Overheard in Product: Degrees, JavaScript, Making Bets, UX/Data Viz, and Oppy


We’re back with part 7 of Overheard in Product—a series where we round up all of the tantalizing conversations from product folks that you may have missed on the web last week.

This week, we talk about the relationship of degrees to good tech jobs, better names for pure JavaScript, reframing decisions as bets, the overlap between UX and data visualization, and celebrating the life of Oppy.  

Let’s get to it.

Forget the formalities

Product Manager Dr. Donna Malayeri made waves when she demystified the relationship between formal degrees and success in tech.  

This is a tweet from @lindy donna about how you don't need a formal degree to succeed in tech or be a good product manager

Dr. Malayeri has a PhD herself, and in follow up comments she championed the idea of using her role to point out biases in hiring, revise job postings to be more inclusive, and mentoring folks.

Food for thought: What are some other prerequisites in product roles that aren’t actually necessary?

Don’t script where you eat

Designer coder Steph Davidson has a new name for Pure JavaScript.

This is a tweet from steph davidson on twitter about what you call pure javascript or vanilla javascript

Food for thought: Since we’re brainstorming, what would you call it?

Bet(ter) way to work

Senior Product Manager Ha Phan reframed product decisions as bets, and the result is more certainty with the chosen path.

This is a tweet from senior product manager Ha Phan who says they are reframing decisions as bets

In the thread, she also says, “Articulating trade offs enables you to clearly state the why behind your priorities.”

Food for thought: In what other ways could reframing decisions as bets help?

Data visUXalization

UX designer Niki Holt drew a line directly from data visualization to UX.

This is a tweet from niki holt about the overlap between UX and data visualization

I think this is particularly helpful in enterprise product design. It reminded me of this article by Christie Lenneville.

Food for thought: When does it make sense to transition from traditional UX to bringing in other design disciplines?

Bonus: In Memoriam Oppy

Last week, the 14 year-old Mars Rover named Opportunity (Oppy for short), was officially announced as unrecoverable.

Oppy persisted well beyond its originally planned 3-month mission. To celebrate, Vox shared some stunning photos Oppy had taken since landing on Mars in 2004.

That self portrait at the end made me emotional. But my coworkers reminded me to look on the bright side.

this is a slack conversation between coworkers at a product company talking about the mars rover opportunity

So remember, Opp is so badass. Space is badass. And you are badass.

Margaret Kelsey leads Brand and Content at Appcues. Before Appcues, she built content programs for InVision’s design community for 3.5 years and has roots in painting and PR. She’s a big fan of puns, Blackbird Donuts, and Oxford commas—probably in that order.

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