This week in San Francisco was the Mind the Product conference. Product folks from across North America and beyond converged to share their successes, struggles, and ah-ha moments. It is an opportunity step away from the daily grind for a dose of inspiration and to meet others.
With imposter syndrome getting more attention these days we are acknowledging that success is not a simple formula. Creating space to talk about the journey we are on, especially the tough bits, is therapeutic. Knowing that others have been at the same crossroads helps us avoid despair when things are hard. It creates channels to ask for advice and seek inspiration on next steps. For me, community has been invaluable in my personal growth by making me feel less alone. If you are looking to take your first steps into the community it could be right around the corner too. Local meet-ups, conferences, and online communities are wonderful places to learn and connect with others.
It’s for sharing your journey too!
Early in the .NET era I was fortunate enough to get involved as a speaker at, then organizer of the Metro Toronto .NET user group. For me, however, the seed was planted early on as a pre-teen doing speaking on Qmodem at the Halton Peel Computer Club or my latest Turbo Pascal learnings at the Toronto Borland User Group (thanks Mom & Dad for encouraging me!). Over the years I have noticed the talks that are highest rated are people telling their story - warts and all. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to share your work is critical for learning. We want to find reference points of theory in practice.
Today I support the Product Management Auckland meet-up. As the schedule of sessions comes together, we are always interested in having people share their story. We encourage everyone to speak, and I have an open invite to support anyone in their first talk (please reach out to connect!).
Find your local community
If you are looking to boost your learning the first step is to look for a local community to get involved with. For product folks, I recommend a few places to start:
- Product Tank Meet-ups - branding used by local meet-up groups across the world
- ProductManager HQ Slack Community - one of the more active online Slack communities for product folks
- Women in Product Slack Community - connect here with other Women in Product
- Mind the Product Conference - one of the more popular northern hemisphere conference for product folks which happens in the UK and US
- Leading the Product Conference - one of the more popular southern hemisphere conferences for product folks which happens in AU
There are many product folks on Twitter as well. I have been building list of them, but credit for most of it comes from Alicia Dixon who has been curating a running list of product folks around the globe. Start by following her, then go from from there!