I’m taking a short break from reading through some… uniquely crafted…. stored procedures to write this week’s newsletter.
I mention the code archeology because it plays into the topic of the technical product manager role.
This current gig has reminded me how much I enjoy digging into the data and business logic required to properly address problems at larger organizations. It’s the aspect of internal products I enjoy the best (certainly more than the political silliness that also goes along with working in large organizations).
I’ve frequently found myself digging into data or legacy code to understand business logic that needs to be replicated, or revised, in order to achieve the desired outcome I happen to be tackling at the moment.
However, that activity is not necessarily one always associated with stuff product people do on a regular basis.
So does that mean that I’m stepping way outside of the bounds of what I should be doing, or does it mean that I’m filling an additional role to that of business analyst or product owner?
I’ve never officially had the title of technical product manager, but when I heard about it I thought perhaps it might be an accurate description of the type of work I find myself doing on internal products.
So I decided to do a little bit of research to find out what this technical product manager role is all about and if it is a bit better description of the type of work I find myself drawn toward. Included in this week’s newsletter are some of the resources I came across to get a better understanding.
My conclusion after reading through these resources? The jury is still out. But I can say that it’s generally better to have a wide variety of skills to call upon to deal with the particular challenges of the product you’re working on.
Have you had some experience as a technical product manager? If so, I’d love to hear what you’ve found.
Meanwhile, back to those stored procedures!
What is a technical product manager, anyway?
What does it really mean to be a “Technical” Product Manager? And how is it different from just a Product Manager? Daniel Elizalde shares the difference between these titles plus key Do’s and Don’ts to help you succeed as a Technical Product Manager.
The product manager vs. the technical product manager
You see a lot of articles that advise on whether product managers should invest in learning technical skills. In fact, that is usually one of the most popular threads on PM forums. That might lead you to think that technical product manager is a hybrid product management/engineering role.
Not so fast.
Product Management: Technical Product Manager
The folks at ProductPlan describe a technical product manager as a product manager with a strong technical background that is typically focused on the more technical aspects of the product. A technical PM works more closely with the engineering team than the business, sales and marketing teams of the organization.
What is Technical Product Management Anyway?
Carlos G de Villaumbrosia explains that technical product management combines some of the most-sought-after skills in one single position. TPMs often build products for product people, which requires acute knowledge of both customer and business needs. They know how to collect and deploy data, cracking the engineer’s process and becoming problem-solving machines.
Practices to help you become a technical product manager
Good product managers add to engineering teams. You don’t have to know how to code well in order to understand the fundamentals of what happens under the hood of a web browser or how to query an API endpoint or even design a database data structure. Understanding the fundamentals of programming, at the very least, helps you understand what engineers on your team are saying when you are having a conversation with them. And understanding the technical feasibility of a feature or product is an advantage. Ajay provides this detailed guide to becoming a technical product manager with links to relevant resources and courses.