Being Non-Technical in the Tech World

By: Zeinab Bagheri

Four years ago, I couldn’t even figure out how to Chromecast and now, I am leading the over-the-top (OTT) media services projects for one of North America’s largest broadcasters…

I went to school for communications and media studies and wanted to get into digital and experiential marketing. I started my career in retail, climbed the retail ladder, became a store manager and found myself wanting more.

I reached out to my network and stumbled upon an opportunity that I never thought I’d be interested in: a Product Manager (PM) intern at Plastic Mobile. I didn’t have a technical background and I didn’t even have a passion for the industry. But, Plastic Mobile saw potential in me, and knowing I wanted a change, I told myself there was nothing to lose and no matter what, I would gain new experiences. I was determined to give it my all.

Fast forward a few months and we are into my internship at Plastic Mobile. I found the company to be very interesting as they were pushing the needle in mobile apps. Almost immediately, I began to love the work, and for many reasons, but here are a few that stood out to me:

Of course, making the move into tech wasn’t all easy, and there were many challenges. It was tough to keep up in meetings that were technical. I didn’t speak the language and I didn’t know the acronyms. However, I took it upon myself to act and learn. I googled everything and anything I didn’t understand. I leveraged the smarts of those around me, used the available resources, and I asked questions. The tech industry is great for making information available and giving people opportunities to learn.

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As a non-technical person, it wasn’t hard for me to find the tools and resources needed to get to where I am today: a Product Manager at TribalScale. For example, at TribalScale, we offer a number of workshops, lessons, and information sessions — Everyone is a Designer, Learning by Doing, Lunch & Learns. Our engineers and designers are always willing to take the extra time to explain the work, whether it involves learning about coding languages for different platforms, or getting a deeper understanding of APIs; they will help you learn. Simply being on projects and working with people that truly see potential in you can help you up your skills, even without a technical background. With this mentality of learning and supporting each other, I have been able to get a better understanding of the technical tools and processes used to create digital products on a daily basis.

The above includes some of the traits, resources, and tools someone can find in a tech firm. You wouldn’t necessarily know that people are willing to help individuals grow and learn across the business, and this is something unique to tech. Being at TribalScale has helped me grow in the myriad ways in which a PM operates — covering everything from product strategy, design, engineering, and across industries and wherever software exists.

I wanted to write this post because I truly thought I couldn’t grow in this industry, and I certainly didn’t think I would be able to be a top performer. But, if you really like something, you will (and can) do whatever it takes to thrive. And if you don’t try, you’ll never know.

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About the author

Zeinab is a Product Manager at TribalScale. She is committed to helping clients explore their digital potential and she spearheads projects from start to successful release. Her team is what helps her succeed and she does whatever it takes to enable them. Also, a hello kitty lover.

TribalScale is a global innovation firm that helps enterprises adapt and thrive in the digital era. We transform teams and processes, build best-in-class digital products, and create disruptive startups. Learn more about us on our website. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook!

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