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A Startup’s Secret Weapon: The Product Engineer

Startups often require employees to take on multiple roles, and one such combination is for an engineer to take on product management functions. In this talk, you will learn what a product engineer role looks like, why you should be a product engineer, and how to become one. I will discuss why product engineers are an invaluable asset to an early-stage startup, and how having product engineers result in better products and happier developers. This talk relates my experience over nearly a decade in the trenches of early-stage startups, as a founder, and most recently as CTO at

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About the content

This talk was delivered live in June 2016 at AltConf. The video was recorded, produced, and transcribed by Realm, and is published here with the permission of the conference organizers.

Alicia Liu

Alicia Liu is the CTO of, an app to help people achieve their goals through personalized coaching. Alicia is a full-stack web and mobile engineer, and has cofounded two startups in the past. She writes and speaks about development best practices and engineering culture.

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