5 Skills Every Modern Product Manager Must Have – Oracle Interview

In an era where product management is more dynamic than ever, acquiring the right skills is crucial for success. Wren Ludlow, a seasoned Product Manager at Oracle, shares his journey and the five essential skills that modern product managers must possess to excel in their careers.


The landscape of product management is constantly evolving, and today’s product managers are expected to wear multiple hats, blend a variety of skills, and keep up with rapid technology changes. Wren Ludlow, a Principal Product Manager at Oracle, offers a deep dive into the must-have skills for anyone aspiring to make an impact in the field of product management.

Design Fluency

First on Ludlow’s list is design fluency. It’s not about being a designer, but about understanding and articulating good design principles. Recognizing a well-designed product experience is the first step, but the ability to speak the language of design is where the true skill lies. As Paul Rand, a luminary in graphic design, suggested, simplicity in design is compelling yet complex to achieve.

Technical Competency

Next up is technical competency. Ludlow believes that product managers must garner credibility with development teams. This doesn’t necessarily mean mastering coding but rather possessing enough technical know-how to steer innovation and interact confidently with technical staff.

Relentless Learning

Being a lifelong learner is more a necessity than a choice in product management. Ludlow advocates for continuous learning and applying methods like the Feynman Technique and deliberate practice to master new areas. This constant upskilling keeps a product manager in tune with the latest trends and prepares them for future challenges.

Smart Networking

Networking can dramatically influence your career trajectory. Ludlow encourages embedding authentic engagement into your networking strategy by generously sharing your time and expertise and continuously nurturing professional relationships. This is not only about building connections but also about effectively communicating your personal brand’s story and value.

Business Acumen

Lastly, a solid grasp of business fundamentals is non-negotiable. Whether or not you pursue an MBA, understanding how your product contributes to the company’s big picture is essential. This includes knowledge of marketing strategies, organizational structure, strategic thinking, and more.


Ludlow’s insights provide a roadmap for modern product managers seeking to excel in their roles. From cultivating design fluency, technical competency, relentless learning, smart networking, to enhancing business acumen, these skills form the pillars of successful product management. As product management continues to grow in complexity, these growth hacks ensure that product managers like Ludlow at Oracle can thrive and lead innovation in their respective domains.

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