaaaaaay out of my price range.
Being a natural skeptic, I did my own homework on the school by attending the info session and happy hours where I pretty much grilled the instructors and current students. All gave generally positive and real answers so I decided to give it a shot. In fact, I also learned that Carlos used to be a Lead Instructor at General Assembly.
So I gave it a shot, I won’t give you full on details, but I give a high-level synopsis of what to expect. It’s an 8 week course that meets on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 6:30-9pm. The first couple of classes are general overviews of what Product Management is, for those that aren’t as familiar.
Then it starts ramping up. Rather than just sitting thru lectures, you’re forced into group exercises that test your knowledge of the frameworks and processes you learn each week. Homework is due every week so you also have accountability to get things done. One thing I will emphasize is, the MORE you put into your homework, the MORE you’ll get out of it. I mean, its not as expensive as General Assembly, but you’re still paying a decent amount for it so get your moneys worth!
Later classes cover UX as well as the best tools to use to be a PM. I’ve been using Balsamiq this whole time for Wireframing and it wasn’t until this class that I built prototypes in Invision. You’ll also learn a LOT of frameworks, and you’ll start to change how you think about solving problems. Rather than trying to come up with the solution to a problem off the bat, you’ll learn a framework as to how to arrive at the answer naturally.I highly suggest setting up a Pinterest page and pinning all the great stuff out there.
The overall format is that each topic and exercise you go thru each week, will culminate into your Final Presentation, the representation of all the knowledge retained thru the course. You’re tasked with choosing a product or feature, and presenting the whole flow on how you came about identifying the need, research, your wireframe/prototype, key metrics to validate the feature/product and the Go to Market strategy. This presentation can also be added to your portfolio and be used in future job interviews. In fact, I converted mine into a LinkedIn Pulse article here:
From there, the classes focus on resume reviews, mock interviews, job search strategies, etc. They also have a community that can do company introductions with their network. I can honestly say that I’ve learned a lot in this class and I was VERY proud to show off my work