What are the benefits of using low code for a product owner?

Benefits Product Owner Low Code

In this episode, we are welcoming Nico. He is a product owner of a software system calling Intro.Chat. We are talking about a new way of working, the daily challenges of being a product owner, and how low code can be beneficial for product owners.

A lot of topics were covered in this episode. One thing is for sure, this wasn’t the last episode about those interesting topics.

Shownotes from the episode:
Intro.chat
Episode with Sandro (also from Pirate Builders)

If you have feedback or ideas on which topics need to be covered at this podcast – you are more than welcome to get in touch with me.

You can find more information on www.lowcode-founders.com, or you can drop me a message at sarah@biberei.de

Enjoy and keep on building new digital products. 

Sarah 

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/lowcodefounders)

Transcript of the episode: What are the benefits of using low code for a product owner?

Speaker Nico: 

I strongly believe that there will be a use case for Intro.Chat or similar tools.  I don’t know in which ways, but for example, I strongly believe that there will be a market for hybrid events, especially because online events are just scratching the surface of their possibilities. Last year the event industry was forced to transfer their business concept from an analog one to a digital one, but this is how innovation happens, you take something you know and slightly change it or transferred into a different context.

Speaker Sarah:

Hello everyone, my name is Sarah from the Biberei and today we have a new guest with us. It is Nico. Nico is the product owner of Intro.Chat and today we will talk about the advantages for product owners using Low Code. Welcome, Nico.

Speaker Nico:

Thanks for having me.

Speaker Sarah:

All right, Nico let’s start with what is Intro.Chat and what are you doing all day long as being a product owner.

Speaker Nico:

Okay, so I guess it’s easier to give some more context. Um I’m working at Pirate Builders like your former podcast, Sandro, but those listeners who don’t know the episode I definitely recommend catching up and briefly explaining what we do. Pirate Builders is the part of the Pirate GmbH,  where we develop new products and test them on the market um and Pirate is a company with its roots in the startup and event ecosystem and most famous for the annual pilot summit in cologne. Starting in 2010, the event quickly became the center for founders,  starving entrepreneurs and investors in europe and represented the starting signal for numerous other projects of the company. Long story short last year was not the best year for the event industry. We switched very quickly to virtual events but not forgetting where we started and what made our event so special. Um and this was creating meaningful connections. Intro.Chat was our way to transfer this core into the virtual landscape. When we started doing events online, one thing which was missing for us was connecting the participants. All of the events were solely focused on webinars, talks, panels where a lot of people just listen to what a few selected people were saying. Um and so we developed Intro.Chat to compensate for all of that. To finally answer the original question Intro.Chat is um what Intro.Chat is and what I do as a product owner. Intro.Chat is a speed networking tool which connect its user into 1:1 video call but only for a limited time. After a pre-selected time For example, three minutes the conversation will be disconnected and those users get connected with different participants. The matching is completely random and can be compared to speed dating just without the romantic context. Um as a product owner, I’m responsible for everything related to the product. So my job is probably best described as a mix of coordinating the development a bit of a few UX-Design, sales, marketing and whatever needs to be done. Um Our development is handled by Division five, asoftware agency in Albania and therefore a lot of my daily tasks is communicating with them about the features which should be developed and uh how to track how fast we’re making progress. And on the other hand, I am also constantly in touch with our users to determine what the users want and develop the product accordingly to the requirements of I was using it.

Speaker Sarah:

So a full set of tasks um, maybe to say some words about Intro.Chat again. So I also made the experience especially when Corona started, everything was online of course and maybe else were held in zoom and some events try to do some kind of networking because it’s a, it’s a different story. Right? It’s a different story when you actually just listen to someone speaking a speech or Webinar or if your goal is actually to connect different people with each other. And I had several meetings actually when I tried it with different zoom rooms and sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. And I’m actually, I also thought at this moment isn’t there a better way to do this? And by this time I didn’t know it yet. So maybe they would have known as I would have used it already. But do you think that also after corona, whenever this will be um the online networking sessions will still be a thing or do you think it’s we will transfer it more too so called the real world?

