Product management is a completely new phenomenon in the digital world. This profession appeared on the market no more than five years ago. It is for this reason that every website and article devoted to this topic includes a different definition of this speciality.
This is primarily due to the fact that a product manager in different companies may have different functions and areas of responsibility, since companies create different products in different fields.
If we analyze the vacancies of a product manager, we can characterize them as a specialist who must combine the skills of a manager, marketer, programmer, designer, analyst and other professions.
A product manager is a person responsible for creating and launching a new product. They also supervise its operation, including after technical implementation. They must understand the market and feel it, determine the advantage of the product and how to promote it.
Product creation is a long journey, which includes planning, development, testing, revision, implementation, and support. At each of these stages, a product manager performs their various tasks: determines the business goals of the product, conducts market analysis, studies competitors, conducts product testing and analytics, and much more.
The average salary of a product manager in the Republic of Belarus ranges from 750 to 5,500 US dollars. Such a gap in salary depends not only on the company that offers the position, but also on the skills and abilities of the specialist, sometimes seniority and knowledge of a foreign language. Sometimes it happens that a good specialist, having received an offer, sets their own conditions about the desired salary and gets it granted.
To date, a large number of schools, courses, blogs, podcasts, and thematic Telegram and YouTube channels have been created for product managers. Many of them look like simulators, allowing one to imagine themselves already working in a company on a specific product.
All that will be beneficial both for people who are already in the profession - to boost their skills, and for those who are just keeping an eye out for this position and have a poor idea of what a “product manager” is and whether it’s a right profession for them.
Product owners are often confused with product managers. A product owner is a person who, on behalf of the company, by virtue of their official duties, must take charge of the product. They manage both the creation of the product and the end result.
If being a product manager is more about marketing, working with the market, then being a product owner means partially performing the functions of a project manager, marketing manager, analyst, etc. A product owner has power and a lot of responsibilities.
This is the person who manages the creation of the product and is responsible for what happens as a result. They work closely with the team, have at least some technical knowledge to be able to communicate with the team in the same language, as well as knowledge of development and UI/UX; sometimes they even control the budget.
If one tries to describe in a few simple phrases what a product owner is, it’ll turn out that this person is one of the most important elements in the product development process. Without them, the project would be in a state of chaos and disarray. It is the product owner that coordinates the actions of developers, communicates with customers, identifies the main needs of the product and is responsible for its final version.
In order to be a successful product owner, one needs to have certain skills, or as they say about themselves - product owner skills. Thus, a good product owner must possess leadership, strategic and tactical skills, financial literacy, have knowledge in software development, marketing, project management, be a business analyst and a psychologist (obviously, we’re not talking here about having actual degrees in these professions).
When analyzing vacancies for the position of product owner, the following requirements are often encountered:
It should be noted that the career advancement of developers looks standard for the IT field (Junior, Middle, Senior, Lead). With product owners, everything is completely different, since a product owner is the owner of the product, that is, the decision maker, so they must already have sufficient knowledge and experience.
When looking at product owner vacancies, one can notice that most companies do not specify the wages. However, some vacancies, as well as the Internet platforms, feature salaries ranging from 2,000 to 6,500 US dollars.
Of course, for a high salary, the candidate must be a true professional, constantly develop their skills and have substantial experience related to the creation and development of successful products.
Currently, a huge number of courses, trainings, and schools, both paid and free, are available to help a novice specialist become an excellent manager, advance to the next level of professional development and get practical skills.
Over the past few years, there’s been a boom in the IT industry, which has led to the emergence of many professions that most people, who are not related to IT, haven’t even heard of. One of these “unknown” professions is a Scrum master.
A Scrum master is a person located between the project and the client. One can call them a team coach; they don’t manage teams, they train them. Such a person is responsible for the Scrum process (project management method), its implementation, and compliance with its principles.
Despite the fact that the name of this position contains the word “Scrum”, a Scrum master does not have to limit themselves to working only with this framework. They can also use Agile, Kanban, Lean Startup, and mix different approaches.
The main task of a Scrum master is to find the right working option, taking into account and understanding the specifics of the team and the project, that is, optimize the workflow, as well as solve various difficulties on the way to creating the perfect product.
A good Scrum master should be: creative, curious, communicative, adaptive and stress-resistant, possess organizational skills and leadership qualities.
A Scrum master must understand the process of product development. That’s why it is very common for employees with experience as project-managers, QA specialists or business-analysts to be hired for this position.
The special knowledge that is required from a Scrum master includes mastery and understanding of Agile, Scrum, specification by example, delivery and deployment, etc., and understanding of various practices, for example, TDD (Test Driven Development) and BDD (Behavior Driven Development).
When studying and analyzing vacancies for the position of Scrum master, the following requirements are most often encountered:
The Scrum master profession has been included in the list of promising professions for years (according to the LinkedIn rating). It is assumed that in the near future this profession will gain popularity, the demand for it will increase, and the minimum wage will be at least 8,300 US dollars.
But, as mentioned above, the profession of a Scrum master has only recently appeared in the Republic of Belarus, so that kind of salary isn’t feasible in the near future.
The average salary of a Scrum master in the Republic of Belarus ranges from 500 to 3,300 US dollars.
Learning just the theory offered by numerous courses and schools is not enough to become a Scrum master. One needs practice and experience of working with teams. It is almost impossible to enter the profession after completing just courses, since there are a lot of nuances in the work of a Scrum master, issues that need to be solved in practice every day.
Experienced Scrum masters advise to undergo training in facilitation, coaching, conflict management, since these skills are basic for the profession.
In addition, Scrum masters have their own handbook, the Scrum Guide, which provides guidance on how to apply the approach.
A lot of useful information can be gleaned at conferences dedicated to Agile; when attending open meetups where Agile practitioners gather; and also when watching interviews with other Scrum masters.
Furthermore, the Republic of Belarus offers official certification courses, which result in the student receiving the CSM (Certified ScrumMaster) status should they successfully pass the exams.
UX/UI designer is a specialist who designs user interfaces. This profession combines two different areas in design - UI (User Interface), and UX (User Experience).
While the UI is concerned with the appearance of the interface, the UX makes sure that the user is comfortable, and also encourages them to perform certain actions. One could say that the UI is the visual embodiment of the UX.
It has become established practice that UX and UI are very closely related to each other, so this job is usually performed by one versatile specialist.
In order to become a UX/UI designer, it’s not enough to just be a creative person with a qualification of a designer or an artist. A good candidate for this profession must have a well-developed logic, spatial thinking and imagination, must be able to follow the rules and tasks, have patience and be stress resistant.
To get the qualification of a UX/UI designer, one needs to possess basic skills in web design and experience working with the main software, such as: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Figma, Axure, Sketch.
One needs to understand that UX/UI design is a very dynamic direction which keeps generating new trends and they need to be followed.
The main requirements for a candidate for the position of a UX/UI designer that are encountered when studying vacancies are:
• Experience with Figma, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe AfterEffects, Zeplin
• A portfolio with relevant UI/UX examples
• Good communication skills and sense of style
UI/UX designers in the Republic of Belarus can expect the following salary: juniors - 600 US dollars, middles – 2,000 US dollars, seniors - 3,000 US dollars, and team leads - at least 4,000 US dollars.
Since UI/UX design is currently one of the most sought-after professions in the digital industry, there are a lot of training opportunities. These can be courses, blogs, guidelines, and even books, articles, and tips from blogs.
As UI/UX designers themselves say, the best way to become a UI/UX designer is to start working as one. As soon as one gets their first knowledge, they need to start practicing.