This is a review of the online course You’re Hired: How to Get a Job in Product Management by Jason Shah. This is part of our series of reviews of online UX courses. There’s no course that we’re aware of specifically about getting a job in UX, but there’s a good deal of overlap between UX and Product Management, so we thought this one was worth a look.
- Course Name: You’re Hired: How to Get a Job in Product Management
- Author: Jason Shah
- Hosted by: udemy
- Length: 20 lectures (approx 2 hours of video content) plus over 3 hours of additional interviews with practicing Product Managers.
- Intended Audience: Anyone interested in getting a job in product management, or someone looking for a good overview of what a Product Manager does.
- What You’ll Learn: What is expected of a Product Manager across different types of businesses, the recruitment process that you would expect to go through and the path that many successful professionals in the field took to get to their current positions.
- Assumed Knowledge: A good working knowledge of Yammer, Facebook and Pinterest (exercises centre around these products but no images or links are provided).
- Price: US $95
The bones of a really valuable course are contained within this slightly confusing compilation of videos. It starts out with some interesting interviews with Product Managers in high profile roles, but the lack of any kind of introduction is disconcerting. The first video opens mid-sentence and jumps straight into an interview that has been given no context within the course.
After three such interviews, I was at last taken to what should apparently be the first video, where Shah does an admirable job of explaining what product management is and goes on to explain what will be covered in the course. Unfortunately some rather eerie background music distracted me a little from what was being said.
The two lectures that follow cover the hiring process and the type of personality suited to product roles, but then the course takes another leap and I found myself once again learning about what a Product Manager does. To give credit where it is due, the lectures that follow in the This is Product Management section contain some very valuable information and are short and succinct, which is great if you are someone that has trouble staying motivated during self-directed learning. The slides are functional, if not a little bland, but I liked the split screen, which allowed me to watch the tutor speaking to bullet points. I would have liked to have seen a bit more variation between the slides in order to stimulate my interest.
My biggest criticism of this course is that it lacks any kind of organisation or continuity. I felt like it jumped all over the place and I frequently had to backtrack to see if I had missed something.
At one point I found myself completely confounded when the tutor began talking about ‘the Yammer interview question’ as if I should know what it was. I searched through all the external resources, re-watched several lectures and still couldn’t find any reference to it. Things got worse when the next two lectures referred to ‘the Facebook interview question’ and ‘the Pinterest interview question’ again with no obvious reference. I assume something was lost during publication of the course.
My second niggle is with the production quality, which is pretty substandard. There is a huge variation in volume between interviews and lectures, with several of the lectures cutting off mid-word (or sometimes even mid-sentence). I came away feeling frustrated that I hadn’t absorbed all of the valuable information and tips that Shah was generous at imparting, because the experience was so perplexing.
Currently EIR at Sherpa, Jason Shah was a Product Manager for Yammer, where he focused on building new features for the social networking product. He is the founder of mobile analytics company HeatData. Prior to these ventures, he founded INeedAPencil.com, which provides free online education tools to students from low-income families. Shah is a scholar, holding Harvard degrees in sociology and computer science and his work has been featured by many high profile media outlets. He is a clear and articulate speaker who clearly knows his stuff and is well connected within the product management arena.
The Udemy Experience
This is the fourth udemy course that I have taken to date, so I feel like a bit of a veteran. If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of their in-browser experience. It came as a bit of a surprise when in the middle of taking this course I refreshed my screen and the udemy interface updated. While slightly unnerving, this turned out to be a very positive experience. The new design brings a fresher feel to it. The added value of community support has been introduced. The previous ‘Questions’ section has been transformed into a forum like interface, with the option to private message other students taking the course. I didn’t find myself having to search around for features that I have come to rely on, so I declare this relaunch a success!
- Interesting peer interviews.
- Several useful external resources (although some are duplicated).
- Short, concise lectures so there isn’t a huge time investment required.
- No introduction to either the course or the peer interviews.
- A lack of organisation and continuity across the course.
- Video production isn’t good – lectures frequently cut off mid-word or sentence.
- Important references are missing.
I really wanted to like this course because Shah is a perfectly likeable guy who hands out tips generously, but I found it a real struggle to piece things together in my head and I came away feeling disappointed and a little lost. There is a wealth of useful information contained within the lectures, but the course lacks continuity and jumps around. The peer interviews feel like a last minute tack-on, which is a shame as they really could add immense value if interspersed throughout the course to give them context. I’d love to see this course produced professionally as I think it has the potential to be great, but at present it didn’t feel like good value for money.
- Content (how useful, up to date, practical, and comprehensive): 4/10
- Delivery (presentation style, pace, clarity, authority): 6/10
- Production (video quality, audio quality, editing): 5/10
- User Interface (reliable infrastructure, usable interface, convenient): 9/10
- Overall rating: 5/10
- Learning From the Best: Conversations with Real Project Managers
- Introduction to Product Management & How to Get Hired as a Product Manager
- This is Product Management
- Positioning Yourself for a Product Management Job
- Interview Questions
- Wrapping Up
- Learning From the Best (Part II): More Conversations with Real Project Managers
You’re Hired: How to Get a Job in Product Management is hosted at udemy. Note: This post contains affiliate links, so if you do decide to enrol in the course, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale, to help pay the hosting bills.