building a team of product analysts that handles all the product related tasks:
analysis of new features, quality assurance, automatic test design,
troubleshooting complex issues that Customer Service couldn’t figure out, etc.
Of course, every member of the team works on what he can do best, but we think this arrangement provides the different individuals with an opportunity to get intimate with various aspects of an application that’s growing in complexity and this close-knit group gives the company an enormous flexibility to adapt and produce good software fast.
- Love for software: when you use somebody else’s software, you can’t help but criticize every aspect of it. You try new programs just to see what other people are up to. You describe elements by their proper name: modal pop-up, asynchronous process or multiple select are part of your everyday vocabulary. You’ve read several books on software usability, but realize that no matter how much you know, you need to try the new features with real users to figure out if they are good or not.
- Insatiable curiosity: You always want to know why. You believe in “as simple as possible — but no simpler.” You understand things by taking them apart, and then building them back up again. You inherently mistrust any graphic printed in an economics magazine. You’re constantly looking things up on Wikipedia, even to check the validity of the graphic you just saw in that magazine.
- Organizational ability: You’re allergic to chaos. You can juggle ten projects at once without letting something slip. Perhaps most importantly, you know how to gently but firmly impose that organization on others, and to summarize complex information for quick consumption.
- An eye for design: You don’t need to know how to design, but you need to recognize good from bad design — and give objective feedback to designers. You should be familiar with image editing tools.
- Inventor at heart: You constantly come up with better ways of doing things. You get excited when you read the biography of Franklin or Edison and fantasize about not needing to work some day and becoming a full-time inventor.
- A thick skin: The people that you’ll be working with have a lot going on in their plate. They usually spend time getting things done and might not be as attentive to your needs as your colleagues in your cushy corporate job. To survive this, you need a thick skin and an allergy for drama.
- This will be a varied, challenging, and fascinating job. You’ll build things you’ll brag about for the rest of your life.