Speaker Nico:

I strongly believe that there will be a use case for Intro.Chat or similar tools. Um I don’t know in which ways will be but for example I strongly believe that there will be a market for hybrid events especially because online events are just scratching the surface of their possibilities. Last year the event industry was forced to transfer their business concept from an analoge want to a digital one. But this is how innovation happens, you take something you know and slightly change it or transferred into a different context. And Um to give an example when the first Microsoft Word or any other text editors emerged, they just transferred the paper 1-1 into the digital space. Instead of writing with pen and ink, you just type it looked and seemed like a piece of paper. And uh now we see cloud-based versions where multiple people work simultaneously on the same document. Um this innovation emerged from the transfer to an identical digital counterpart. Online events are still just a digital copy of analog events. So I think the more interesting question is how they will look in the future and what emerged from this transformation furthermore, um Covid was an accelerator or Covid didn’t affect only online event. Covid was an accelerator for changing the work culture two years ago. Um nobody was working from home and now everyone is used to home office and remote work and our company and pilot, we have a lot of new colleagues I never met in person and the whole company, uh, the whole way our company interacts have changed, but you still want to have a great team spirit. So we do uh weekly Intro.Chat sessions to maintain our digital uh team and to keep in touch and grow as a team and individuals in the digital age. And uh so summarize, I would say a lot of new trends emerged or were accelerated and our products could be used in these use cases. So I hope that even after the restrictions of Covid are lifted, we’ll have a user basis.

Speaker Sarah:

Yeah, that’s that’s interesting uh topic. And you said it’s actually how, how our working lives actually changing or what will remain after Corona and what will Yeah, be as it was before Corona started. And I think it’s also depends where on which company actually work for. So for example, I started my career and at Hewlett Packard, so it’s an american company And it was, and it’s more than 11 years ago. And even at that time there were home office contracts only. So there were some people who just work from home no matter what. And for me this was kind of normal until I started working in a german company and then I realized that it’s not normal. And I totally agree that we might need some kind of hybrid form  where you actually meet in person to do stuff together. But I also think that a lot of tasks can be done remotely and also to give um the people, the employees the freedom to choose wherever they like to work from. And I think this freedom the employees really want to enjoy this further longer because it’s you know, it’s always harder to to get to put something away when you’re used to it. So once you tasted this uh chocolate for example, it’s really hard to get rid of chocolate, right? And it’s the same, it’s the same situation. And um I also agree that um online meetings can be more creative and I think there that we saw also a lot of development the last 1.5 years at the beginning they were really yeah, only one person was presenting and the others listen. Debra also some meetings where I think it was really strange actually where us presenter and in the last months I gave so many webinars and speeches and stuff like that where the others were told to shut off the camera and I think this is really kind of crazy because then there were a lot of situations where I was talking about something also on an emotional level or personal and I saw nothing but that was kind of you know, I didn’t see any reaction and I really hope that with time and also with a better internet banwidth it will be, it will be possible to, to really to really have this life experience also online.

Speaker Nico:

Absolutely. I think we were always talking about going back to normal but there won’t be a normal again it will be a different world and um you can’t put something away like the freedom to work anywhere you want uh a lot of other trends.

Speaker Sarah:

Yeah. And also what is normal? Right? So I mean that’s an interesting definition and I mean there are also companies, if you are in into this topic who just worked remotely um from the very first day who doesn’t have or the companies don’t have any physical location, right? So everyone is working from everywhere they like, however, if you really want to do this, you’re not just, you can’t just tell your employees okay, work from wherever you like. You also need to change your organizational structure a little bit, right? So to also meet different time zones and to be not so dependent that someone is online at the same time and and also answering immediately. For example, if you have questions.

Speaker Nico:

Absolutely. Like um the normal is just what we know what we used to before corona and interesting will be the people who now start working, they will see this as the normal and also to, to get back from the to the example of Microsof Word. Interesting is what will be uh emerged from this because now we have like a new normal and what the next generation of employees will make out of the freedom they got.

Speaker Sarah:

 So I definitely write myself a note to make a podcast about the new way of working because it’s an interesting topic. But um, coming back to to our topics. So you said you’re working as a product owner and you mentioned all the tasks you are doing and there are quite plenty of it. Um, so what is if you you, we think you’re your daily um working life. What is the most challenging aspects you are facing.

