Build Products by Asking “Why"


Lean engineers are an essential part of developing successful software products, particularly in companies with non-trivial technical constraints and product complexity. They take the time to appreciate how the business works, how the product fits in, and what its goals are.

The Lean Engineer Masterclass program is a carefully crafted learning experience that will teach you the core elements of lean engineering from knowing your organization and customers to lean experimentation and effort prioritization.

We teach established, actionable frameworks, so you can develop a robust product-related skill set as well as act as a critical connecting link between engineering and business in your company. We are here to help you transfer what you will learn to your actual workplace, regardless of how long it takes.

This program is designed to help you be a better software engineer. By the end of this program you will be able to:

  • Understand how and why (or why not) your company is successful and how you can help
  • Give quality feedback on new or existing product requirements by considering user needs, company goals and engineering feasibility
  • Engage in user research, customer support, and other activities, to learn more about how the product works
  • Properly design, implement and learn from experiments
  • Bring well-backed feature/product suggestions to the table
  • Learn from data and help your organization focus on what really matters
  • Offer product/engineering tradeoffs for the projects you work on
  • Offer invaluable support and advice to your product manager

Application Deadlines


The goal of The Lean Engineer Masterclass program is to help you:

  • do better software engineering work, aligned with users and the business;
  • have more influence in your company by becoming fluent in the language of product managers and executives;
  • and create successful products for your customers.

Click the button below to sign up and get notified when the program's next admission starts.

Your Mentor


Gregor Rebolj is the Founder and CEO of Kyuriosity - a venture studio that starts, funds, operates, and grows impactful tech business hands-on. Together with talented and driven tech co-founders, we do uncompromising due diligence on business opportunities and systematically validate products and business models. We then mobilize our unique skills and networks to build tech companies that bring genuine value to individuals, families, and communities.

Most recently, Gregor Rebolj was the Managing Director of Mobile and a board member at Sportradar, the global leader in delivering sports data and content, providing cutting-edge solutions and services to media companies, bookmakers, sports federations, and state authorities. Before Sportradar he co-founded and built an innovations lab Klika, which he merged with Sportradar in 2011. Being an engineer, he always enjoys the challenge of solving problems through innovation in technology.

Gregor is an active angel investor and a co-founder of Silicon Gardens Funds I and II with investments in Flaviar, Povio, Cleanshelf, Mediately, Speech Blubs, Eurosender, Influee, and others. He is one of the most active angel investors in the region and a recognized authority in the field, helping companies with product and business development.

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Gregor Rebolj - Engineer, Entrepreneur & Investor

"We, engineers, love tackling hard problems that nobody has ever solved before and we relish in the process. Unfortunately, we rarely ask ourselves if the problem is worth solving before we invest months of our effort into the development. The whole experience is that much better if the result of your hard work is being used and loved by millions of people and brings them new value."

- Gregor Rebolj, The Product Engineer Masterclass Host

Program Format


The course is split into 6 modules each taking one week to complete. By the end of each module (week), our goal is to help you effectively transfer the newly acquired knowledge to your workplace. After the course is completed, we offer additional help through our lifetime alumni group. The four main steps we take during each week are:

1. Learn

You will start each week by receiving 1 to 2 hours of video and written material with actionable frameworks, covering lean engineering skills and examples from various businesses. Online learning is self-paced.

2. Apply

Each week includes relevant, up-to-date case studies from different product companies that will be at the centre of your weekly assignments. Anticipate spending 2 to 3 hours on active hands-on learning each week to reinforce the acquired knowledge.

3. Reflect

To combine it all, you will attend a 2-hour live online session once a week and connect with your mentor and peers to reflect and discuss your learnings.

4. Transfer

Apply the new learnings to your company, role, and product. This is the most important part of the course and the core team is here to help you with it. There are also the Lean Engineer Masterclass alumni that will be there for you to support you in the process. Knowledge is not power, applied knowledge is.

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Why does this format work?

This course takes the best parts of both the digital world and in-person communication. Using self-paced online content you can make the course work with your current schedule while organized in-person video calls, chat support groups and feedback on your assignments give you the required personalized feedback. Together this makes an effective and pleasant learning experience. We put a lot of effort into making sure that every student gets required help applying their learnings to their actual workplace, regardless of their background and company specifics.

