“Non-techie” Product Manager

5d 21 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 21 Comments
  • Facebook !xobiley
    You could try for a TPM or a Product specialist. They seem suited to your skill set.
    5d 6
    • New HXwF46
      Lol
      5d
    • Morgan Stanley y0gurt
      OP
      !xobiley I looked up TPM and see that’s it’s a technical program manager (I thought it translated to technical project manager hence my comment above). Reading some on the job descriptions at FB it does seem like a potentially good option. Thanks again!
      4d
    • Facebook !xobiley
      Don’t forget to explore the product specialist role. It could be an interesting role as well. Are you a “business analyst”?
      4d
    • 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!
      3d
    • Facebook !xobiley
      Good luck!
      2d
  • 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.
    5d 3
    • Morgan Stanley y0gurt
      OP
      Yep, I hear you and I’ve certainly felt that I’ve had to gain my devs respect when joining a new team/effort. But the respect comes because I collaborate well. That said, I’m sure it would be even better if I did have a tech background
      5d
    • Bluebeam Software / Eng futurez
      Can you explain what you mean when you say you “collaborate well”?
      5d
    • 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.
      5d
  • “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.
    5d 3
    • Morgan Stanley y0gurt
      OP
      No need to feel offended or get touchy. My point is that I am able to generally gauge level of effort and can encourage movement on an implementation when something should take days vs. weeks. No complaints from the devs I’ve worked with, just mutual respect despite me not being a techie.
      5d
    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      You can’t call bs on tech people. They call bs on you or quietly sabotage you away.
      5d
    • New HXwF46
      Yogurt, app at Amazon. Tell them everything you have said here. Profit.
      5d
  • eBay PJba40
    “ I work well with developers and generally can call out their B.S.” ...that’s gonna be a no from me dawg
    5d 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! :)
      5d
  • 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.
    5d 1
    • Morgan Stanley y0gurt
      OP
      Good to know. And I appreciate how you phrased the last line :)
      5d
  • 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.
    5d 1
    • 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!
      5d

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