Nov 25 2022

Learning to code to manage digital products: Umberto's journey

Passionate about digital products, Umberto joined the web development training to better understand the work of developers. This experience allowed him to add technical skills to his business profile and ultimately land a Senior Product Owner position at Sephora. Discover his journey getting there.

Ines Alvergne
Ines Alvergne

3min read

Learning to code to manage digital products: Umberto's journey

Tell us about your career path. 


I studied marketing at HEC Montreal and then worked at L'Oréal. I was in charge of an e-commerce brand with sales targets to meet over the year. 

I've always been interested in digital products. I worked on CRM (Customer Relationship Management) data analysis at L'Oréal, and that made me want to go further. 

Why did you decide to learn to code?


I wanted to go into product management, but I was lacking skills in comparison to other candidates who were often former engineers or developers. Recruiters appreciate profiles with technical experience for this kind of position.

When you understand how developers and QA work, you can be more efficient in product management. I decided to learn web development to combine it with my business profile and get more credibility. 

Why did you choose Le Wagon?


For me, Le Wagon was an obvious choice. I knew people who had done the program, and I‘ve always associated the school with excellence and a solid reputation. 

In addition, I was already planning to return to France and Le Wagon’s community is very large there. 

What aspects of the program interested you the most?


My goal in doing the training was to understand how web projects work and how developers, project managers, and designers work together. That's why I found the project weeks so interesting!

We were able to build a web application in real conditions while following the scrum methodology. It was a great way to apply all the skills we had learned in the previous weeks while learning to work in a team. 

What are your responsibilities as a Product Owner? 


At Sephora, I'm a CRM Product Owner. We use Adobe Campaign - similar to Salesforce but more flexible - and I focus on the automated communications we send to all our users. 

These communications have to be developed, tested, and put into production for 18 countries while keeping the consumer at the center of everything. I manage four people on my team who work with the developers and QA to implement the communications. 

We work in sprints and Scrum, so we follow priorities based on business value, complexity, importance to the stakeholder, and deadlines. I work on prioritizing requests, optimizing existing communications, and identifying opportunities for new communications. 

Any advice for those who want to become a Product Owner? 


Doing a coding bootcamp like Le Wagon can bring real extra value to your profile if you don't have a technical background. I think it's more interesting than a product-only course that focuses on theory. In the end, you always have to adapt your way of working to the company and Scrum can be translated into many different forms. 

Before starting, it is crucial to understand the job of a Product Manager. For that, don't hesitate to talk to people in the business!