From lean programming to growth marketing

I recently followed a growth marketing course, introducing mindset and methodology to make a company grow. I learnt a lot from it and since, I try to apply this knowledge on a daily basis. After more reflection on it, a lot of ideas looked very similar to software development job, this is the part I would like to share.

To stay efficient in development, many methodologies use feedback loops. From agile methodology to lean startup, it’s a similar approach: you plan your ideas, build products, learn from collected data to come up with new ideas.

The growth process introduced to me follows also these rules.


Back to software development, I feel this mindset is already part of our job, a mix of lean programming and data driven development.

Lean Programming (or Lean Software Development) is inspired by lean manufacturing movement from the 80s. It’s focused on efficiency, reducing waste of development and deliver as fast as possible. Its one of the methodology to implement Agile.

Data Driven Development can be described as a methodology where decisions are made based on collected data. Creating or improving a feature, you want to understand how your app is used before going anywhere else. That’s how Burbn became Instagram after finding out what was their most valuable feature.

At the end, in software development, the metrics are different, so does the implementation but the process stay the same.

For instance a metric I can check every day is crash free users. It’s important for me to monitor the impact of crash on my mobile users. If those numbers become too low, then I’ll investigate and come with ideas how to fix it. That’s going to be the One Metric That Matter (OMTM).

Another example is A/B testing. In growth marketing, it’s a common way to validate experiences: giving two different versions for the same feature, you want to detect which one converts the best. Changes between those versions need to stay really simple like copyrighting, colour of buttons, background images, etc.

Again, in software development, I used feature flags to have the same information: remotely switching on/off a new feature to see if it’s stable, which one people use most, etc.

But what does all of these mean?

At the moment, marketers need more and more tech skills on a daily basis. Creating land page, integrating scripts, experimenting specific features, there is a lot that is code related.

I love building product, but I’ve always been really interested into the impact given. Delivering the right product to the right people, I think that is where growth marketing helps, mixing product and marketing skills.

I personally followed this course to understands what are the needs to become growth hack (also called marketing engineer). I found out that part of the process is something I’m already familiar as described above.

Two years ago,I questioned myself how a developer can do marketing and missed all those similarity in the work process. I’m happy to be closer to the answer today.


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Benoit Pasquier

Software Engineer 🇫🇷, writing about career development, mobile engineering and self-improvement

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Singapore 🇸🇬