A Toolkit for Product Managers

Managing a product in an agile environment is like juggling flaming torches on a unicycle crossing a trapeze line being yanked by a maniacal clown. It’s fast, chaotic and demands relentless focus. Luckily for us, in 2017, there is a proliferation of tools (most of them free or at least freemium) that help to tame the chaos.

Unfortunately, a parallel phenomena nowadays is tool overload. A feast of options, along with the usual content marketing noise by people promoting their own products often makes people give up in despair and go back to using Word, Excel and Powerpoint (which are pretty awesome too if used properly).

Here’s the list of tools I use in my day job as an actual Product Manager.

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Discovering Product Management | My Calling

I have always envied people who know exactly what they want to achieve in life. You know the people I’m talking about. People who have known from a very young age who they are and what they will do. It gives your life a purpose. Besides if you want to excel at something, the more time you put in the better.

Think of the legendary 10,000 hours of practice required for mastering anything. If you started practising when you were 13, 15 or 20 you are off to quite the head start.

I have never had that unshakeable conviction. That used to be a big let-down for me. Like I was missing out…falling behind. That is until a few months back, when I realized in a sudden blinding flash (well actually it was over a couple of weeks) what my calling was.

I am a product manager. A What? A Product Manager.

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My Beautiful Prompt | Using Prezto & ZSH

From xkcd

I took my first baby steps on the command line about two years ago when I had to diagnose problems with remote installations of the IIoT application I was working on. But it wasn’t until a few months ago (when I switched to MacOS & Ubuntu), that I truly appreciated the power and awesomeness of the command line.

I’m still was astounded how many programmers are just OK with their ugly, inefficient default terminal prompts. In this post, I’m going to describe how I shifted away from the defaults and designed an efficient, customized and beautiful terminal prompt.

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Connect To Your Computer From Anywhere

As part of my job as product developer for everSENSE I sometimes need to diagnose problems at remote servers. My preffered way is to take access via SSH. But in many places, the server is behind a NAT router so I have to resort to the inelegant method of using Teamviewer. Don’t get me wrong. Teamviewer is a wonderful application. But once you have gotten used to the power and speed of shells, nothing else can have the same satisfaction.

I recently (a few weeks back) discovered that there is actually a way, that you can connect to a computer behind a NAT/firewall from any other computer. Its simple and elegant and can be done in under 5 minutes.

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Shouting From The Rooftops | Public Key Cryptography

Whenever my friends are splitting the bill for a vacation I prefer having my cash transferred to me online. In 2016, most of us are comfortable doing online transactions, at least, with people we know. There are still a few holdouts though.

Recently after returning from Goa, a friend insisted on giving my share in cash. I couldn’t keep that much cash at home, so I had to deposit it in my bank. I hate having to go to the bank. When I asked him, he told me he never uses electronic payment mechanism. He doesn’t trust the system. He was certain that the moment he logged in there would be an army of spammers, phishers and con artists out to get him.

He’s right about that. The system might not be trustworthy either. What you can trust though is mathematics. Specifically the mathematics behind public key cryptography.

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