How I transitioned from a Software Developer to a Product Manager
While product management is still a nascent field, it has become a staple of effective development teams, establishing a strong foundation for design, engineering, marketing, and customer success.
As a part of our ongoing Product Conversations with industry experts, We recently had an interview with the Sr. Technical Product Manager at Amazon – Priyansh Maru. The interview was hosted by one of our Product Management Bootcamp course Learners – Arpit Ranjan
Here are a few aspects, the interview focused on:
How to transition from a software developer to a product manager
How to use your technical skills to get the most out of the product manager role
What the employer expects when you apply for a product manager post
Ideas on how to tackle customer problems
About Priyansh Maru:
Priyansh Maru is a Senior Technical Product Manager at Amazon with two-and-a-half-years of experience. He owns the mobile experience for Amazon business customers and is responsible for defining the strategy, vision, and roadmap for the mobile experience. Priyansh was a software developer for several years before he became a product manager at Amazon. So, a lot of professionals, especially from the development field, want to know how he pulled it off.
In this exclusive interview with us, he talks about the changing dynamics of the product management field and how one can get into it.
On being asked by Arpit about what got him into Product management, Priyansh shared with us a brief about his career journey. He was interested in the business side of things, and after working in software development for 4 years when he got a fair understanding of how the technology worked, how the coding works – the backend, the frontend, the database, etc. he had an urge to move to the business side of the product, and thought of doing an MBA. During his MBA, he explored different options, but product management was something he was most intrigued about and thus landed to his current role.
To one of the most frequently asked questions, “What companies look for in a new product manager?” Priyansh’s answer was very detailed.
He explained that Product management is a very ambiguous field and there are multiple skills required by different companies. Some companies look for how you think about customer problems, customer needs, how do you come up with solutions to those problems and how will it make life easy for the customers. This mindset is what employers need in a product manager; it doesn’t matter at what stage you are at in your career. Along with this, product management is the integration of business, tech, and UX. Some capabilities in each of these fields are critical for getting into product management. If you are an expert in any of these fields, then you have a competitive advantage. This is the main reason why a lot of software developers and UX developers get into product management.
During interviews, a few of the most important questions asked are, which is your favorite product or which is your preferred app. These are the products we use every day. So, the interviewer wants to know about the problems you face while using these products, and if you were a product manager, how would you solve these problems. That kind of mindset in your daily life is what companies look for.
There are a lot of software developers who are looking for a career switch to product management, the advice shared in this session will indeed be of great value to them.