PCA25 Sessions

ProductCamp Austin 25 Sessions


Product Management 1 – 9 Temptations of Product Owners Presentation Scott Killen
Product Management2 – Product Management in al All Remote EnvironmentAsk the ExpertMelissa Ushakov
Product Management, Product Marketing3 – How to Talk About the Value of Your Product Without Talking About the ProductCase StudyJohn Mansour
Product Management5 – 3 key lessons for Product Leaders at Startups.PresentationAniket Malvankar
Product Management, User Experience6 – Web accessibility – The case for empathetic web accessibility is here!Town HallChetna Samant
Product Management, Product Marketing7 – Productizing Services: How to Run Your Services Like ProductsPresentationSam Somashekar
Product Management, Data Analytics8 – The Why and How to Achieving Product-Led Growth!!PresentationTom Evans
Data Analytics9 – “What’s This Data Pipeline Thing You Keep Talking About?” Data Management for Product ManagersPresentationTravis James Fell
Product Management10 – The 5 Traits of a Product-Driven CompanyTown HallRajesh Nerlikar
11 – The importance of local outreach (From a robotics perspective)PresentationGrace Ballengee
Product Management12 – Product Management 101: How does a product manager bring an idea to life?PresentationTim Hu
Product Management13 – 3 Mental Models To Make Better Product DecisionsPresentationChirag Shah
Product Management, Careers16 – Marrying Your Creativity with Product Management Structure – Product Manager by Day, Childrens Book Author..also by Day!Case StudyNeha Shah
Product Management18 – Voice of Customer: Are we listening it all, especially now?PresentationRaj Kulkarni
Product Management19 – Managing Product – B2B vs. B2CPresentationParth N Acharya
Product Management, Product Marketing20 – Win/Loss Surveys and InterviewsAsk the ExpertWill Scott
Product Marketing, User Experience21 – User Needs & COVID-19: How to Tune into Your Customer Needs During Rapidly Changing TimesAsk the ExpertAJ Davis
Careers22 – Human Connection – Why Networking Matters More During COVIDTown HallThomas Singer
23 – 9 Tips for Moving On From the COVID-19 Mindset Alligator PitPresentationCarrie Vanston
Product Management24 – SBOM – Why do you want to make sure your product has one.Town HallKate Stewart
Careers25 – Creating a Home Video Studio that Makes You Look Like a ProPresentationMarc Miller
Product Management, Careers26 – Being “visible within the company” in a Virtual WorldTown HallElena Leonova
Careers27 – Cracking the Myers Briggs Product Manager CodeTown HallPaul Graham
28 – Product Talk: Unfiltered Product Advice from Two NortheasternersLeslie Hall


1 – 9 Temptations of Product Owners

Poor backlog management is a major contributor to failed product releases. Effective backlog management is challenging and requires a solid understanding of the User Story life-cycle, prioritization, customer focus, refinement and more. In this session we examine nine temptations that Product owners and managers face to cut corners. Together the presenter and the audience explore why succumbing to each enticement damages the team’s ability to deliver. The takeaway is a new awareness of the importance of key backlog management practices.

Presenter: Scott Killen
Scott Killen is an Enterprise Agile Coach for Netspend. He’s held CSM, CSP, PMP, SPC, SPA and CSQE certifications and taught Agile skills to thousands in corporate, university, and non-profit settings. He founded and was President of Agile Austin, co-Chair of Keep Austin Agile 2018, President of Austin SPIN, Chair of PMI Technical Local Interest Group, and is a member of in several non-profit boards.

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2 – Product Management in al All Remote Environment

Due to recent events surrounding the global health crisis COVID-19 (coronavirus), many product managers face a new reality: working remotely. GitLab has embraced remote work for years and is now the world’s largest all-remote workforce with 1,200+ employees across 67 countries. In this session, I will talk about my experience as a Gitlab Product Manager. My core team (Product, Engineering and UX) works across 7 countries and 6 time zones! I’ll offer lessons learned, best practices and ways to instill a remote friendly culture in your teams.

Presenter: Melissa Ushakov
Melissa has worked in a variety of roles in the public sector, cloud hosting and DevOps collaboration tools. She found her home in Product Management and is currently a Senior Product Manager at Gitlab. She’s passionate about remote work and empowering underrepresented groups in tech.

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3 – How to Talk About the Value of Your Product Without Talking About the Product

When someone asks for an overview of your product, they’re not really asking you what it does and how it works. What they really want to know is what your product does for them. How does it make them more successful? Hear a real life story and get the formula for doing it with your product.

