Meet The Team: Q&A with Huddle’s Product Owner, Sanja Jerkovic

April 24, 2024

Meet The Team: Q&A with Huddle’s Product Owner, Sanja Jerkovic

From her beginnings in computer science to her role as a product owner, Sanja's journey is one of passion and dedication. Discover how she navigated the sports betting industry, her collaborative approach to product development, and her advocacy for women in tech. Plus, get a sneak peek into Huddle's upcoming initiatives. Don't miss this insightful conversation!

Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a Product Owner at Huddle? What inspired you to pursue this career path?

    My journey to becoming a Product Owner at Huddle started with a love for computer science. One standout moment back in the early college days was tackling a project to develop a multiplayer VR game. Initially daunting, it taught me the power of believing in yourself.

    After cutting my teeth as a software engineer, I realized my passion lay beyond just technology. I wanted to create products people truly wanted. That's when I pivoted to product management—a blend of business, tech, and design. Starting in an agency, I soon discovered my groove was with product-focused companies. Meanwhile, I was nurturing my own startup, learning firsthand the ins and outs of business.

    During this time, I also dipped my toes into the iGaming world as a product manager in Leapbit, after which EveryMatrix saw the potential and bought the company. It was a realm of complexity and constant learning, which only fueled my curiosity further.

    Driven by my love for entrepreneurship, I found my way to Huddle. Here, innovation, rapid development, and an incredible team make every day an exciting adventure.

    What initially drew you to the sports betting industry, and how did you transition into a role as a Product Owner within this field?

      Growing up in Croatia, soccer wasn't just a sport—it was practically a way of life. Every match was an event, and my family and I would gather around the TV, shouting our hearts out for our team. That excitement for sports never really faded.

      Funny thing is, I never quite envisioned myself diving headfirst into the sports betting world. But life has this funny way of leading us down unexpected paths. And once I found myself in the midst of it all, I realized there was something special about this industry. What really kept me hooked was the thrill of constant learning. I mean, every day felt like a new adventure, with fresh challenges and opportunities popping up left and right. It's like the learning curve never ends—and trust me, that's a good thing!

      So, while I may not have planned on ending up here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Because in the end, it's all about embracing the unexpected twists and turns that life throws our way—and maybe placing a few bets along the journey, just for good measure! :)

      Could you share a recent success story or milestone that you and your team achieved?

        I'm in charge of managing the MTS side of Huddle's products. Recently, we've been busy developing two key tools: Multi View, which lets traders handle multiple events simultaneously, and Bet Ticker, giving traders real-time insights for sports betting.

        Throughout the process, we've followed standard product management steps. We listened closely to user feedback, incorporated it into our designs, conducted concept tests, and collaborated with our engineering teams to bring these tools to life.

        Multi View and Bet Ticker are already making our teams more efficient, but we're not stopping there. We'll continue to test and refine them with new features and side projects. Stay tuned!

        How do you collaborate with other teams, such as engineering, design, to ensure the success of product initiatives?

          As a Product Owner at Huddle, collaboration isn't just important—it's everything. It’s a symphony of minds, where engineering, design, and business teams work together to create something truly remarkable. To orchestrate this masterpiece, I focus on 5 key elements: clear communication, aligned goals, cross-functional collaboration, empowering teams and iterative development.

          First off, let's talk about communication. I serve as the bridge between stakeholders, ensuring that everyone speaks the same language and understands their role in bringing our vision to life. Through regular meetings, workshops, and project management tools, we keep the lines of communication wide open.

          Next up, aligned goals. Ensuring that every team member knows exactly what we're aiming for and how their contributions fit into the bigger picture.But here's where the magic happens—cross-functional collaboration. Product development isn't a solo act—it's a team sport. By breaking down silos and fostering collaboration, we unlock the full potential of our diverse talents.

          Next up, empowering teams. I trust my teams to innovate, iterate, and make informed decisions. After all, they're the real heroes of this story. In today's ever-changing market, success isn't about sticking to a rigid plan—it's about embracing iterative development. Together with engineering and design teams, we gather feedback, iterate on features, and adapt to evolving market conditions.

          So, there you have it—the secret sauce to effective collaboration in Huddle. Easier said than done! :)

          It‘s also very interesting to emphasize that you are Google Ambassador for Croatia for Women Techmakers. Can you share with us what inspired you to become a Google Ambassador for Croatia for Women Techmakers? How do you see your role contributing to the advancement of women in technology in Croatia by being a part of this organization?

            This one is pretty cool. So, here's what happened: Božo, the CTO at Huddle, sent me this article about Google looking for ambassadors in Croatia (thanks, Božo!). When I read it, I was hooked. Being part of this means joining a global network of over a thousand ambassadors, diving into new knowledge, hosting events, and mingling with loads of cool people.

            As an ambassador, you get to organize events, give talks, make resources, or even mentor others. I've never hosted events before, so I saw this as my chance to learn something fresh and connect with a bunch of fascinating folks from different walks of life. Plus, I liked the idea of promoting women in tech, so delivering talks on that front is something I'm totally jazzed about. 

            Women have the skills, creativity, and drive to excel in the tech industry, but they often don't get the recognition they deserve. It's important to highlight women in tech. It isn't just about fairness—it's about unlocking the full potential of the industry and paving the way for a brighter, more inclusive future.

            Looking ahead, what are some of the key priorities or initiatives on the horizon for you and your team at Huddle?

              Here's the deal: we're diving headfirst into crafting some new features and products on the MTS side. Our goal is simple. We want our customers to not just like using them, but to absolutely love them. We're talking about products that make their lives easier, that solve their problems, and that leave them wondering how they ever lived without them.

              We're on a mission to build the most efficient, algo-driven trading management service out there. Stay tuned!