João Gomes is ALTA Digital’s Head of Development.
After spending 6 years working for some of the world’s largest tech corporations, João decided to embrace a new challenge and become a crucial part of this innovative, digital-oriented agency.
This Portuguese developer has remarkable expertise, years of hard-working experience, and lots of interesting ideas to share which will actually impact the way readers perceive the future of product development.
By reading this interview, digital enthusiasts will get a sense of what is product development, what are the key challenges in product development, and what are the trends that will take hold and influence the future of products.
Interview with João Gomes
1. Tell us About Yourself
First and foremost, I’m a happy guy and I’m proud of the work I’ve been developing over the years.
Always ready to help my team, I believe I’m sensitive to the needs of others, which is actually something that is invaluable in a corporate environment.
Throughout my life, I’ve always tried to remain humble, regardless of my professional occupation or hierarchic position.
Most important of all, I think that what really defines me is a keen sense of endless curiosity.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been remarkably driven to learn more about new things, research information, and understand how the world works.
I’m passionate and curious, that’s the gist of it!
I grew up in Setúbal, a city that’s famous for its tasty fish, especially the fried squid, a gastronomical delicacy known all over the world.
I’m 29 years old and grew up admiring my mother, a woman who had the strength and moral fortitude to withstand anything.
Nowadays, I’m a happily married fellow, currently building a house.
One day, I hope to have a huge family!
2. What is Your Educational Background?
I have a Bachelor of Information Technology from the Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal, a school that’s renowned for its ability to train highly-technical IT students.
I also have a Masters of Science in Information Systems, which I got at the same university.
3. Why did you Become a Product Developer?
The reason why I decided to become a product developer is quite simple: I always enjoyed the wondrous world of technology.
Moreover, I enjoyed knowing that - if I dedicated myself to IT and Product Development - I could contribute to the creation of something new.
In fact, I could build something from scratch and help users solve problems, fix tools, and find new ways to interact with apps, websites, etc.
Each project I get to deliver makes me increasingly proud.
It’s both a professional and personal milestone that allows me to keep growing and move forward, always finding new skills to hone.
4. What are the Biggest Challenges in Product Development?
There are many challenges when it comes to product development.
Even so, I would emphasize the following:
- External dependencies
- Time (this is the biggest challenge in product development)
5. What are the Projects you are Most Proud of?
Fortunately, at ALTA, I’ve been able to embrace many different projects.
From CRM systems to web development, to product development, to product design, ALTA allows me to work in many different projects with a wide array of incredibly exciting companies which both enlighten and challenge our team every single day.
It may be hard to decide which are my favorite projects.
Even so, here are some ALTA projects that I’m really proud of:
6. What is the Most Important Thing About Developing Great Products?
There are many important things when supercharging product development.
For me, it’s crucial that teams get to stay positive.
Moreover, they should always be able to compartmentalize.
In fact, it’s fundamental that teams break down a problem into several different parts.
Another important aspect is to always focus on the customer’s needs.
You have to be able to know how to effectively manage customer expectations, and you also need to support the client whenever they require your assistance.
Last but not least, one of the most important qualities you need to have to be a successful product developer is knowing how to align both internal and external requirements as well as needs and expectations.
7. What are the Most Important Product Development Trends?
There are many product development trends that will influence the world of digital in the years to come.
Even so, I will focus on some of the key influences I believe will have the biggest impact:
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Artificial Intelligence
- Data centralization
- Integrations with social ecosystems
8. What is the Best Product Development Methodology?
The best product development methodology depends on a number of factors.
It can be dependent upon the teams and projects which we get to do.
Whenever there’s a new project, our team gathers data that allows us to understand what is the right methodology for product development.
Even so, Agile is the most popular product development methodology and the one we take advantage of most often here at ALTA.
9. What is the Key to Managing Different Products and Projects?
I believe that the key to managing projects and products is always to plan ahead, to be as innovative as possible, and make sure the team is aware of all the details so that it’s always super motivated.
Moreover, transparency is of the essence, since it allows each team member to know exactly what must be done at each specific product development stage.
Finally, I think planning is the very best way for anyone to create a successful product.
Without planning, our highly-skilled professionals would be walking without a destination.
In order to make sure everything goes according to plan, you actually need to have a plan!
10. What are the Worst Mistakes in Product Development?
The worst mistake that a product developer can do is to make assumptions that are not based in fact.
By communicating with clients on a regular basis, I’m able to reach out and always know what the customers want at each particular stage.
Never assume the client wants what they don’t want, and never make faulty assumptions that will ensure your team is going to waste precious time.
Another product development mistake that is quite common?
Creating high-power, ultra-sophisticated functionalities that don’t make any sense for a specific platform.
Whenever we create a product, we must know how to adjust the functionalities to the target audience, ensuring the user experience is as seamless as possible.
In addition, there is a mistake that is probably more costly than any other: not knowing how to estimate.
When you fail to estimate and analyze the technologies at hand, you will find that product development becomes a real nightmare.
Picking the wrong resources for a specific project.
That is also a huge mistake in product development.
11. How Does an Idea Become a Product?
The first step you need to take to ensure that an idea can become a product is to facilitate a brainstorming session.
After a lot of debate, persistent arguing, and lots of meetings, the product developer extraordinaire must be able to know whether or not the project can have what it takes to become a reality.
Then, product developers must get started on research, checking different products in the same niche, and performing a thorough market analysis.
After developing the product, it’s time to communicate away and launch the product.
That’s when a terrific communication strategy comes in handy.
12. In your Opinion, what is the Best Product Ever Developed?
The best products of all time are the products that always manage to not only make life easier but also make people happier.
I believe social, shopping, banking, and media products are the ones that really manage to get the job done, allowing people to have access to an awesome user experience while also making customers happy.
13. What is the Future of Product Development?
I reckon the future of product development is to integrate new technologies, creating whole new products that nobody’s going to see coming.
I also think that mobile is going to rule every single aspect of product development and that the social component is going to become huge.
Finally, the Internet of Things will yield more influence over tech products than ever before.
14. How Will AI Influence Product Development?
Artificial Intelligence is already influencing different areas.
When it comes to product development, I think AI will improve efficiency and planning.
Moreover, it will bring about new ways to interact with products, increase the quality of data, analytics, metrics, and testing.
15. How can Product Design and Product Development Work Together?
That’s the key.
If product design and product development are always completely aligned, they will be able to not only work in tandem but allow the product to become something truly special.
16. What are your Goals for the Next 5 Years?
I want to become the CTO of ALTA Digital, the digital one-stop shop that promises to deliver holistic product development, UX/UI design, and marketing services to multinational companies.
My goal is to gain both national and international recognition and have a huge product development team filled with the very best product developers of all time.
The ultimate objective?
To manage hyper-talented people, growing at a professional and personal level.
João Gomes is an innovative product development expert who’s got years of experience, the drive to make projects come to life, and the will to continue evolving and making ALTA Digital showcase the very best solutions to its amazing clients.
With a passion for new product development trends and the desire to evolve every single day, João is one of the reasons why ALTA Digital manages to provide a wealth of different digital services that empower brands, amplify scale, and allow businesses to grow.