IT Arena 2020 — a Product Track overview

Hi, my name is Oksana, I am Product Management Office Associate Director@SoftServe and I am the Head of Product Track of IT Arena this year. Together with my partner in Product Track organization — Mary Pylyp — we did a fantastic speaker’s lineup. Today I want to share it with you — not because I am excited, and I am waiting for those speeches as for the new year’s gifts — but also because those topics are super “meaty” with the essence of the experience.

And here is a hook how it was last year — on this photo our speakers and moderators: Sharon Lo, mahmoud abdelkader, Anya Ruvinskaya, Paul Campbell, Liz Love, Eva Stankiewicz, Mary Pylyp, Yaroslav Nazar, Jean de Bressy, Chris Long.

So, who are the speakers, and why you should not miss it?

Sherif Mansour | Distinguished Product Manager @Atlassian & keynote for the Product Track

Sherif Mansour, Atlassian

The speaker has been in software development for over 15 years. He is currently a Distinguished Product Manager for Atlassian. During his time there, he was responsible for Confluence, a popular content collaboration tool for teams.

More about the speaker:

Medium blog

Atlassian blog

The topic: The fine line between data-driven and data-informed teams


  • What is being “too data-driven”?
  • What are data-informed teams and how to implement it in your team
  • How to work with the next feature in the way of goal-setting, deciding what’s next and how to improve the next feature

Who will benefit the most from attending?

  • Product Managers who are concerned with data — which one to gather and what is the North Star metric
  • Product Managers who measure everything and think that it is not enough/too much
  • Product Team who want to make the product development more data-driven

IMHO: During his 15 years career in Product Management Sherif has almost every case you, as a product manager can have. This is a massive source of experience and not on the Atlassian blog, but in-person.

Elizabeth Churchill | Director of UX @Google

Elizabeth Churchill, Google

The speaker: With a background in psychology (neuro, experimental, cognitive, and social), Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, for the past 20 years, she has drawn on social, computer, engineering, and data sciences to create innovative end-user applications and services. She has built research teams at Google, eBay, Yahoo, PARC, and FujiXerox. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, an honorary Doctor of Science (DSc.) from the University of Sussex. In September, she will be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Stockholm. In 2016 she received a Citris-Banatao Institute Award Athena Award for Women in Technology for her Executive Leadership.

More about the speaker:

Personal blog


The topic: Creating consumer-grade developer experiences


  • why it essential to pay more attention to the developers and develop better tools for them?
  • How to make it better?
  • Which approaches are used at Google?
  • Cases from Google how they are doing that

Who will benefit from attending?

  • Product Managers, Product Designers, Business Analysts who are working with BE and not super user-friendly products
  • Developers who are thinking that tech must not be sexy

IMHO: I am super excited by having Elizabeth on IT Arena as she is super experienced and super unique. She has a ton of experience, and I would even go to ask her questions.

Ken Sandy | Lecturer @Berkley, ex-MasterClass

Ken Sandy, ex-MasterClass

The speaker is a senior technology product management exec from the SF Bay Area (formerly MasterClass and He pioneered the first Product Management course offered at the UC Berkeley Engineering school, which has over 400 PM alumni.

More about the speaker:

“Influential Product Manager” book

The topic: 10 Steps to Lead Through Influence


  • Who is the Product Manager?
  • How to drive the execution without having direct authority?
  • What are the principles of work for the Product Manager?
  • Why lead with the influence?

Who will benefit the most from attending?

  • Product Leaders who lead teams of other Product Managers and Product Teams
  • Delivery Leaders who need to execute on the projects and who have this massive need an influential work

IMHO: Ken has a massive experience and researched this topic a lot — not only his experience but also his colleagues’ experience. The talk will be full of examples and personal mistakes. Worth listening, especially to the product managers!

Janna Bastow | CEO & Co-Founder @ProdPad

Janna Bastow, ProdPad

The speaker: Apart from being a co-founder at ProdPad, Janna also organizes ProductTank events worldwide, including Mind The Product, a global community of product managers. She likes to inspire great product conversations by asking: “What problem are you trying to solve?”

More about the speaker


The topic: Which type of company are you wanna building?


  • The difference between the agency and a product company
  • The risks for both types of companies
  • What should you expect as a Product LEader when you select each type of company

Who will benefit the most from attending?

  • Product Managers who are thinking of scaling the product
  • Product and Delivery leaders from the agencies to expand their view on the market and on the problems, they might have
  • Start-up founders to understand the challenges they will have to overcome

IMHO: Janna has tremendous experience working in a startup; she can share her pitfalls in working as a Product Leader for her product. For other PdMs as related to the nature of her product, she has an overview of the larger quantity of the PdMs and their challenges.

Timo Wagenblatt | Head of Quote-to-Cash Products @SAP

Timo Wagenblatt, SAP

The speaker is a VP of Product Management at SAP in Walldorf, Germany. As Head of Quote-to-Cash Products for SAP S/4HANA, he shapes and drives the development of products that service underserved customer needs all the way to valuable product adoption for both customers and SAP. He is dedicated to Software Product Management for more than 20 years working with clients and product teams worldwide, building world-class enterprise solutions. His passion can be best described as continuously improving product management maturity while focusing on customer and company success by evangelizing and showcasing product-mindset.

More about the speaker:


The topic: Holistic Product Management in a nutshell


  • Why should you holistically approach your product management?
  • What are the components of holistic product management?
  • What can you improve your product work now?
  • How to assess your product right?

Who will benefit the most from attending?

