All related (4)
Vasanth Arunachalam
Director, Technical Program Management, Meta | Formerly MicrosoftFebruary 2

This response also applies to one of the other questions asked here - "What qualities stand out in some of the best TPMs you know?"

I strongly believe that you can be a successful technical product manager regardless of your background, as long as you have the passion and growth mindset. It is not rocket science (for that matter, look at Elon Musk for rocket science). So I’ll focus on some of the desirable soft skills that makes one a successful technical product manager -

  • Able to technically grok how things work, very fast
  • Balanced (between Strategic and Technical thinking) & Objective
  • Data driven
  • Extreme ownership
  • Being thorough
  • Strong communication
  • High EQ & Empathy
  • Dealing with ambiguity and chaos
  • Growth mindset

I’m intentionally not focusing on domain skills, because they can learnt. A good technical product manager should be able to take up any problem and build something to solve for it. Along the way they’ll likely gain the domain skills required to meet that goal (Eg: ML/AI, Integrity/Risk, Distributed systems, Autonomous vehicles, Game theory, Ad Auctions etc).

I personally don’t fret over incrementally building my career around a set of ‘domain skills’. I’ve always looked at my career as a mosaic, I’ve done a variety of roles as a technical product person and gained a wide range of experiences. What matters is 3 things:
1) Do you find your work to be meaningful?
2) Are you learning something in that process?
3) Are you having fun?

Vasanth Arunachalam
Director, Technical Program Management, Meta | Formerly Microsoft
It could be a combination of any of these things - * Look at data (dashboards, customer feedback channels, internal partner team feedback) to check progress (on product success, platform performance) -Take any actions necessary (filing bugs, resolving a SEV) * Supporting your cross functional team to deliver on roadmap projects -Brainstorm product and technical solutions. -Sprints, design reviews, code reviews -Removing blockers * Look at data to proactively surface opportunities, hot spots, technical bottlenecks etc * 360 communications often tailored meticulously fo...
Navin Ganeshan
Head of Driver Products, Amazon Relay, Amazon
(Reposting this from a related question)  A technical product manager at Amazon is generally referred to as a Product-Manager-Technical (PM-T). A PMT can have ownership over a product, a functional area or even a program, but their primary focus is on formulating the vision, the strategy and roadmap for that area. They are also ultimately responsible for the end metrics of adoption, quality and effectiveness of the features they deliver. They are also the primary customer champions synthesizing their current pain-points, as well as anticipating future needs. They develop concept document...
Devika Nair
Director of Product, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Oracle
Two constant challenges for me in any product role has been finding the right way to say no. This could be to your customers asking for a particular feature or your organization that has decided to prioritize certain aspects differently.  The best way to overcome this challenge is by having your facts and data clear. For example, it is easy to convince leadership about your prioritization rationale if you have data to back up your claims, whether it is potential revenue or customer impact.