Program Managers at Apple (etc) how would you describe your/their jobs?

New / Other
A. Ham

New Other

BIO
Turned my beeper on.
A. Hammore
Nov 28, 2018 5 Comments

Be nice. I've noticed half the engineers and devs on Blind think PMs (product or project) do nothing. Rolls eyes. There are quite a few positions like this available at tech companies. I know they can vary depending on the team. What have you seen or experienced at your company?

Apple especially.

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TOP 5 Comments
  • Dataminr uBpi52
    I view the existence of PMs (of either variation) as insulting to devs.

    It implies there is no competency for self-direction or strategical, high-level understanding/planning of a product within the engineering org.

    A good analogy I hear is that PMs are the architects/contractors and developers are the construction workers.

    That's absurd to me. PM positions are redundant at best.

    They only serve to offload blame for lazy devs who don't want to take ownership of successes and failures of a product and simply want to be told what to do.

    It's weak shit. Devs are perfectly capable of thinking about what they want to build and why. This isn't construction with some unskilled labor that needs direction.

    These are intelligent people who don't require someone outlining a "roadmap" for them and holding their hands through a project. I suspect Product roles will cease to exist in the not too far off future.

    Disclaimer: I am not a dev or a PM.
    Nov 28, 2018 1
    • Apple Grgyh334
      I disagree. PMs of both kind are the glue between the devs and the cross functional teams. Devs like to create products and solve problems. That’s what they are super good at. They could and should be the architects. But if they spend their time in daily meetings trying to influence and convince cross functional teams, they won’t have any time to actually work on creating products and solving problems. That’s what the PMs are for.
      Nov 28, 2018
  • Apple asyncAwait
    Mostly yes. But EMs I see here are technically capable. They can validate a technical choice you make. May be not at a very low level. But their vast experience definitely helps when it comes to high level design decisions and tuning the system.
    Now coming to why they exist, as some one already pointed out. It is better to have a team captain even if all the players in your team are the best in the world. Helps with coordination and in ensuring that we are not all working in different directions. This is especially needed in very large teams.
    Nov 28, 2018 0
  • Amazon / Product giju14
    They transcribe meetings, set them up and clean the offices. Program managers at Apple have a shitty life based on my limited experience working there for two years
    Nov 28, 2018 0
  • New / Other
    A. Ham

    New Other

    BIO
    Turned my beeper on.
    A. Hammore
    OP
    I've worked with devs especially offshore teams that were incapable of strategy or product management. Without a PM, nothing gets done. It's not all devs. But let me tell you how frustrating it is to go on vacay for a few days and development has completely stalled because nobody held any meetings or stopped work because of one simple thing. If a good dev wants to do all the strategy and project management work and code too, he can. I wont be mad. But I just rarely meet these folks.
    Nov 28, 2018 0

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