Program Outline


The goal of this program is not to transform you into a product or business person but rather to help you to become a better engineer who can impact all sides of the business. Below you can find an overview of the 6-week plan where we will go through the complete lifecycle applying to any feature and product, from discovery, validation, and scale to making final tweaks and it’s maintenance. Through real examples, this course will give you the complete picture behind whys and hows of lean product development and lean engineering.

Program Kickoff

Kickoff

You will receive an email on setting up your video conferencing account, learn where to join the program's Slack channel, and attend a kickoff call with your mentor. We will set the context for your next six weeks of material by discussing:

  • How can engineers most effectively help to make better products
  • Why product development should be treated as science
  • Why successful companies prefer lean engineers over other types of engineers and more

Lastly, you will also receive the events' schedule and introduce yourself to the Lean Engineer Masterclass community.

Week 1

Understand Your Organization

Learn

To take impactful initiative and hold the ability to identify features and products you should build, you first need to understand your organization well and what drives its success. We’ll discuss:

  • The importance of understanding the company’s mission and who the decision-makers are
  • The different types of organizations, business models and ways of measuring success (eg. KPIs, funnels, P&L)
  • How established companies see innovation and risk-taking
  • Why communication, collaboration and rapport with product managers and non-technical colleagues are critical for a lean engineer - and what can you do to improve it

Apply & Reflect

Case Study 1 and Assignment 1

Transfer

Dive deep into your company’s mission, business model, and KPI’s. Write them down and analyze how current projects you work on help improve them. Produce a list of 3 to 5 key people and devise a plan to connect and build relationships.

Week 2

Understand Your Customers

Learn

Products and features are really about delivering value to customers. Before starting the engineering work, we first need to understand customers well. We’ll discuss:

  • The user behavior: emotions versus rationale, jobs need doing, pains and gains etc.
  • The value proposition of the product/feature and its impact on customers
  • Gathering qualitative customer feedback and avoiding bias
  • Who in your organization can help you learn more about your products, what value they deliver, and to whom
  • Reaching your customers

Apply & Reflect

Case Study 2 and Assignment 2

Transfer

Draw-up customer profile and learn what pain points you're relieving with your product/feature. Build a value proposition, as you understand it. If you are missing information and/or need to confirm your findings, ask your colleagues from the product, user research, and customer support for help and feedback.

Week 3

Minimize Risk

Learn

It is often more important to know what not to build rather than what to build. The most significant product risk is spending too much time on something nobody wants or that doesn’t make any difference. We'll discuss:

  • The Lean Canvas - how does an idea fit into your company’s business model
  • Address your biggest assumptions - Riskiest Assumption Test
  • Calculate the business impact of a product/feature idea
  • Design, run and learn from quantitative lean experiments
  • Different lean experimentation techniques that can drastically speed up the feature or product validation process

Apply & Reflect

Case Study 3 and Assignment 3

Transfer

Use Lean Canvas to document and scrutinize the new product/feature ideas. Find out what impact could they have on your company's bottom line and do the customers want it at all. Analyze how you could reduce the time and costs of their validation with newly acquired techniques. If appropriate, present findings to your managers.

Week 4

Learn With Data

Learn

Once you know what to build, you then need to define how you are going to effectively measure success of your product or feature. Whenever possible, you should make critical decisions based on the evidence from your data. We’ll discuss:

  • Why visualising the funnels before implementing is important
  • What to measure and how to map it to the user funnel
  • Setting up data collection and available tools
  • The 4 fundamental performance indicators on a product/feature level
  • Different approaches that help you improve your funnels (A/B tests, analyzing existing data,…)

Apply & Reflect

Case Study 4 and Assignment 4

Transfer

Start by sketching the user funnel(s). Make sure you are collecting the right data on all relevant steps of the user funnel. Make sense of the data and establish your current performance - your baseline, which you attempt to improve.

