January 12, 2021

Meet Thierno Barry: Product Manager at Duo

Duo is hiring on pocitjobs.com

Originally from Guinea in West Africa. Thierno moved to the U.S for college, earning an MBA at St. Cloud State University in Northern Minnesota. Settling on the West Coast, Thierno is now Product Manager at Duo Security, a Cisco company. We had the opportunity to chat with Thierno about his journey into product development, his experiences at Duo, and how to navigate a tech environment with a non-technical background. 

(Edited for clarity)

How Did You Get Into Product Development?

I don’t have a hardcore tech background, and I’m not an engineer by training. I went to school for Business and did an MBA; I joined Amazon in Product because I wanted to use technology to build digital products that bring a more customer-centric solution.

What Brought You To Duo?

After two years at Amazon, I was approached by Duo. I went to the meeting with an open mind. It was an early-stage company, but because Cisco acquired it, it was a startup that had the backing of a large and well-established company. That was unique. I also liked that there was room for the company to grow.

What Is Your Role As A Product Manager?

My role is responsible for scaling and expanding our product internationally. This means working with multiple teams across engineering, legal, operations, and go-to-market to determine how to bring the product to the customer, any product customizations needed to fit the market and develop our international roadmap.

What’s The Best Part Of Your Day?

The best part of my day here is the people and the culture. I like how Duo is intentional about its culture. They still maintain the energy and drive of a startup but with the backing of a Fortune 500 company (Cisco). The culture at Duo is one of inclusion, collaboration, transparency and profound empathy where everybody can bring their best work every day, without having to worry about whether or not you fit in.

How Important Were Your Mentors Throughout Your Career?

When I needed to make decisions on my career direction, I’ve always found that my mentors could bring a level of objectivity and clarity through different perspectives. When I had the chance to return the favour, I gladly became a mentor to two associates here at Duo.

What Are You Most Proud Of In Your Career?

I’m proud that I never had to compromise myself. I have these achievements in my career because I am genuinely being who I am without worrying too much about fitting a particular cultural environment or mould. I can also say through building bridges across teams; I left all the roles I’ve held in a better place.

Would You Do Anything Differently?

I would tell myself not to worry about the ‘imposter syndrome’ and not overthink what I did wrong. There have been times I wanted to say more in meetings when there was disagreement. I would tell myself from early on to speak up on how you feel because that’s why you’re there.

Do You Have Any Advice For People In The Industry Who Come From Non-Technical Backgrounds, Like Yourself?

Tech is likely to remain a disruptive industry, so you should be a lifelong learner and invest in soft skills. Sometimes the most effective way to resolve a problem isn’t by having the best technical skills, but by having the skills to lead and support the people solving the problem. I’d also add that being your authentic self will always be more exciting and valuable than your version of someone else.

Duo is hiring on pocitjobs.com

Keisha Morant

A freelance writer with a passion for telling impactful tech stories online.

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