Alison Jones Product Owner

Hello! Please tell us about yourself and your role at Lockwood Publishing?
I’m Alison, a Product Owner at Lockwood Publishing. My role is exciting because I get to spend a lot of time with every department and be a part of the creative process for a lot of what our players engage with in Avakin Life.

How did you find your start in the industry, and how did you arrive at your current position?
I’ve been working as a Producer at Lockwood for 2 years now and just recently got promoted to Product Owner. I’m looking forward to transitioning into this new role as it’s more creative and I’ll be able to help drive what our users in Avakin get to interact with in the game. A production role requires great communication skills, a lot of common sense, and a friendly, trustworthy personality, which I was able to bring with me from my previous roles. Luckily for me I had a great boss (shout out to Chris Gripton!) who taught me everything else I needed to know to succeed as a Producer. I began dotting around the company working on various projects as a Producer, everything from backend code to client features, and even art projects here and there. I didn’t realise it at the time, but following my curiosity around the company and jumping on new projects (no matter how weird and wonderful) gave me the skills required for my current role as a Product Owner. This is a new role both for myself and for Lockwood Publishing, so I’m really excited to get my hands dirty!

What advice do you give young women getting into the gaming industry and what can they do to broaden their knowledge?
Don’t just solve your problems, understand them. It’s easy to find the right person in the room to delegate tasks or solutions to – what is a lot harder is trying to understand what is causing these problems. Don’t be shy, ask questions! I have found that a lot of the coders at Lockwood Publishing are quite happy to explain how their code works or why a certain thing is or isn’t possible. It’s great experience for you to learn and soak up as much as you can, and shows your colleagues that you have a genuine interest in their expertise. Having a more detailed understanding of how everything works will help you to gain respect and trust from your colleagues, and will help you to make better decisions.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you think you ‘d be doing now?
I would certainly still be in a creative or innovative industry. It would be hard for me to do a “normal” job as I think I’d get bored quickly. I could also see myself moving into a role that aspired to have a global impact – like advocating for education or working closely with a charity organisation.

Who has supported you the most throughout your career?
My husband, Drew, supports me in everything that I do. I can go to him for honest feedback or advice and he’s always happy to help me with my problems at work or in life. He’s also constantly learning new things and that continually pushes me to learn more and knowledge share as much as I can. Plus, he shares my love for Excel and actually enjoys looking at my spreadsheets.