Presenter: John Mansour
John Mansour is a product management and product marketing trainer, coach and thought leader. As the founder and managing partner at Proficientz, John has pushed the envelope to reinvent all aspects of product management, product marketing and sales enablement around customer success. John has more than 25 years of practical experience in high technology product management, product marketing, marketing communications and sales.

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5 – 3 key lessons for Product Leaders at Startups.

The talk provides lessons learnt over 15 years of product management by myself and from my peers at startups in Silicon valley an Texas. I have been part of several 0-1 startup teams, these lessons have mattered as much the product idea itself.

1. Know the business are you in? Do you sell bee’s or elephants?
2. Nobody cares about your product. Customer outcomes influence perceived value.
3. Like life price evolves. Don’t stress, test , rinse & repeat.

The goal of the session it to present for 15 minutes followed by a robust discussion with participants about their experiences and challenges.

Presenter: Aniket Malvankar
Aniket is the Founder of Product Bricks Ventures, a product & technology consulting firm with HQ in Dallas. He has been Integral part of product teams that have led to successful acquisition combining over 150 million. He has over 15 years of product development experience with AGILE teams in Internet of Things & Wireless space. He has a PhD in Wireless communication and learnt Entrepreneurship at Stanford. He serves on Advisory board for several US & Indian Startups & nonprofit organizations like Product Camp Dallas. He loves to teach product management and mentor through various platforms like Everwise, Product School.

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6 – Web accessibility – The case for empathetic web accessibility is here!

Each one of us will feel the despairing need for accessible design, in our lifetime. The need will hit us in moments of pain when we can’t use digital devices like we are used to using them, or, it will hit us in moments of our highest empathy when we see our older loved ones struggling to read or share a joke over online chat.

Hence we have to start building. It is maybe the highest impact job we can fulfil.

I bring to the session my pitch on building accessible reading of online content. What if you could listen to written online content in a human voice, rather than a robotic non-understandable voice?

We will open for discussion after the pitch, and I welcome comments and further collaboration.

Presenter: Chetna Samant
Customer focused and design-oriented Product Manager who creates a vision and works towards it, with data as the core driving fuel. Dabbled in SaaS products and e-commerce. Domains of social marketing, online community, accounting. I am a strong advocate of design and web accessibility.

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7 – Productizing Services: How to Run Your Services Like Products

Many organizations provide business services as part of their portfolio of offerings, but few manage them with the same rigor as products. They often miss out on opportunities to better monetize their services offerings, due to ad-hoc definitions and one-off projects that are not repeatable and widely available to many customers. In this session, attendees will understand why and when to productize services, learn the steps to take and key pitfalls to avoid in productizing a service, and how best to manage a productized service throughout its lifecycle.

Presenter: Sam Somashekar
Sam Somashekar is a Principal Analyst, Product Management Research and Advisory service at Forrester Research. Sam is an accomplished product leader with a track record of taking a customer-centric approach to help companies succeed and grow revenue, market share, and profitability. He has 25 years of cross-industry experience in enterprise product management and development, market research and strategy, marketing, and business development. Sam has authored numerous articles and white papers appearing in industry publications such as InfoWorld and Computerworld, and has spoken regularly at various global industry events. Sam holds a BA in computer science from New York University.

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8 – The Why and How to Achieving Product-Led Growth!!

More than just a buzzword, Product-Led Growth (PLG) has become the sought-after model for driving product growth. Done successfully, it enables you to capture new customers while working to retain and monetize existing customers. But, how can Product Managers execute this strategy effectively? In this session, we’ll discuss how to approach PLG effectively, and the implications for your product. Attendees will also receive a worksheet they can use to assess their PLG maturity and how to improve it.

Presenter: Tom Evans
Tom Evans is a Senior Principal Consultant and Trainer at 280 Group and is an internationally recognized authority in product management, product marketing, international business, go-to-market strategies, business partnerships and entrepreneurship. In his extensive experience, he has helped start-ups through Fortune 500 companies create and launch winning products and has led business development efforts in the US and global markets. Tom has been responsible for successfully developing and implementing Product Management & Product Marketing methodologies at multiple companies.

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9 – “What’s This Data Pipeline Thing You Keep Talking About?” Data Management for Product Managers

“Data-driven insights” is a popular buzz word on product manager job postings and with good reason. The top tech companies in the world use data to run A/B tests, craft OKRs and analyze the customer journey on the way to building products people love.

But it’s one thing to talk about it, it’s another to do it.

