Reforge and On Deck experiences?

  • 23 November 2021
  • 7 replies
  • 448 views

Userlevel 4
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Hello fellow Product people,

I’m looking to take some form of “baseline” training in Product Management. I know, you can learn a lot from books, blogs, podcasts, … But I feel the need to have a proper foundations training from someone experienced in the field. 

I asked a senior PM in my LinkedIn connections, and he referred me to Reforge and On Deck as the go-to training resources in Product Management. Do some of you have any experience with one of both? Or other “Product Schools” I should look into? 

For the record: I’m not looking for a fancy LinkedIn Certificate, I just want to do a better job and feel confident about it! 

Thanks for any insights on this. 


7 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hi Niels,

First, product management training can be helpful in speeding up your general understanding of the product practice, but it’s not a guarantee of anything. There are many programs out there and a lot of them pitch the idea of “becoming a PM” or “levelling up”. In a lot of cases the industry doesn’t care about these certifications, so it’s good you’re coming in with a mindset of wanting to do a better job and feel confident.

Second, some of these are re-packaging machines. You can often get the same content online, but it just hasn’t been packaged up. Much like a good book can communicate a number of concepts together, online courses can do the same and provide an immersive experience, but quality can vary.

Reforge’s training is industry-led. The reason it often attracts PMs is that it’s taught by a stellar cast of product leaders and tends to have high-quality content. I have a number of friends that have taken the Reforge training programs. On Deck brings in content from various folks as well, but I don’t have much I can share on their coursework quality.

Another path to consider would be a product coach, who can work alongside you and/or your team, to help level you up. Folks like Petra Wille who we had speak at our recent event are a good example. Happy to provide you with some Europe-based suggestions there if you want.

Userlevel 4
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Hey @scott.baldwin , thanks for your insights! 

I would appreciate any EU based suggestions to a coach.
Maybe a training ànd a coach would be ideal 😀 $$

Userlevel 7
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Anytime @Niels Vynckier,

Here’s some folks that I know of in EMEA:

 

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Super useful, @scott.baldwin . I’m transitioning into PM from previous careers in VC and Analytics Consulting. Do you have recommendations for coaches on the US West Coast and/or Austin? 

 

Additionally, do you have recommendations for which of these scrum / agile courses https://theproductcompany.com/product-owner-certification/ are best for a PM joining a Series A company that is still testing out elements of product market fit (i.e. less product “owner” and more product “developer”)?

Thanks in advance.  

Userlevel 7
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@Ishani_Tagore what type of coaching are you looking for (some examples)? If you’re transitioning into PM, it would likely be better to employ a mentor rather than a coach. We’re planning to launch a mentoring program in our community soon, but there may be folks here willing to lean in and help too.

Re: Scrum/Agile, the Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) are well done. Has been a long time since I took one of those courses, but I know they are regularly updated and well done. Even our past speaker Jeff Gothelf spoke highly of them.

Userlevel 2
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Hey @Niels Vynckier 👋 +1 to what Scott said about both On Deck and Reforge. I also heard great things about Reforge and they have impressive product leaders teaching the content.

I personally went through On Deck (not the PM one) and know friends/ met new friends that went through multiple On Deck programs. What I like about them is the community learning aspect and you can always connect to like-minded folks in multiple programs in their network. It helped me formed continuous learning with people I would otherwise never crossed path with, I met IRL PM friends because of On Deck and that’s why I liked it. 

Userlevel 4
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Thanks @hannahzhang for your reply!

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