Week 5

Build Pragmatically

Learn

As engineers we relish in the development process and enjoy solving hard problems. But more often than not there is an easier, simpler way how to bring the value to your customers. Time to apply the knowledge about our company, users and the value we bring to the coding process. Use the framework to identify core functions of your products and pragmatically decide where to allocate resources. We'll discuss:

  • Framework for out of the box thinking
  • Understanding the product phase - Explore, Expand, Extract
  • Discovering vs. delivering phase
  • Capturing the value - product/engineering tradeoffs
  • Identify core business functions. Not invented here syndrome
  • The cost of premature optimization

Apply & Reflect

Case Study 5 and Assignment 5

Transfer

Use the framework to identify core business functiona and the lifecycle phase of your company and your products. Validate which development effort actually adds to the value to your company and which do not. Think about whether you encountered these situations in the past.

Week 6

Embrace Change

Learn

Time to close the loop. Collect the results from analytics and apply the new information to your product roadmap. The newfound knowledge could have an effect on the roadmap planned months in advance. We’ll discuss:

  • Build - Measure - Learn cycle
  • Reflecting on results gathered during each cycle
  • Using new knowledge to update and optimize your learning processes described in previous steps
  • Doubling down on things that work
  • How to effectively communicate successful as well as failed results
  • How to develop an internal culture of experimentation

Apply & Reflect

Case Study 6 and Assignment 6

Transfer

Apply the build-learn-test mentality to your project and prepare concrete suggestions how you can become more efficient as a team.

Weekly Schedule


The Lean Engineer Masterclass will run for six weeks in total. Each week, we will cover one module and apply our new knowledge to a real-world case study. Course activities are:

  • Bi-weekly core calls

    Cohort wide calls to discuss learnings and next steps happening three times during the course, every second week.
  • Receive material

    First thing on Monday you receive all the material for the week.
  • Co-working calls

    Optional collaborative sessions on weekends to discuss content and assignments.
  • Homework submission

    The deadline for submitting your weekly assignment is Sunday midnight CET.
  • Peer feedback

    Give feedback to 2 colleagues and reflect upon the feedback you received by Tuesday midnight CET.

Who Should Apply?


The Lean Engineer Masterclass program is intended for mid-career software engineers, in the role of a tech lead, in either B2C or B2B organizations.

The curriculum applies to consultants and in-house engineers and covers fundamental lean concepts that are relevant across different company sizes and software products.

This program is not for you if you are not fluent in the core technology parts of being a software engineer or if you are looking for a shortcut that will work without much effort. Becoming better at what you do always takes time. We are here to help you make a real impact and this will require hard work. If you are up to the challenge, we are happy to help.

The program is open to tech leads anywhere in the world, who want to accelerate their careers and have a bigger impact on the product. Due to limited group size we select the applied candidates based on professional experience, initiative, and program fit .

Time Commitment


The Lean Engineer Masterclass is a 6-week, online, self-paced program. You don't need to take time off from work to participate — we designed it to fit your current work and personal schedule.

Still, the value that you get from the program is directly correlated with the amount of time and participation you're able to commit to the program.

Therefore, you should expect to spend a minimum of 5 hours per week on program material:

  • 1 to 2 hrs on course material
  • 2 to 3 hrs applying frameworks and community participation
  • 2 hrs participating in a live online session

However, to get the maximum value out of this program, you should set aside additional time each week (5 to 7 hrs) to:

  • Connect and collaborate with other participants
  • Review learnings with your co-workers
  • Apply the material to your work and product

Group Size


We prefer helping a small number of people and bringing them a lot of value instead of bringing little value to a mass of people. Our groups are small to prioritize in-person work and personalization. Each student comes from a different background and industry and to make the most out of the course we need to provide specific support and be always available for help. Thus the group size is capped at 20 people.

Admission


Admission fee is made after your application has been accepted. We will follow up with further instructions. The payment can be made by you personally or your employer. There are no further costs.

Admission, payment & cancellation processes: view full details.

Have additional questions? Reach out via Linkedin.

Full price

€2500



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Early bird

€2200

If you apply at least 3 months before the course starts

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All fees quoted include the value-added tax. We reserve the right to modify the program dates, location and fee at any time.

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