Behind the glitzy buzzwords of “Artificial Intelligence”, “Machine Learning” and “Lean Product Analytics” lies the shadowy world of Data Management. Few people understand it. Fewer do it right. It always takes longer than you think. And, if you do not do it right, it can kill your product.

This presentation is meant to help product managers break open the black box of Data Management, de-mystify data buzzwords, have intelligent conversations with data people and lead the development of valuable product analytics and data products.

Presenter: Travis James Fell
Travis James Fell MBA, CSPO, CDMP is an experienced data product manager that organizes data, gives it a job and measures its value. He has over 25 years’ experience in IT, product management, data management and business intelligence for diverse organizations such as the Advisory Board Company (now Optum), Ascension Texas, Babylon Health, Cap Gemini, Gravitant, Hypori, IBM, Memorial Hermann Physicians Network, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the US Navy and Xerox.

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10 – The 5 Traits of a Product-Driven Company

A lot of teams aim to be product-driven but can’t quite articulate what that means. Based on our experiences in advising nearly 70 product teams, we’ve captured the 5 traits that separate product-driven companies from those who are not. We discuss these in our new book, Build What Matters: Delivering on Key Outcomes Using Vision-Led Product Management.

Presenter: Rajesh Nerlikar
Rajesh Nerlikar has more than 15 years of product management experience. Prior to becoming Chief Product Advisor at Prodify, he was a technology consultant at Accenture, an entrepreneur, a product manager at Opower, a senior product manager at HelloWallet, and a director of product at Morningstar. He is also currently serving as Vice President of Product at Savonix, a Prodify client.

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11 – The importance of local outreach (From a robotics perspective)

Knowledge is a very important thing in this world, it builds buildings, it codes programs, it propels us into the future. A valuable resource like knowledge needs to be shared and cultivated among a community. Austin is no stranger to brilliant minds and innovative ideas, there is knowledge everywhere here. This is one of the greatest places in the world to receive knowledge, what we’ll be talking about, is how we share and chase after it, into a brighter future.

Presenter: Grace Ballengee
I’m the Project manager of Team Ouroboros 4545 at Vandegrift Highschool

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12 – Product Management 101: How does a product manager bring an idea to life?

A walk through of taking an idea from inception through discovery, design, and execution.

A detailed description of challenges that a new product manager faces, along with a framework for identifying the right solutions.

Learn about the tools we used, but more importantly learn how we found the right tools without prior knowledge.

Presenter: Tim Hu
Product manager in the fintech space, currently working on a B2B2C solution. Tim has extensive data analytics experience and started his career as an Actuary.

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13 – 3 Mental Models To Make Better Product Decisions

Product Managers make a lot of decisions. From micro daily decisions like where a story should be in the backlog, to macro strategic decisions about what new markets to enter, learning how to make good decisions is critical to your success in product. The challenge is that learning how to make good decisions is not clear cut. However, if you understand mental models and learn how to apply them, you can begin making better decisions. In this session, we will discuss three mental models that are intuitive, easy to remember, and most importantly, easy to apply. We will also share examples of applying these to product decisions and seek your participation in how you can apply them. These mental models will make you more confident in your decision making and ultimately lead to better product outcomes.

Presenter: Chirag Shah
Chirag Shah is a senior product manager at realtor.com, a real estate investor, and a former medical technology co-founder. He’s passionate about the intersection of real estate and technology. On his free time, he reads and writes about how to become a little less stupid every day.

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16 – Marrying Your Creativity with Product Management Structure – Product Manager by Day, Childrens Book Author..also by Day!

Last year, I wrote and published by first-ever bilingual children’s book. The book has 5 star reviews on Amazon, was featured by Instagram parent-influencers, and sold close to 100 copies in the first month. I attribute my success to a creative application of core Product Management principles such as identifying pain-points, prioritization of features, conducting market research and voice of customer exercises, distinguishing between buyers and users etc. This session is for product managers interested in sharing unusual applications of the Product Management framework, and lessons learned that they could apply to their full-time job. The session will also benefit aspiring Product Managers to think about how they can frame their experiences to fit the Product Management skill-set.

Presenter: Neha Shah
Neha Shah comes from a background in product strategy in B2B and startups. She is currently a Senior Product Manager at Accruent, where she leads growth strategy for the company’s cross-platform enterprise reporting tool. Prior to working in tech, Neha worked in DC on energy and technology policy.

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18 – Voice of Customer: Are we listening it all, especially now?

