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Meet our Product Owner: Niels

Meet Niels Delporte, a former Android developer who's taken on the exciting role of a Product Owner at icapps. In our ongoing blog series, we explore the journeys of our team members, delving into their professional paths, the challenges they've encountered, and the growth they've experienced. Interested in Niels' journey from Android developer to Product Owner? Niels is here to share his story!

What inspired you to become an Android developer, and what aspects?

It all started during my studies. I was halfway through my second year and still needed to figure out my direction. Then, a project came up that involved mobile development. The first time I tested a program on an actual device was magical. That was when I knew I wanted to make an impact with apps that make people’s lives easier.

What motivated you to shift from developer to product owner?

Over the years, I realized that the conversations with clients and finding solutions to their needs energized me. I wanted to capitalize on my technical knowledge by helping clients directly and playing a more active role in identifying those solutions.

Can you tell us about the transition from developer to product owner?

The journey varies for each individual. In my case, it felt like a natural progression. As a developer, you start thinking more conceptually and aiding clients in discovering solutions. This process often leads to roles like solution architect or lead developer. For me, it evolved from being a developer to becoming a product owner, particularly as I began to provide more technical and operational support for our client's products.

What skills from your developer role will help you as a product owner?

Understanding the development process will be very helpful. My technical background will be a significant advantage in projects where a technical PO can play an important role, helping to anticipate and understand challenges better.

Do you have any practical advice for fellow developers looking to follow a similar path?

Communicate openly, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Active listening is key. Use your technical knowledge and communication skills to translate what you hear into valuable solutions.

What’s the best application on your phone?

It varies depending on the situation. For instance, I’ve been using Pushbullet for years and find it quite handy to share content between my devices. Google offers a set of tools called Digital Wellbeing, which isn't a single app, but the tools within it can assist you in staying away from your smartphone. I use those tools regularly!

Lastly, is there a hidden talent or a little-known fact about yourself that you'd like to reveal to our readers?

I value team recognition highly. I believe in acknowledging both the good and the not-so-good openly within the team. It's important to me that everyone feels appreciated and supported.