My DPS Experience as a Software Engineer

Deep Dhar
6 min readJan 6, 2022

This is my journey from being an average learning software developer, struggling to gain experience, to finally completing my 3-months at Digital Product School as a software engineer (batch 14).

It was summer time, June was about to end, and I was home, busy working with android apps as usual when I came across the post of Digital Product School on twitter via my friend. I found the program exactly made for me, it was of 3 months, focused on learning and making digital products that can create impact on our lives in a good way. It excited the hell out of me. But I wasn’t sure if I could make it in the program as a Software Engineer, since I was still in my Sophomore year in college and not much experienced in my background.

Skip to August 2021 and guess what? I got a call for an interview after my application got shortlisted. The interview was so smooth, never have I ever thought interviews could be such smooth. I answered honestly to all of the questions asked and could impress the interviewer which was a great moment for me. And to my very good luck, I got the acceptance letter in just a week of the interview. August 9th, 2021 was a great day of my life since it was the first ever time that I was accepted in a fellowship/internship program. I was super pumped to get started with it.

Our Team Photo

Now let’s skip to the Good Part, shall we?

Our batch (batch 14) started from September 14, 2021. All of us(the Core Team, and the participants) met together online for the very first time, all thanks to the Pandemic. We had a wonderful opening ceremony, met our Track Heads, got assigned in a team, met my awesome teammates, made some new friends in random breakout sessions, exchanged some great conversations and more. The first week was full of sessions and workshops to give us better understanding about the program. I was having a wonderful time, despite joining online from India. The first week cleared things out about what we were gonna do in the next coming weeks.

For those of you who are alien to the Digital Product School (DPS), let me give you a brief introduction. It is a 3 month full-time program, open to participants from any corner of the world to undergo a highly intensive training and gain problem-solving experience being in an agile and cross-functional team. Participants gain knowledge and confidence to bring their ideas into reality that would take them usually one or two years working in a cross-functional team or a lean start-up. Every batch is divided into teams with at least one person specializing as Software Engineer (SE), Artificial Intelligence Engineer (AI), Product Manager (PM), and Interaction Designer (IxD). Product Marketing & Communications Managers (PMC) and Agile Team Coaches (ATC) too get in some teams. Teams are either classified as company team which are responsible to find solutions for DPS Partner Companies or wild team which are free to propose a solution to any valid problem of their choice (usually these teams find solutions for problems existing in DPS). According to the Design Thinking Model of the Double Diamond (below), teams discover and validate problems before they search for a solution and develop it by permanently testing it.

At the end of the 12 week program, DPS expects a well-thought-out solution in the form of a “Minimum Viable Prototype/Product (MVP)” that fits with the problem worth solving. It can also be a digital product that is well designed/coded and well presented.

Double Diamond

We had 14 diverse teams and I got in team — Mountain Climbers of 5 people (2 SEs, 1 AI, 1PM and 1 IxD). The next few weeks were pretty clear for us to start working dedicatedly. We involved in Team Discussions, Stakeholder Mapping, Weekly Track Meetings, and the most important part of our program — conducting User Interviews and getting feedback from others. Although I was working remotely, but I was still getting the vibe of being in a proper agile environment. I was able to improve myself and bring discipline in my daily routine to manage everything. (phew… it wasn’t easy)

Retro Session
Retro Session

Every week we had a goal called weekly sprint. It’s often called as weekly product show where every team tries to achieve a goal and presents it on-screen to everyone (usually presentation slides explaining problem solving approach, figma prototypes, or even mockup of their final MVP — Minimum Viable Product). We also had mentors assigned to the teams which help us keep moving in the right direction. Fun fact — our mentor is great at programming despite being the head of Interaction Designer at the Core Team!

We also had track meetings every week. It wasSE weekly in my case, where all of us Software Engineers along with our Track Head (Daniel or Bela) had fun conversations and learning sessions about different technologies and problem solving. We also gave feedbacks to each of us regardless of different teams and their solutions.

The only thing I missed during this program, was being at Munich. My colleagues out there engaged in various games, activities, cooked food and had lunch together quite often which used to make everyone of us sad who were working remotely out of Munich. I even missed the Halloween Lunch and Final Day Sprint where everyone was together for the last time :(

The Final Show!

The day arrived when we had to show the MVP we made for our partner company, in front of everyone at DPS, along with the Stakeholders. It was our final sprint review where we presented our super impressive advertisement video and an explanation video of our MVP. I met a lot of experienced folks that day working in some huge tech startups and companies, exchanged convos, attended meeting with my friends(team-mates) for the last time and literally lived the moment. Check out the final sprint here.

So what did I learn at DPS and how it changed myself as a person? For me, it was the best experience till date. I still can’t believe how fast those 12-weeks passed. Started with strangers in the team, we all started working together, played a lot of games, had conflicts, understood each other’s problems and days off, did vibe together and concluded our journey with an MVP. We were introduced to several tools such as lean DPS canvas, AI-deation, research canvas, guerilla research, scrums, sprints, bomb boards, usability testing methods, A/B testing, retrospectives, sprint reviews, so on and so forth. And the most important thing which we learnt was, to always focus on user before developing a product to create significant impact on his/her life.

I learnt how to ideate, create story map before making a product and take feedbacks to improve further. It was tough for me being a college student to get an experience similar to big enterprises to deliver a product under stress and time constraints but professionally it has improved me a lot. I learnt to give feedbacks, make my point clear despite of conflicts, and collaborate in making a product that can impact a lot of lives including ours. I learnt React Native in just a week which is insane, and some other new technologies too which boosted my skillset a lot. I enlarged my network with some great minds around the world, learnt a lot from them, experienced diversity and yeah, cannot thank enough DPS to provide me one of the best experience of my life.

If you are interested to experience the same, go ahead apply now at Digital Product School



Deep Dhar

Designing and Developing mobile apps. Alumni at Digital Product School (batch-14)