In a competitive product positioning environment, comprehensive product definition is an essential of product success. We need to know all that our customers expect and shape our product offerings to best serve their needs. Voice of Customer (VOC) methodology captures customer inputs. But are we really listening to our customers? Are we capturing all their voices?
Especially under present ‘distancing’ environment, may we be missing significant portion of their inputs? With new ways of working, how do we even know we reached out to all the influencers?

In this session we will brainstorm answers to these questions. We will explore untapped opportunities to capture voice of customer and more avenues to better know them. We make VOC as our differentiator!

Presenter: Raj Kulkarni
Raj Kulkarni, MBA, PMP, CSM, has held various senior leadership roles for over 30 years in engineering management, program management and product ownership. With experience from large multinationals like Dell, Honeywell, AMD, Toshiba, Raj has led numerous complex programs across concept-to-market life cycle. With passion for customer satisfaction, Raj has pursued transformational customer-centric discussions to deliver differentiated product offerings.

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19 – Managing Product – B2B vs. B2C

If you are just get into Product Management, and are looking to decide whether a B2B product is better for you or a B2C product suite; or if you already have some experience with one of the two and are looking to identify if the other side is greener, this session will help you understand how’s B2B Product Management in comparison to B2C product management – what’s similar between the two, what’s different, and what to expect in your journey as a Product Manager for these fairly divided types of Product Segments.

Presenter: Parth N Acharya
Product leader with extensive experience in building B2C and B2B products in eCommerce space.

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20 – Win/Loss Surveys and Interviews

Win/Loss interviews are perhaps the most valuable, yet underutilized, intelligence resources for the B2B enterprise. We all know we should be doing them, doing more of them – but often this falls off the priority list. Oftentimes this is because we don’t have the right tools, process and training to do them. In this session I will be going over how best to construct a win/loss survey and interview process. Going over how to construct a survey (templates will be provided to anyone that wants them) and also the top methods to use in the interview process itself to get the most important, truthful and actionable answers from the interviewee.

Presenter: Will Scott
Will Scott: A native of the UK and a resident of Austin Will has spent 25 years in the business product marketing and management. From multi-billion dollar corporates to hand to mouth startups – across software, services, hardware & saas offerings, He now runs his own independent product marketing and management consultancy, Steelpoint Marketing.

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21 – User Needs & COVID-19: How to Tune into Your Customer Needs During Rapidly Changing Times

COVID-19 represents unprecedented opportunity to get left behind – or respond to and solve real and new problems.

During this session, we’ll discuss specific and actionable ways to stay in tune with your user base (and target customers), so you can understand where they are today and anticipate what they need in the future.

We’ll explore ways to connect, collect data, and take action on these insights.

Presenter: AJ Davis
AJ is an industry expert in user experience strategy with a proven track record for delivering measurable value to clients. She’s the founder of Experiment Zone, which provides conversion strategy and testing for online businesses. Prior to starting Experiment Zone, AJ led optimization strategy for Fortune 500 companies during her tenure at Clearhead. She was also the lead UX researcher on the Google Optimize product.

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22 – Human Connection – Why Networking Matters More During COVID

Social skills are like muscles, if not worked out they will atrophy. When the COVID crisis began we all figured it would be a few weeks at home. Now it has been 7 months. Some say this goes on for another year or more. What happens in that time to business relationships?

We need to be “socially tightening while socially distancing” or we can find ourselves lost if we get laid off or face any other type of career or personal setbacks. All opportunities come from people, and many people have been isolated, lonely, and waiting.

This session will address how to reach out, and why. Introverts and extroverts are now in the same position…. and our only option is digital tools like social media, email, Zoom, etc….

Presenter: Thomas Singer
Thom Singer works as an executive search consultant and is a speaker on the topic of human engagement. Singer is the author or 12 books and the host of three podcasts including “”Making Waves at C-Level””.

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23 – 9 Tips for Moving On From the COVID-19 Mindset Alligator Pit

As the unknowns around the reopening involving COVID-19 drag on, the times feel overwhelming for many people. Or in Carrie Vanston’s nomenclature, many of us feel we’re stuck in the proverbial alligator pit.

How do we keep our sanity and stay out of the swamp during this period of uncertainty? Though many of us are facing life-changing circumstances, a good starting point is to consciously shift from a fixed mindset of fear and negativity to one of empowerment, opportunity, and unexpected outcomes. With an energized growth mindset, you can say “bye-bye” to those gators when they come a-snapping.

In this presentation, Carrie shares nine tips that will help you shift to that mindset as our world begins to slowly reopen—and get out, stay out, and move on from the dreaded pit.

You’ll leave saying “See you later, alligator!”