Speaker Nico:

Mm I would say prioritization. Um prioritize prioritize, Prioritize every day is different. But on every one of them I must re-assess and evaluate the current situation. Um, so I need to decide which developments that bring the most value for the customer, which things have the biggest fx on our user numbers. How can I make the product more popular. And since I’m still studying and working only part time for Intro.Chat time restrictions forced me to re evaluate and prioritize again and again. So this is positive because I’m not, it’s not possible for me to work on the wrong things for a long period of time. And furthermore I mentioned our software agency division five. So I’m responsible for them for their time spending. So I need to make sure that they use their time as good and productive as they can. So I don’t, it’s not possible for me to let them work on features for a long period of time if they’re not requested

Speaker Sarah:

I think. And I said it’s also in the podcast I did with Sandro, which I wouldn’t get the show notes as well, I think it’s so amazing that you do this part time and use besides studying and I really, really like the program you’re doing and actually, after I had the podcast with Sandro and I thought about, okay, how can I expand my own company? And I actually thought about doing something very similar because I really liked the idea to um to show students the actual life of being an entrepreneur because it’s one thing to learn something in theory and I did this by myself, I mean I did an MBA in entrepreneurship and it’s a completely different story to feel it every single day and especially this topic, like prioritization, something which yeah, I think in every company, product owner or other roles as well are facing this, this challenge not only to prioritize which features to develop, but but also, and I think this is kind of self-leading, you are practicing here in prioritize your own items, your own task because you only have a very limited time. I think the earlier, you learned this the better it is for the rest of your life. So I think you can be um, you’re very glad to do this program and I really, really like it and it inspired me to do this also for my company. So that’s very great. Um, You said tha tIntro.Chat  was developed by Division five. It’s a software agency so it was not done with low-code. That’s kind of different to the other podcast guest I have. Um, so I know it’s always easier to said Okay, what could have been done better, but if you think about also your, your current um, your current daily task and prioritization, what we talked about, what do you think would have been different or better if Intro.Chat was developed with low code tools. Of course, if this would have been possible, we won’t go into details it, but just to there to think about this.

Speaker Nico:

Yeah, I would say two things speed and dependency development with old school quote um feel sometimes like a bottleneck. Um for example, I’m following the building public seen on twitter and I’m always a bit jealous when I see other entrepreneurs pushing new features every day and I often have a good idea of how I want to have my product, but I always, but it always takes much more time until it looks that way because it’s developed with hard code or  old school code and for example, if my developers take their well deserved vacation, I need to wait until they’re back and uh, work again and in these situations I wish I could just develop some features myself and just tip it without the dependency and the lack of speed. But on the other hand, I think no code has its limitations as well. And I’m really happy that I have my developers with a much deeper and wider technical understanding and I do and without their knowledge and advice, there wouldn’t be a product. So I don’t want to sound too ungrateful. Um, and with respect, I would have loved a hybrid solution. The fundamentals of the product running on no code tools so that I can really work on the product myself and not just developers and um, also enjoy the advantage of the fast development. But on the other hand, I wouldn’t want to miss like the unlimited possibilities of code. So the fundamentals and no code and then adaption and customized solutions and hard code.

Speaker 2

That’s also a good idea. And also something I pray a lot in the last articles and, and podcasts and stuff like that. That low code has its disadvantages of course, like every other technology like every other programming language or framework you can use. But I think you, we should not see as low code or programming normal programming. Old school programming. However we want to call it. I think it’s a better way to see. Okay. Which, which kind of, which parts of the, of the application can I use low code for and as you said, maybe the fundamentals, maybe  some certain features and for which features it makes more does it makes more sense to use programming? Like real programming? And I think this is something we really have to get in our head better because I I see this a lot of in marketing that prey low code, you can do everything and you don’t need a single line of code, which is true for some for some applications. And I mean I work with low code each and every day. I use bubble each and every day to develop applications where you sometimes don’t need a single line of code and this is great and um but also they are situations where you need to have some kind of coding and um I also want to mention one point you mentioned it’s kind of this dependency thing because I see this quite a lot that product owners are so close to  their clients and customers. I mean that’s the daily job, Right? And it would be so much easier if a product owner could do some changes by himself or herself because then you don’t have to explain it to someone. Maybe the person doesn’t get it right. And you check it and I know I want to do it this way, I want to do it this way. And also I think it’s better if a product owner can do it by himself because even if you decide later on to to programme it without low code tools, you have some better visualization and the better use a story. So to say if you did it by yourself first because something looks very nice on a design and sometimes very crappy if you put it with real data. So I think there’s a huge benefits for product owners using low code.

