A Day in the Life of… a Senior Product Manager

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Meet, Trevor Bruner! He’s one of our Senior Product Managers from our Austin office. We spoke to Trevor about his daily 6 mile runs, how his role doesn’t ever have a “typical day,” and designing features for Tasktop Integration Hub.

How do you start your day before work?

I wake up a bit before 5am and go for a 4 to 6 mile run. I get home with a few minutes to cool down before my one-year-old son and wife get up. My wife and I tag-team our son and get him fed, cleaned up and dressed for daycare. Somewhere in there, I’ll shower and get myself ready for work. By around 7:15, everything is done and I’ll take him to his daycare and then make my way to the office. I try to get in by 8am to give myself a couple hours to get some uninterrupted time before the engineers in Vancouver get in.

What is your role at Tasktop?

I’m the Sr. Product Manager for Tasktop Integration Hub. I run two scrum teams that are primarily based in Vancouver. I do all the typical product manager work you’d expect. I meet with customers and other stakeholders to understand what’s needed in the product. I meet with various internal groups to ensure I’m prioritizing the most important work. I work closely with engineering to scope the features to get the right balance of beauty & elegance, weighed against the need for timely delivery. Basically, I’m responsible for making Tasktop Integration Hub the best integration tool in the industry.

What does a typical day as a Senior Product Manager look like for you?

Ask anyone in a product role and they’ll tell you there’s no such thing as a ‘typical day’. I try to join both scrum team’s standup, but I’m often double-booked. Luckily, they’re both high performing teams and are able to live without me.

You can often find me designing features and validating them with various stakeholders.

I’m often coordinating with Maik Hassel, the other Sr. Product Manager at Tasktop. He’s responsible for all the connectors Hub uses. When we’re building features, there’s very often dependencies across our teams and we have to stay in close communication to ensure the left hand and the right hand are working together.

Other times, I’m on calls with customers, prospects or partners reviewing their requests and answering questions about what our future plans are.

Due to the complex nature of integration, it’s vital that customers and our technical field understand the nuances of the product. That’s why on other days, I’ll work on field enablement to educate our field on the upcoming features. I’ll also work with Rebecca Dobbin, formerly the Product Content Manager (now Associate Product Manager) on other documentation such as internal and external FAQ’s for our technical field and customers. While the questions may be simple, the answers rarely are.

Some days are spent in a very head down, leave-me-alone state where I’m working thru a problem and spending my time writing and other are spent on six hours of back-to-back calls. Most days are a mix of those two extremes.

Greatest accomplishment at Tasktop thus far?

The growth of Tasktop Integration Hub in the past 18 months. I’m very proud of the features I’ve designed and feel that we’ve made the right trade-offs to maintain our velocity while keeping the vision of the product pure. Whenever you have a product that customers use, you will always have more feature requests than you can tackle at any given time. The challenge has been to build in as much new functionality as possible, but within the confines of what ‘should’ be in the product vs. just giving customers their request of the day. Our customers are big and sophisticated so they have big and sophisticated needs. It’s not always easy to figure out how to solve their problems in a generic way that can also be useful for other customers. I’m very proud of the entire team here from UX, to engineering to our technical field that all contribute to sharpening the features that eventually go into the product. 

Go-to workday lunch?

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but my go-to lunch is a Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey granola bar and a handful of peanut butter pretzel bites. I usually eat lunch at my desk. I’m often on a call or have just a few minutes between calls while I’m eating. It’s not the healthiest lunch, but that’s why I try to run in the mornings. If I’m feeling extravagant, I’ll walk across the street to Whole Foods and pick up something there. Usually a couple slices of their pizza. Again, not healthy, but tasty.

Favourite Tasktop memory?

The celebration of the launch of Tasktop Integration Hub coincided with the 10-year anniversary of Tasktop. We had a big all-hands in Vancouver. We spent the better part of the day giving out silly awards and talking about all the great things the company has achieved. I still have a little homemade Star Trek insignia that my engineering manager’s wife made for everyone on his team. It was an amazing celebration of both the past and the future.

How would you describe working at Tasktop in one sentence?

Working at Tasktop means solving really hard problems with really great people for really big customers.

 


Want to work with Trevor?

We’re hiring! We have a number of interesting roles across the company in sales, product development, customer success, operations, and business development. View job opportunities.

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