We joined Paulo Garcia to catch up on his journey with PLA. We wanted to know just what the community offered him, what he’s gained from it, and the impact it’s left on his career.
See what he had to say about PLA:
I joined PLA in between a job transition. PLA was recommended to me as one of the most relevant go-to product communities where I could learn more about my product role (i.e. product operations) and interact with other peers around the globe - not only specifically in product ops but in other areas too. Nowadays, it’s part of my priorities to give back to the communities I’m involved in and participate in any way I can, demystifying my area, the kind of product careers one can develop, and, generally, grow my expertise.
I love the fact that the community is so welcoming, engaged, and has plenty of conversation. As well as the fact that everyone is so approachable and easygoing. Most of us never met each other in person, but everyone is warm and friendly.
Resources and connections
PLA offers many resources. Two things that came to mind are conversations about topics I haven’t necessarily mastered and conversations with peers who share the same product space as me, which can provide different perspectives. These always challenge my beliefs and how I can approach a specific topic or problem.
The things that are most helpful are the studies, online conferences, and other resources shared by community members. The collective brain dump has to be my favorite.
The connections I’ve made through PLA have brought acquaintances and opportunities together. It’s an ever-giving movement, that the community grows by the day through ideas, questions, and initiatives. For example, I have met some other leaders within the product operations space, with whom I’ve partnered to develop our area even further.
Exposure to a multitude of product professionals helps with so many different realities and perspectives, and the learnings you can obtain from them are immensely valuable. As such, it has helped me consider angles I was blindsided by before. It has influenced my personal development plan, which, in the long run, will end up influencing the product person I wish to be.
Collective learning and challenges
I don’t have a specific example to share about challenges, but it’s the collective learning, debating, and thought-provoking ideas that can change one’s mindset. Ultimately, this influence has helped me multiple times to question my own ideas or to anticipate problems that others have experienced. In that sense, even if a challenge wasn’t particularly solved within the community, it has certainly evolved my product thinking capabilities.
I have participated in conversations over Slack and expect upcoming opportunities to contribute even more as the culture is open, friendly, ever-giving, and fun. With PLA, I think it’s not just about the Slack community, the events and conferences, or simply the certifications one can obtain: it’s the whole package of experiences you can absorb. There’s always something for you there, some new event or topic to wander around.
Avoiding sounding too geeky or jumping into hot (copyright) waters, this is truly the right side of the force!