  • Product Managers — to get a full picture of the Product Management process and identify the gap areas
  • Product Team members (architects, designers, BAs, PMs) — to understand better the whole product development process and add more value to their products

IMHO: Timo is a very experienced professional. I have been to one of his talks. It was full of insights even for me — probably it is because we are building the Product Management framework inside our company now. It was just in case for me.

Julian Leung | Country director @GOAT

Julian Leung, GOAT

The speaker is a Product Manager specializing in international expansion and localization with more than 7 years of experience. He is one of the earliest employees and was the first-ever Product Manager hired for Airbnb, WeWork, and GOAT in Asia. Currently, Julian is the Country Director for China at GOAT, where he is responsible for their market entry into China.

More about the speaker

The topic: Lessons of Glocalization from Airbnb and WeWork


  • What is glocalization?
  • Why translation only is not enough?
  • Cases of the Airbnb, WeWork, world companies

Who will benefit the most from attending?

  • Product Managers, startup founders, who are thinking about the product going global
  • Localization specialists
  • Designers who are working on the external markets, mostly Asian

IMHO: Julian has a ton of cases! The advice you to go there and to recognize your future mistakes)

Scott Stonehocker | Head of Product & Innovation @Intuit

Scott Stonehocker, Intuit

The speaker is known for building high functioning product teams and driving a culture of customer-centricity. Originally from Canada, he is currently leading product and innovation in Paris, France. The units are always looking for the most significant customer pains, then testing and developing solutions to solve them quickly.

More about the speaker

The topic: How to build a culture of customer obsession


  • How to work with customers?
  • How to drive the interviews?
  • How to prototype quick and for the innovation?

Who will benefit the most from attending?

  • Product Managers for especially the product on the Maturity PLC stage to understand how to move the work up in the customer value chain
  • Product Designers and Product Researches — to get the best-known Intuit practices
  • Innovation leaders who need to drive the product/business innovation to the next level

IMHO: Scott’s experience + Intuit approach is a super mix of the best ever practices and cases for the digging more profound for the product insights and discovering the innovation!

Luke Vella | Senior Product Manager @HotJar

Luke Vella, Hotjar

The speaker has been working as a Product Manager with Hotjar in a fully remote environment for the past 2 and a half years. He is passionate about data, analytics, and building products that add value to people’s lives.

More about the speaker

The topic: Using data to ship the next best thing for your customers


  • Why the data?
  • How to work with the product data at all and look for innovations and potential improvements?
  • HotJar cases and insights

Who will benefit the most from attending?

  • Product Managers who don’t use the data-driven approach on their products
  • Product Managers who already work with data but don’t know how to look for the next big thing
  • Product Designers to understand the product data and how to find the next big thing!

IMHO: Luke is obsessed with data and can answer almost any question about it and the product. Don’t miss the chance to ask this question!

Mina Radhakrishnan | Co-Founder @Different

Mina Radhakrishnan, Different

The speaker is the co-founder of Different, rebuilding property management. She’s currently a board advisor at AirTasker, an advisor at Antler. She has been actively involved with mentoring and advising teams on product questions big and small. Mina’s experience spans companies big and small across different industries and at various stages of growth.

More about the speaker

The topic: Invisible products


  • What are the unsexy products which need to be developed but we don’t see those?
  • How to approach product development?

Who will benefit the most from attending?

  • Product Managers and Product Team members who are working on internal products

Halim Madi | Product Manager @Facebook

The speaker has been working as a Product Manager with Hotjar in a fully remote environment for the past 2 and a half years. He is passionate about data, analytics, and building products that add value to people’s lives.

More about the speaker

Medium blog

The topic: Product Management fundamentals


  • What do you need to know about product management — principles from the product development from Facebook
  • How to succeed in your product development?
  • What are the key issues to pay attention to?

Who will benefit the most from attending?

  • Product Managers, Product Designers, and all others who would love to know how to develop the product more successfully.


Come and ask your questions! Last IT Arena it was super great so we do it this time!

Product Strategy in the Changing times

To discuss:

  • the COVID implications on the product development
  • changing the strategy — from the product founders and product managers
  • the practices you may use in these types of cases


Mahmoud Abdelkader | CEO @VeryGoodSecurity

Janna Bastow | CEO @ProdPad

Ken Sandy | ex-MasterClass

Moderator: Ray Stafichev | Head of Growth @Fluix

Stakeholders Management

To discuss:

  • Common stakeholder challenges — what were the most complex challenges you faced in working with the main product stakeholders
  • Stakeholders identification — how do you identify your stakeholders and how they change depending on the product lifecycle stages
  • Resistance to change — how do you deal with this stakeholders management issue


Anthony Kuyoro | Director of Product Management @Mastercard

Scott Stonehocker | Head of Product and Innovation @QuickBooks/Intuit

Peter Alfoldi | Regional Financial Lines Practice Leader @Colonnade Insurance S.A. (a FAIRFAX Company)

Moderator: Olena Zanichkovska | Co-founder @The Gradient


The third day — Saturday — if full of the meetups and we prepared some for you:

  1. Julia Petryk, PR Director MacPaw will be on a fireside chat with Orysia Khimyak, PR Director FaceApp
  2. Katya Lavrenova, Designer Facebook Design will be talking about "How to nail Amazon and Facebook design interviews?"
  3. Markiyan Matsekh, Senior Product Manager Vimeo and I will have the firestide chat on how to launch it in startup and b2b products

Will you join us in IT Arena?

Tickets are here — buy ticket part.

I will be moderating all the sessions for two days, so in case you have any questions to some of the speakers — it is a hightime to ask)



Passionate about IT and startups. Books lover. Made in Ukraine.

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