Francisco de la Pena

I took the 8-week Product Management course at Product School and have very positive feedback for anyone looking to take the course.  When I took the course I was Technical Director at Realsec, Inc and wasn’t really looking for a new job but I wanted to improve my Product Management skills. I was doing my job but I couldn’t help to feel that I wasn’t performing at 100%. The course greatly exceeded my expectations mostly because I wasn’t looking for a technical training or tons of literature on the subject of Product Management (I can google that myself.) I was more interested in all the other (soft) skills required to become a great PM, I also really liked how everyone in class had a technical background.

After the course, I co-Founded Twister Labs, the company behind GoProover, a platform that helps people improve their lives while overcoming fun challenges in a variety of fields, no matter what their goals are.

This is definitely not a traditional course where you are overwhelmed with piles of mostly pointless literature. It is instead a course where you learn best practices for any aspiring PM from actual PMs. It’s not the kind of course where the instructor tells you exactly what to do in every situation, but a course where you get guidelines, general rules and tricks that you only obtain through years of experience. It’s a very practical course, plenty of group activities.

About the course itself, here are some facts:

– The network that you have access to is really amazing. In my class (I took the Weekend course) there were engineers from Google, Cisco, Symantec, PwC and Microsoft among other companies. At least half of the class drove every weekend all the way from Silicon Valley to San Francisco just for the course and we all made it to the end. No dropouts.
– The instructors and guest speakers were all experienced professional in their own fields and work for some of the best companies in their area. For example:
– Carlos, taught most of the course. He has co-founded at least 3 companies related to education. One of them got into 500Startups and won the best startup prize at Startup Chile. He was also an instructor at General Assembly.
– AB Testing was taught by a Product Manager at Optimizely
– Online Marketing was taught by a Product Manager at ReTargeter
– Our resume was personally reviewed by a Senior Recruiter at Linkedin
– We did mockup interviews with recruiters from at least 3 companies looking for PMs at that time
– The Demo Day was hosted by Riviera Partners (recruiting firm in SoMa) and they invited several companies looking to hire PMs
– We were asked to provide a few names of companies that we’d like to work for and the Product School team helped with personal introductions to these companies
– We all got our resumes reviewed by Hired – Marketplace for Recruiting Top Talent and were offered to publish them in their site
– We got access to a platform called PerkHub where you find hundreds of discounts and free versions of apps like JustInMind or Balsamiq (Prototyping)
– You get access to the weekly meetups where Product School brings experts in different fields to discuss hot-topics in the Product Management area. I absolutely recommend this meetups, not only for the guest speakers that are always relevant (Founder of Do, Nir Eyal author of Hooked, etc), but for the networking.
– We receive every week – even after the course is over- the PM ToolKit, an email with job offers, news, tools and other resources to keep us up to date in the trends in Product Management.

Summarizing, this is probably the best Product Management course you can take in the Bay Area and, at a very reasonable price for a 8-weeks course. It’s even cheap if you think of all the perks included in the tuition. Only the resume review and mock up interviews would cost hundreds of dollars. Not to mention the privileged treatment in some hiring processes at selected companies.

I would recommend this course to any engineer looking to transition from Engineering into a Product Management role.