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Why I Joined the TribalScale Product Management Team

By Jennifer Burner

Today marks my 7th day at TribalScale and so far, it’s clear that TribalScale is unique in terms of process, range, and culture. TribalScale doesn’t just collect requirements and build applications for clients, we actually pair directly with their engineering and product teams to transform the way they work.

One of the main draws of TribalScale is the opportunity to work alongside an award-winning engineering team that shares the same values as I do when it comes to building products. The TribalScale process borrows heavily from Extreme Programming, the Lean Startup, and the Agile Manifesto. TribalScale believes in small empowered autonomous teams, and we really see that through. We believe in constant communication, collaboration and, above all, working software over documentation, and every time.

TribalScale engineers practice pair programming. Pair programming is when two engineers work on the same project with mirrored screens, one as the “navigator” and the other as the “driver”. This allows them to write better code and constantly share knowledge amongst the team. Pairing a junior engineer with a senior engineer, for example, or an iOS developer with an Android developer, allows the rapid spread of information throughout the organization. Senior engineers also make themselves readily available for questions. Because of the open environment and focus on constant learning, no engineer remains blocked for long here.

TribalScale moves fast, in an attempt to get a solution in front of the user as soon as possible. As a Product Manager, this helps to reduce the risk in building something that doesn’t solve the users problem. Having worked in many different industries, I’ve seen iterations take anywhere from two weeks (marketing SaaS software) to six months (healthcare). It’s refreshing for me to see the team here operating on one week iterations and sharing their expertise to problem-solve. This translates into well-validated solutions that our customers (and their users!) love.

Another benefit of being a Product Manager on the TribalScale team is the opportunity to work on a variety of products across industries. As TribalScale has clients in a large number of industries including media, automotive, and finance, you can gain experience in whatever area interests you. Many of our customers are large companies that have already built a massive user base, while others are budding disruptive startups expected to change their respective industries. This means that even though you’re working at a startup, the products you’re working on will go on to help hundreds of thousands of users in their day-to-day. I personally really enjoy the opportunity to work on products that so many people use (i.e. through huge companies), but at a startup where the culture is so open and dynamic.

As a PM at TribalScale, I really enjoy the opportunity to evangelize this more human way of creating software and change how other teams work for the better. Through our transformation projects, our engineers pair with the engineers at the other company so we work as one team. We also work with PMs on the customer side to help them understand how we work. At TribalScale, it’s not just about handing off an application, we actually help change how the internal team works, and make sure they are capable to hit the ground running.

Aside from the above mentioned technical reasons and TribalScale’s unique process, there are clear and open lines to leadership. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with many of them directly and have also seen how the team can just walk up to their desks for advice. TribalScale has an open door policy and they are fully transparent. For example: we host monthly Town Halls, where leadership answers questions and provides important business updates.

All of this is possible because of how seriously TribalScale takes its culture. Ritual is ingrained in the every day at TribalScale, from daily standups to keep everyone in sync, to weekly Lunch and Learns, monthly Town Halls, regular retros, and more! In my first week alone, I’ve taken a meditation class, attended a session on how to maintain a powerful mental state, read about and witnessed Extreme Programming in action. I can’t wait to see where the TribalScale adventure takes me!

Jennifer is a Product Manager at TribalScale and is based in Boston. She has extensive experience working on top-tier digital products for the likes of Google, HubSpot, and others! She is committed to empathetic and user-centric builds and offerings. She also has a very cute bulldog named Jimi.

Join our fast growing team and connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook! Learn more about us on our website.



Not a massive development shop, VC firm, or design agency. But a unique group of skilled individuals, all feeding on one another’s talent. Empowering businesses to grow their success.

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