“Non-techie” Product Manager

Jan 13 22 Comments

I’d love to move from Finance to FAANG but seems like Product Managers tend to have developer backgrounds. I dont know how to code but I work well with developers and generally can call out their B.S. I’m great with the business and have a strong PM background. Do you think I could score a job at Google with my skillset? What other job options would there be for me at FAANGs being a bit less technical but with an excellent product manager background?

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TOP 22 Comments
  • eBay PJba40
    “ I work well with developers and generally can call out their B.S.” ...that’s gonna be a no from me dawg
    Jan 13 1
    • Morgan Stanley y0gurt
      OP
      See my response above. And yes... even PM’s B.S... and I’m happy to have devs call me out on a requirement that can possibly wait. That’s the nature of working relationships! :)
      Jan 13
  • Facebook !xobiley
    You could try for a TPM or a Product specialist. They seem suited to your skill set.
    Jan 13 6
    • Morgan Stanley y0gurt
      OP
      Had a look again and agree could be interesting. Definitely an opportunity to gain deep product knowledge. And yes, I’ve got BA skills... it’s actually how I started out on my road to PM!
      Jan 15
    • Facebook !xobiley
      Good luck!
      Jan 16
  • New CJwV33
    PMs who have a technical background/been developers in the past are much more respected by devs, because PMs without technical background may be out of touch with reality when it comes to some feasibility issues or technical problems and often set unrealistic demands/deadlines. If you enter with a defensive mindset towards the devs, it may not be conducive to cooperation.
    Jan 13 3
    • Bluebeam Software / Eng futurez
      Can you explain what you mean when you say you “collaborate well”?
      Jan 13
    • Morgan Stanley y0gurt
      OP
      Just means that I have a team mindset and am able to roll up my sleeves and work closely with dev. I’m not a “figure it out and get back to me type”. I see where I can support and try to bring a unique perspective. Some say I’m tough but fun so we get ish done.
      Jan 13
  • “Call out their bs” Assuming they tell you BS sounds like you wouldn’t be a delightful pm for developers to work with. Companies that focus on tech like google will smell that kind of personality from 10 miles away.
    Jan 13 3
    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      You can’t call bs on tech people. They call bs on you or quietly sabotage you away.
      Jan 13
    • New HXwF46
      Yogurt, app at Amazon. Tell them everything you have said here. Profit.
      Jan 13
  • PM’s specifically from Google generally have a strong tendency to come from technical backgrounds. You’d be much better off trying to get into FB or Amazon with a non-technical background.
    Jan 13 2
    • Morgan Stanley y0gurt
      OP
      Thanks, that’s what I’ve heard but hoping perhaps there’s a way to at least get my foot in the door via an alternative position and then navigate my way to a PM role eventually. Definitely will look into FB and Amazon as well. Thx!
      Jan 13
    • Google hedgeit
      Navigate to PM in Google from alternative path is not very easy as you could imagine
      Jan 18
  • Amazon / Eng jg7df2
    I think PMs do not need strong technical background. Amazon even hires fresh MBA grads for PM positions.
    Software engineers in FAANG are usually smart and do not depend on PMs calling out BS to get work done. You’ll learn more about the culture once you start working here.
    Jan 13 1
    • Morgan Stanley y0gurt
      OP
      Good to know. And I appreciate how you phrased the last line :)
      Jan 13

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