My BAE is Product!
After working for about 5 years in the industry, I have finally found my BAE. The solution to the mystery was hidden in the words itself.
BAE is an acronym for before anyone else, which is commonly used on the internet as a slang for referring to your partner. It’s important to identify what your bae is in your career as well so that you can build a clear trajectory for yourself. It took me multiple experiments to understand what I love the most when it comes to career. I experimented with different things like development, business strategy, operations etc. But what excites me the most is BAE and my bae is Product.
To build an awesome product you need three things! Business, Analytics, and Engineering. These are three fundamentals of any product. If you master them then you can build an awesome product.
Business understanding is important for making wiser decisions. Business goals help you prioritize things. With engineering, you can do a lot of things. But to keep doing a lot of things you need to have your business running. Understanding business is not an easy I have seen a lot of misinterpretation of what business seeks from engineering, which leads to waste of resource on both the ends. Many times business requirements are very simple, but we end up complicating things.
I can quote an experience here. Once my ops guy came to me and was seeking a solution for updating some configuration. What engineers did was they build out a fancy panel for him, where he could control everything. But for the ops guy the panel was useless it was too tedious for him to update records in a form. The simple solution for his use case asking him to maintain a sheet and upload a CSV to the platform! Ops people feed on CSV’s. As an engineer, I did something little better I asked him to maintain a google sheet, and the same sheet had an add-on which pushed the records to our system! Voila, he walked out happy!
This is another important piece of building a good product. Having a good command of Analytics is needed for making a data-driven decision. An analytics person would always look for data points, patterns. When I say Analytics I don’t mean just Data Analytics all sort of analytics like Business Intelligence, User Analytics, etc. This would involve design thinking, surveys, and a lot of other things.
Engineering is where things are built. Engineering provides all the needed tools. If you don’t understand how things work in engineering you will end not making smart choices. When I say engineering, I don’t mean knowing the tech stack, knowing the libraries but understanding the principle of engineering. Engineering leads to innovation. Engineering is an art which has evolved over the course of time. Every evolution has brought something beautiful in this world.
“A developer is not an engineer. An architect is not an engineer. A designer is not an engineer. But an engineer is an architect, designer and a developer”
If you would have read deeply, you would have noticed that I didn’t link any of the above to any industry. From my understanding, this philosophy is applicable to any industry. Be it software, be it construction, be it finance. And every industry has its own kind of product. For a software industry it can be an application, for finance it can be a kind of investment product, for construction, it can be a material, a building.
Now you can prioritize which tools to by looking at the right set of data to build a great product. Hence to build your bae (product) you need to have great understanding BAE.