Our people are core to who we are. With a year spent at Artium comes a brief reflection of the path to craft, successes along the way, and how to continue to learn and grow. Today we sit down with our VP of Product, Kaelin Burns, to discuss how her time at a startup sparked her interest in product, the fulfillment gained from her first client and building a team, and how engaging in conversations on LinkedIn has provided valuable insights.
What is your craft? What brought you to it?
I’m the VP of Product here at Artium. I got into product management while working at a startup, where you had to do a little bit of everything. One of the things that I was able to do was work with our engineer and our designer to figure out new functionality and features for our app and website. It was so much fun getting to work with both of these people and areas of expertise. So I asked, “how can I do more of this?” And that’s when I knew I wanted to go into product management full time. For me, it’s always been about collaboration. I realized you could build better products when you bring in more people and get different perspectives. That was what sparked my interest the most; the human aspect of building software. It drives how I think about building teams and bringing product, design, and engineering together. When I saw how empowered product teams were embraced and supported from principles to practices at Artium, it was the home I had been looking for.
What are you most proud of from your past year?
There are a couple of different things. As an individual contributor, I’m most proud of the first client that I had at Aritum. I got to do all the things I dreamed about doing as a consultant PM with them. They needed a process, hiring, training, and ultimately, they needed delivery. I built great relationships there, and they have stayed on as an INSTL client since then. They’ve been with me through my entire time at Artium, and I think it’s a testament to our approach and the care we take with our clients. It’s not only the expertise that we bring, but how we talk with them, the way we make them feel, how we give them our time and our respect, and ultimately the work we deliver.
On the product team side, I’m so happy with the growth and the people we’re bringing in. We have such a strong team, and it’s such a joy to get more people in here who are excited about product management and the vision that we have. Having them contribute so much, even in their early days, is a sign that we are hiring correctly. We have people here who bring an energy and a passion to a place that is already deeply enthusiastic about the craft of software development. I find that so energizing.
How do you keep learning / refining your craft?
My default is always reading. That’s my preferred learning method; continuing to read and discussing those ideas with the clients and our product team. Another thing I’m really enjoying is participating in more conversations on LinkedIn. I’m posting things that I want to have conversations about in the industry and engaging with other people’s posts and comments. I’ve met some fascinating people through comment threads, and it’s an excellent way to put ideas out there and get feedback on them. You get to learn and iterate in real-time. People put out some bold questions, and obviously, some are inflammatory to get more responses, but you also get some interesting conversations out of that. It also helps highlight new voices in the industry who maybe don’t have a book, a blog, or a podcast. I’ve found many people through LinkedIn that I now follow because I’m interested in what they have to say. So I think that kind of social networking in an organic way of hearing about ideas and content is valuable. I’m impressed with LinkedIn as a space where that has genuinely persisted.