From Dev to PO: balancing technical excellence and customer value


Giulia Di Pietro

January 11, 2022

Vanja Subotić shares what it’s like to work as a Product Owner in Account Experience and what the highlights of her job are.

When Vanja’s not working on future features of Account Experience, you can find her in the great outdoors.

What’s your name and what do you do at Dynatrace?

My name is Vanja Subotić, and I work as a Product Owner in team CoLiPri in Graz, Austria.

My team is working on Lima processing, meaning processing and storing of consumption. The service we are developing converts usage files from a customer’s cluster to the consumption, to track how much they are using.

What was your career like?

I studied electrical engineering at university in Bosnia and afterwards I became a software developer. I was in this position for 7 years and then became a Product Owner.

In my previous company, I was working as a software developer and that’s when I learned about Agile for the first time. I really liked everything that was involved in product ownership, especially communication and finding the best solutions to deliver value to the customer. It’s interesting to learn how to balance optimizing the software from a technical standpoint, but still providing customer value.

How do you structure the work in your team?

We are self-organized and follow the autonomy principle. In our team we are mostly senior developers.

We have a backlog of items we need to deliver, and I, as a PO, prioritize them, but we refine the requirements for the stories together as a team. If something is missing, I usually talk to Product Management to get the needed information.

We have sprint planning every 2 weeks and we are always pulling from the top of the backlog. The sprint backlog shouldn’t change throughout the sprint. We might add something to the sprint backlog after the sprint planning meeting, but only if it’s super-duper important.

What do you like about working at Dynatrace?

I am very passionate about my profession, and I like how I can exercise it at Dynatrace. I like communicating and being flexible. You don’t have to always play your role and only your role. You can contribute in any direction to design the solution.

Overall, I also like how Dynatrace treats people. There is no strict hierarchy. You are equal — whether it’s your first day here or your 1000th day. Nobody treats you differently. If you want to change something you can, you just need to be able to argument it. Doors are always open, as long as you align with your team leader.

What is your favorite technology and why?

I love frontend development. I was an Angular developer for 4 years and that is my favorite technology.

What was your biggest achievement at Dynatrace?

It’s not only my achievement, but the achievement of the whole Graz lab.

We should all be very proud of how we implemented the Dynatrace platform license model and deployed it live. Although my team was the main one driving it, 2 more Graz teams were also involved and a few other teams across other labs.

This is a new licensing model that we have just released to our customers. Migrating the first customers went smoothly and seamlessly. Everybody’s really proud of it! We did a lot of testing and that paid out.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I have a book club with my friends. We read books and each month we gather together and discuss the book we’re reading.

I like to bake a lot. I used to ride the bike a lot. I like gardening. I have a small garden on my balcony, it’s mostly flowers but I also had some vegetables, salads, tomatoes.

Want to join the Graz Lab and work on exciting Account Experience topics? Then check out all our open positions on our careers portal.

If you’d like to learn about what it’s like to be a Java software engineer in Graz, read our previous blog post:

Insights from a Java software engineer in Graz

From Dev to PO: balancing technical excellence and customer value was originally published in Dynatrace Engineering on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Giulia Di Pietro