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The Many Paths Into Product Management

Preston Smalley
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Getting into product management can be a unique experience for many people. Here are insights based on what path you take.

Transitioning from engineering

  • You might be biased towards your own vision of the architecture of the product, so be sure to remember you’re a product manager now, not the engineer.
  • Include the engineering team in your discussions. 
  • A huge part of the product manager job is to understand customer needs. Make sure to engage with customers more often than you did as an engineer.

Transitioning from design

  • Balance this function with both engineering and business. 
  • Heed the concerns of your engineers, and keep an eye on key performance indicators.

Transitioning from marketing

  • Avoid falling into the trap of relying on your team rather than doing the job yourself. 
  • You are no longer a taskmaster- you also need to shape the product at a technical level. 
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