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Being SQL Server Product Owner

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I thought I would share my experiences of being SQL Server Product Owner since I have been doing it for a client’s team for nearly six months now.

In fact, I’ve been the Product Owner of the SQL Engineering team for a four-figure number of SQL Server instances for a client six months this week. I actually started the role at the beginning of April, April Fool’s Day of all days.

Product Owner role

Now, I have had a few people ask me what a Product Owner actually does. Some say that it sounds like an architect role.

In reality, the role is one that’s mainly related to newer working practices like Scrum.

A Product Owners list of responsibilities include talking to all the stakeholders for you team in the business and organise the priorities on your backlog board.

For those of you unaware of what a backlog board is, it’s somewhere that lists and prioritises the work your team does.

Of course, to be a Product Owner for a particular product you should ideally have specialised knowledge about it. Because, you have to speak to a wide range of people about it at various levels.

Now, I’m not going to delve too much in depth about what a Product Owner does here, as this is not a post to promote scrum.

However, I do go into a bit more detail about it in my session that I co-present with Sander Stad.

Learning curve

Over the years I have done various roles, including being a SQL Server Technical Team Lead and of course an architect. In addition, I have had a fair amount of experience with automation and deployment pipeline projects.

However, I have to admit this role was new to me and has being an interesting curve over the last six months.

Of course, there have been some interesting challenges doing this role. For example, dealing with certain situations and having a new mindset about things.

In fact, I’ve had to invest a large amount of personal time looking into various things for this role. Including a couple of online courses to help refresh my knowledge and fill in some gaps.

Hence, I used some training resources I discussed in a previous post about exam tips here.

In addition, for one very important meeting I got advice from a qualified social worker. Because I wanted to make sure I handled everybody in the meeting properly to get them all in agreement.

Advice

Get use to roles like Product Owner and Scrum Master appearing. Especially as more as companies look to adopt DevOps and other related practices.

For example, Agile and Scum. Because they are becoming increasingly popular because they are proven to deliver results.

In addition, I have a tip if you know your team is planning on adopting one of these methods. Which is that I highly recommend doing some research before they start.

Especially since the adoption of these types of methods tends to move away from a traditional team structure with a team lead. In fact, flat-structured teams which are self-steering are highly promoted.

Final word

As I said earlier, I do discuss this further in a new session I am co-presenting along with Sander Stad. Which you can read about in detail in one of our submissions for SQL Saturday Edinburgh here.

So, if we end up speaking near you feel free to join our session to find out more. Of course, if you have any comments or queries feel free to leave a comment.

Being SQL Server Product Owner
Published inDevOps

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