Presenter: Carrie Vanston
Carrie helps organizations and executives up to their necks in alligators increase their mindset and leadership levels so they can achieve their goals quicker and with less stress. She co-authored the award-winning book MiniTrends. Her article about getting out of the Covid-19 alligator pit recently appeared in the prestigious Texas CEO Magazine. Carrie directs the Association of Corporate Growth Central Texas’ Corporate Executives Roundtable and Mastermind. She is popular speaker on being a more energized, visionary leader. In addition, she is Certified and Accredited Professional Coach. Carrie also loves to dance, travel, and spend time with her two sons.

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24 – SBOM – Why do you want to make sure your product has one.

A software bill of materials (SBOM) is a summary of the components and dependencies that make up a product. Having a accurate SBOM available to your customers helps them know if there are software vulnerabilities that they may need to remediate. This session will go through a bit more background and why you’re going to want to ask for one for any software (open source and commercial) you plan on incorporating into your products.

Presenter: Kate Stewart
Kate Stewart is a Senior Director of Strategic Programs at the Linux Foundation. Her focus is on embedded open source programs, and working with them to improve best practices in open source license compliance, security and support for use in safety critical applications. She has launched Real-Time Linux, ELISA, CHAOSS and Zephyr Project. With over 30 years of experience in the software industry, she has held a variety of roles and worked as a developer in Canada, Australia, and the US and for the last 20 years has managed software development teams in the US, Canada, UK, India, and China.

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25 – Creating a Home Video Studio that Makes You Look Like a Pro

Due to COVID-19 we are all working from home. Whether you are working for current employer or you are looking for a job, creating a video environment that shows off your best attributes is important.

This is very simple – I will will walk you through how to manage lighting, acoustics and camera positioning with limited budget and space so that you will look like a pro in your next video interview.

This will be extremely practical. You can also read the accompanying post https://careerpivot.com/2020/creating-video-interview-environment/

Presenter: Marc Miller
Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot, which helps those in the second half of life design careers that they can grow into for the next 30 years. Marc authored the book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life (published in September 2019). Marc is a recovering engineer, a multipotentialite and a professional career changer as he has made six career pivots over the past 35 years. Marc is also the host of the award winning Repurpose Your Career Podcast.

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26 – Being “visible within the company” in a Virtual World

In a new virtual world since COVID-19, we all had to move into working remotely. But we all know that it’s essential for a product management career to be visible within the company, to be that person that everybody goes to for product direction and roadmap ideas. However, it’s completely different to do so in a completely virtual work setting.

In this session, I will share with you a few ideas that will not only help you become or remain “visible” but successful within your company. Applying these steps to your everyday work will help demonstrate your strategic thinking to your peers and leadership.

Presenter: Elena Leonova
Elena Leonova is Senior Director of Product Management at Bigcommerce and plays a critical role in executing the company’s product strategy. Elena has 10 years of product management & eCommerce experience, including product strategy, execution, team management in collocated & distributed environments, go-to-market etc. Prior to joining BigCommerce in 2017, Elena managed the Product Team at Magento (now Adobe) working on both Magento 1.x and Magento 2.x products. Elena’s biggest passion is building products that customers love, build empowered teams who achieve amazing results together.

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27 – Cracking the Myers Briggs Product Manager Code

Over the years, requirements of the skills and experience product managers need to thrive in organizations have become more complex. However, the job function can’t clearly distinguish the different types of product managers. Are you really a Technical Product Manager but don’t understand the title? Is a Design Product Manager needed but Growth Product Manager sounds more appealing?

Similar to how Myers Briggs created a 16 type personality test, we will review a case study based on industry feedback to help you conclude which of the 7 types is ideal for you.

Presenter: Paul Graham
Product Manager with a background in analytics. Experience in growth hacking startups and optimizing user experience in enterprise organizations.

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28 – Product Talk: Unfiltered Product Advice from Two Northeasterners

Settle in with a cup of Dunk’s as a couple of Northeasterners discuss the live free or die principles of Product Management. Leslie and Dan will impart some wicked product management knowledge that you can immediately put to use. Learn how to deal with Masshole stakeholders, what to do when you feel stuck in a rotary, and when to bang a uey before your product fails. So join us for this unfiltered discussion. It promises to be a scorchah!

Presenter: Leslie Hall
Leslie is an experienced people manager and product leader with a demonstrated history of collaborating with team members and stakeholders. She has a passion for improving the customer experience and her career reflects this goal. She did this as the Director of Customer Experience at LivingSocial and as a Sr. Product Manager at both Sparefoot and Modernize. She is currently a Sr. Digital Product Manager at H-E-B.

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