In 2004, I used to be looking forward to a challenge. I began an adventure of completing a computing Bachelors’ degree. Fast forward to today and therefore the adventure continues. I’ve been building products for 12 years for a spread of industries from finance to eCommerce, retail, land, hospitality, and more. Although my roles weren’t focused on the technical implementation of the products (aka “platforms”), the pc Science degree taught me a valuable ever-lasting lesson. This was to understand the technical complexities and unknowns that would arise during software development. From working within the industry, the most important lesson on behalf of me was that change is that the only constant.
Thus, it’s critical to stay a finger on the heartbeat with market changes, technology advances, forces in complementary markets that will impact yours, and therefore the continuous evolution of customer behavior.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure are currently the highest players within the cloud computing space. AWS is within the lead with a 32% market share. This made it a simple decision to start with Amazon and becoming an AWS-Certified-Cloud-Practitioner (CLF-C01).
Although my collection of experiences is just one of the many, I aim to inspire others to push their learning and professional boundaries to make new opportunities for themselves beyond their imagination.
The title of your position doesn’t define your contributions to an organization; it’s your actions like the power to unravel complex problems, think critically, and deliver business value.
Reason 1: A Seat At The Table
This needs that you simply have some extent of view, specifically an informed point of view. And for this to matter, it must be shaped with both knowledge and market insights.
In the tech industry, there’s an unwritten rule that one must continue with technology advancements and market changes to remain relevant. this is often no matter your role but very true if you’re looking to be seen as an ideal leader in your area of labor.
When it involves product management, this is often essential because one of our key responsibilities is to create products that are both commercially viable for the business and delivers customer value.
This led me to require two different courses, Udacity’s AI Product Manager Nanodegree and Stanford’s Product Management within the AI Era, which significantly helped to create my credibility when talking about AI in business conversations. With the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam, the deeper understanding gained has enabled me to enhance my business acumen, also as increased engagement during conversations.
Reason 2: Staying Competitive Requires Learning
With the increasing supply of product management talent within the market, I began to believe what might differentiate me from the remainder of the merchandise managers. This incentivized me to explore new ways to face out from the gang.
And the result was two broad goals:
(1) To possess more productive conversations and
(2) To update my knowledge about cloud technologies
so that I do know what’s possible when it involves innovating. Putting on my product manager hat, these essentially become two objectives that I want to define as key results. one among the key results was to urge become an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.
As I used to be studying for the certification, I used to be already seeing benefits. I used to be speaking with an Infrastructure Lead who was impressed with my ability to follow along and immediately contribute to the conversation. Having this data also helped me to understand where my boundaries were and when to redirect the question.
On another occasion during a series of conversations about software modernization, I used to be ready to specialize in asking business-focused questions and discussing business benefits instead of playing catch abreast of the architecture concepts.
Essentially, staying competitive is about always having a competitive advantage and one must do that by continuously learning. In a way, we are not any different from “products”. Products get old and “out of fashion” then can we as product managers, engineers, etc.
Reason 3: Competence Builds Credibility And Trust
The atmosphere during which we build products is usually chaotic, filled with ambiguity, and constantly moving. the power to juggle numerous activities and competing priorities whilst building trust require a particular level of competence. whenever an individual’s competence is recognized, it builds their credibility.
For example, having a deeper understanding of AWS cloud services has enabled me to assist sales in business development discussions about the advantage of using the cloud over legacy systems, also contribute to drafting proposals for giant projects. Additionally, I’ve been ready to ask better questions, help avoid unnecessary cycles of labor, and build stronger consensus when gaps in understanding arose between different teams and departments.
Competence is additionally a contributing factor to getting “a seat at the table” and staying competitive. As you’ll see, there are many compelling benefits of becoming an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.
“Make a job” for yourself
The purpose of sharing my story is that you simply got to “make a job” for yourself. It’s up to you, and only you, to craft your unique skills and chase after the professional experiences you seek to possess. Fortunately, product management may be a broad practice with tons of opportunities therefore the options are endless to shape a set of skills and knowledge that cause you to stand out from the gang.
From my experience and observations though, product managers must have a radical understanding of cloud technologies to possess “a voice” and have their perspectives heard when innovating and creating commercially viable products.
In summary, my reasons for becoming an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam were to:
Get “a seat at the table” because meaning my voice is heard. Stay competitive because the advantage is that I’ll stand call at a crowd.
I strive to be well-informed and educated when going into any conversation so that I can increase the frequency of my contributions and positive impacts. This certification was yet one more reinforcement to continuously be told and educate yourself.