Speaker Nico:

Absolutely. Like Yeah, I think um as a product owner you should own the process and when you are working with the agency, you also uh shift away some of the responsibilities. And um no code enters, lowers the entry barrier to create software yourself. So you don’t have any excuses anymore. If you want to own the product, don’t wait for someone else to create it the way you want it to be created yourself. And I think this is really powerful and um useful for for everyone who love to create a product.

Speaker 2

I can really use a lot of quotes from what you just said to motivate more people using low code. And also that that’s really a good thing. Um, motivate more people owning their software unknown in their application because this is not a matter of low code or no. Look, uh not low code, this is more a matter of what is actually the role of being a product owner and a product owner is where we have a huge responsibility because he or she is responsible for bringing the most value for their clients out of this product. And I think yeah owning only the product that’s yeah a good quote. I would definitely use that. Um Maybe maybe discussing also a little bit the conflicts between low court and traditional programming. So do you see as you’re working with software agency maybe why software developers has some conflicts refusing with low code tools and the current hype.

Speaker Nico:

Yes I understand it and I think it’s natural but it’s not necessary. Of course you feel threatened as a developer when you feed your family with a job in new industry claims to make redundant and no code tools advertised aggressively with you don’t need to code anymore. It’s as well which is kind of true. But um was the lower entry barrier of for software development. Even more people with no coding skills can create an MVP or a product. So even more people start creating software that like earlier said no code has its limits as well and therefore you still need developers but similar to accountants who thought Excel would replace them, they would still have their place but they will definitely not be working on the same task anymore. And in my opinion they profit the most from this shift because I don’t know any software developer who enjoys redesigning the same button over and over again. I don’t want to stereotype at like in general the software developers I met are united by creativity and curiosity and the ones I know love to explore new things and find solutions for real problems and no code gives them the time to focus on these tasks which made them develop us in the first place. So I really don’t think that there’s a conflict, they just don’t need to take care of all the basic and boring task anymore and ah just focus on the things they they want to create.

Speaker Sarah:

And also with which brings down most joy right? Because I mean it’s the same if you don’t have to be a software developer to understand that the more complex task for is the more you can learn of course this brings your most joy and not doing the same task all over again and doing things where you don’t learn anything. So I absolutely agree that um suffer developers are not being obsoleted  by local tools. I even think with the aspect you said that more and more people are starting to think about software development and you know at the hurdle for entrepreneurs or people who wants to be an entrepreneur but didn’t have a chance yet to start there own digital business is getting lowered and I think there you will need more software developers in the future. So I I also don’t think that suffer, developers will be uh will will be obsolete or they won’t find a job or something. I think that will be extremely the opposite um yeah, yeah, so um maybe on one of our last questions um, so you, you are very busy guy, you have your studies, you have Intro.Chat, um what is next on your list? So what are their, the project? Maybe you want to start in the future? Awesome. Some cool features for Intro.Chat which you want to share with us.

Speaker Nico:

Really good question and a hard one. The new features for intra chat will be recording sessions like similar to google meet um that you can create a session and it will uh repeated as a specific time of the week. Um and personally I don’t have something specific yet, but I think the entrepreneurial landscape won’t get rid of me anytime soon and uh, I definitely can say that I’m very interested in no code. Um, so I think I will keep dive more and both of the topics and uh, I mean the positive aspects of no code is that I don’t need much time to explore new things so I don’t need to have like a five year plan what I want to do, I just can start directly and uh try out a new product if I have a good idea. Yeah,

Speaker Sarah:

Absolutely. So I’m pretty sure that we will hear from new products in the future from yourself and we definitely should make a podcast session talking about the new way of working because, um, it’s such an interesting topic and also, um, yeah, not relevant to low code and low code discussion, but in a general topic where we should talk about much more. All right, thank you so much for your time.

Speaker Nico:

Thank you for having me again. And uh, yeah