As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we are happy to serve up the story of another incredible woman on the Digibee team! A former volley-baller, cellist, and teacher – and an avid reader, devoted techie, and the epitome of a team-player – it’s our multilingual product manager, Paty Ribeiro da Silva! I had a truly enjoyable conversation about her journey to Digibee and the work that continues to inspire her every day.
Paty’s journey to becoming a product manager was rather indirect, but she stumbled into it while helping a former student translate software. Backing up a bit, Paty had always been fascinated by languages, and at the age of 10, she started taking English courses. (I can attest that her English is excellent. Her native language is Portuguese, and she also speaks Spanish and a little French. Oui!) After high school, she spent 1.5 years abroad in Ireland to master English. She worked as an assistant teacher and served as an impromptu English interpreter for the Portuguese-speaking students. That experience really ignited her interest in education. As soon as she returned to Brazil, she started teaching while studying translation. A former student then asked for her assistance translating software they were in the process of developing. By the end of that year, she understood what product development was, and had “become a product manager without even realizing it.” Although teaching still is, and will always be, part of her life.
According to Paty, product managers often seek ways to expand their portfolios, but that can be difficult if you don’t already have experience in that particular market. Of course, how can you gain that experience if you need experience to get in the door? As a newer company, Digibee was hiring people not just for their skills, but their curiosity and agility. They were looking for people that fit in their lively and passionate culture and had the drive to want to build something together. Paty’s brother worked on the sales team and when he heard what Paty was looking for, he encouraged her to apply. Paty’s skillset was a fit, but she was a bit hesitant about being the first product manager on the team working on a more technical product. During her interview process, she immediately felt connected with the team, especially two Digibees, Head of Design Leandro Cassa and Head of Product Management Rodrigo Lara. She was excited by the opportunity, but it was really Rodrigo’s support and encouragement that made her comfortable with the challenge. Now, two years later, she’s thrilled she took that chance on herself and Digibee.
Life at Digibee
In the early stages of her role, Paty focused on research, learning, and understanding Digibee’s unique product. Digibee was growing fast, and she needed that foundation to help establish the processes to support that growth. Paty was once the only product manager, and now she’s one of six. One of the most exciting aspects of Paty’s job has been seeing how Digibee’s solution makes integration easy. Her past experiences led her to believe this was an impossible problem to solve. Over the past year, Paty has been able to carve out a specific focus in the product, managing the “Build view” of the platform and the intuitive drag-and-drop canvas. (You can take a tour of the Digibee platform to learn more about this!)
Paty’s role at Digibee involves aligning the needs of the business with those of the user, a task that requires her to understand the product from the user’s perspective and anticipate their different needs. Digibee is already delivering an engaging and intuitive product, but every customer is different, so there are always new ideas, new updates, and new ways to evolve. She has found that many of the skills and strategies she learned teaching have been applicable to her role on the Product Team, particularly her ability to observe and interpret people’s needs and present different concepts in various ways. Utilizing those skills has been invaluable for working with the users.
For Paty, succeeding in the product field is about nurturing ideas, developing the best strategy and process, and finding the best possible solution, all while being flexible and willing to abandon ideas and generate new ones. She embraces that her work pivots and changes all the time because it would be impossible for her to succeed in a job if everything was static. She feels it’s also an incredible opportunity for personal growth to develop adaptability, resourcefulness, and creativity.
The Future Ahead
From a professional point of view, Digibee’s future is incredibly exciting to Paty. For one thing, she firmly believes in Digibee’s mission, having seen firsthand the impact Digibee’s platform can have on an organization once you eliminate the integration barrier. She’s also been tasked with a challenge she believes in: to further reduce the time it takes to build an integration. Paty says although it’s a big challenge, solving it is her top priority and it’s a puzzle she is truly excited to solve. She loves having a project that makes her look forward to working every day.
“Digibee’s future is incredibly exciting to Paty…she firmly believes in Digibee’s mission, having seen firsthand the impact Digibee’s platform can have on an organization once you eliminate the integration barrier. “
Paty is also eager to leverage her expertise on product strategies to be a reference point for Digibee. She believes that the best practices and processes of the product culture can help bridge the gap between the engineer mindset and the product culture.
The past two years have also given her a broader view of the capabilities of both herself and her team. She’s enjoyed exploring the myriad of strategies her own developers have used to bring out solutions, and looks forward to continuing to explore more options as Digibee keeps growing.
Balancing Work & Life at Digibee
This past year, a severe back injury left Paty bedridden, merging her work and personal life in unexpected ways. Paty had to work through the frustrations of suddenly losing her independence and needing to rely heavily on her family for help managing her day-to-day care and medical treatments. She wanted to be able to continue working, and her team, especially her manager Rodrigo, showed her unwavering compassion, understanding, accommodation, and support without question. Paty touted this as a significant part of her recovery process. As I listened to what she’s been through, (and I’m happy to say she’s on the mend), I was equally amazed at her perseverance and optimism. She recognizes the strengthening of her relationships, both personally and professionally, as a bright side to her ordeal.
Paty is an avid reader, and a self-proclaimed “techie,” saying her family has always been passionate about technology. She is also a bit of a globetrotter, having been to more than 20 different countries. She loves exploring new places and immersing herself in different cultures. Traveling is freeing because it “opens your eyes to different lifestyles and shows you that life doesn’t always need to be the same.”
From her time in the classroom to her role now and everything in between, Paty joked that she’s “always been a team player.” Before it was interrupted by the pandemic, volleyball was her sport. Her team played twice a week all year long. She also studied cello, but similarly, she found that she only enjoyed playing as part of an ensemble, and it wasn’t something she wanted to do alone. Of course, she hasn’t been able to enjoy any active hobbies recently, but she’s hopeful the time will come again.
I love talking to incredible “Digibees” like Paty each month and I’m so grateful Paty was willing to share her story. Keep reading our employee highlights to learn more about this amazing team of people working to bring Digibee’s innovative enterprise integration solution forward in the US and globally, and see for yourself why we have the best team around!
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