Acclaro | A Day in the Life of a Product Manager: Mariano Sanz

A Day in the Life of a Product Manager: Mariano Sanz

Category: Culture

Hola! My name is Mariano Sanz, product manager at Acclaro, and I live in beautiful Barcelona, Spain. As I sat down to describe what I do every day, I discovered that my schedule isn’t exactly normal. It suits me, though, because I don’t think I’m a very standard person. Let me show you what my typical day looks like, so you can see for yourself.

A Caffeine Kick to Get Going

I start my day at 7 a.m., well before my wife and baby wake up. I go for an espresso coffee to rev up my engine and prepare some toast and juice if it’s orange season. While I eat breakfast, I open email, review GitHub notifications, check for things that might require immediate attention and sort through other messages. Then, I check my Google alerts for news and interesting content, keeping a pulse on the industry.

Once I have an idea of what my day is going to look like, I get myself ready for work. I begin by setting up my work station, which kind of looks like the desk the operator uses in the “Matrix” movies. 

Settling in for Uninterrupted Work

Since I am between six and nine hours ahead of my colleagues, one of my first tasks is taking care of time-sensitive support requests. With those out of the way, I have two entire hours to focus. This is quite refreshing because it gives me time to plan my day and allows me to start the afternoon with all my questions and answers sorted out and ready to fire. 

A Busy Midday Break

I take my “lunch” break at 10 a.m. During this time, I care for my baby and prepare his second breakfast (yes, like a hobbit). Then, we take the stroller and head out to pick up groceries, run errands or enjoy activities. We do all our shopping in local shops, because we consider it very important to help our small markets. Plus, it’s fun, and everything is super fresh. Sometimes, if it’s not too hot, we’ll hike or go to Park Güell, a private park system that has gardens and interesting architecture. Otherwise, we’ll go to the swimming pool, which the baby loves the most. 

Back home around 1 p.m., I prepare lunch, set the table and enjoy a family meal. After we eat, the baby goes into siesta mode, and I take care of house tasks, like laundry and cleaning.

The Matrix Reloaded

I return to my Matrix operator desk at 3 p.m. and get to work. All the screens are shining, and most of the space is taken up by colorful code syntax in the IDE, Firefox, GitHub, Sentry, Postman, Outlook and Zoom. It’s time to get my hands on Acclaro’s software.

Since my colleagues are now online, I meet with other members of the product team and make a point to check in with the quality assurance manager and the vice president of product. I also talk to the development team to discuss priorities, answer questions and plan for product releases. 

We regularly discuss our team goals and prepare the development sprint accordingly. We try to follow an agile methodology through a scrum framework, which allows us to be very productive and really fast. We also meet with our stakeholders regularly to keep them informed on the progress of our development efforts, which gives us the chance to discuss priorities and timelines.

Ending with the Best Part of the Day

I normally wrap up around 9 p.m. and, if the baby is asleep, I immediately jump in the shower. This is the best part of the whole day. Then, I eat dinner, do some stretching and make food for the baby. I also like to bake, like cookies and banana bread, and do some meal prepping to make cooking during the week easier. About once a month, I do a little R&D on my Bolognese sauce, as it’s my family’s favorite. I’m getting closer to perfection, though I hope Italians everywhere will accept my apologies for assuming that.

Finally, after a long day, I sit down to read or watch the news, tennis or a show. At midnight, I call it a day and head to bed, where I become the baby’s dream guardian until morning.