You're Hired: How to Get a Job in Product Management
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It's the best role within a fast-growing technology company: think big about products, design user experiences, build product experiments, work with brilliant designers and engineers, and see your product change the lives of millions of people.
Do you have what it takes to get hired as a PM at Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, or your dream company?
This course will dive into...
Five-star ratings across the board for this course. I am committed to helping you become a good product manager and land your dream job.
Ready to become a Product Manager?
"Everything you need to know!"
"Jason's class is a very comprehensive overview of everything you need to know to apply and get hired as a product manager.
It really helps you understand what the position is about and what kind of responsibilities you can expect. It also prepares you for product management interviews and forces you to really think about interview questions.
I got a position as an Associate Product Manager a few weeks after I took this class!" - Pauline M.
"Honest. Well thought out. Great resource."
"Jason does a fantastic job of providing insight to every aspect of successfully getting hired as a Product Manager. The practice interview (quiz) questions are exactly what everyone interviewing right now should practice." - Rahul C.
"This course helped me get my first Product Manager role in SF"
"If you're interested in successfully transitioning into product management from a tech or non-tech background. This course will give you a robust and comprehensive lay of the land.
The course introduces you to the specific skills you need to succeed as a PM, the business language you need to be fluent in to communicate with key stakeholder and the interview questions you need to practice for your interview.
Jason's course helped me secure my first PM position at a mega digital publication company by providing hands-on experience in finding the right jobs, impressing the employer on the first impression, nailing the interview and even securing compensation well above what I would have expected!" - Mohit B.
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|Section 1: Learning from the Best: Conversations with Real Product Managers|
Hear from Jason Evanish, Product Manager at KISSMetrics, about his experience and advice on how to get into product management.
Feedback box blog post: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/secret-to-great-feedback/
Hear from Jackie Bavaro, Product Manager at Asana (and previously Google and Microsoft), about her experience and advice on how to get into product management.
Twitter: @jackiebo (https://twitter.com/jackiebo)
Jackie also has a book coming out soon called "Cracking the PM Interview" - check it out! http://www.crackingthepminterview.com/
|Section 2: Introduction to Product Management and How to Get Hired as a PM|
In this lecture, we discuss what Product Management is, especially in this new world of A/B testing and lean startup methodology. Product Managers help drive project teams towards building new features usually - writing specs, iterating on designs, imagining what the A/B test should include for variations, leading the engineering team to execute the spec, working with analysts to interpret A/B test results and pull other supporting data, reporting out to sales, marketing, and others on your progress, and much more.
We also briefly cover the steps to interviewing for the PM role - from the resume, to the phone screen, to the interview itself.
We describe this general process in this lecture, which we will dive into more in later course sections.
Product Managers come from all sorts of backgrounds - former entrepreneurs, artists, philosophers, and more. But the reality is that there are some core characteristics to each of these backgrounds that make people suitable to being entrepreneurs. We discuss these characteristics in this lecture.
|Section 3: This is Product Management.|
Product Managers think big. While it's important to know how to catch bugs and get micro-interactions right in the UX of a product, seeing the forest through the trees is extremely important, as well.
Driving product vision involves imagining where Facebook / Pinterest / Twitter / Linkedin / Your Dream Product can be in 5, 10, 25 years. What do competitors do well / what are they missing / where is there a new opportunity in the market? What in your product doesn't make sense anymore that you should eliminate to make way for a new user flow in your product?
The spec (originally "specifications document" or "product requirements document") defines the project. It is what your engineers, designers, QA team, sales people, marketing folks, etc. will refer to in order to understand the goal and details of a feature or technical project. The spec should define the problem, the goal, product hypotheses, metrics for success, mockups that are visual representations of the feature, bullet points describing functionality and edge cases, how many people should be treated with experimental variations in the A/B test and much more.
Designers and engineers are the two groups of people you will work most closely with as a Product Manager. Designers are your partners in figuring out the look (UI - user interface) and feel (UX - user experience) of the product. Engineers are your partners in that they will actually implement the vision and make it work in your site or app. In these relationships, it's important to allow designers and engineers maintain autonomy (don't dictate every last detail), negotiate balances (e.g. Increasing virality is great, but at what cost to the user experience?), and figuring out how to solve the user problem without an excessive investment from the engineering team.
PMs work with the entire company. So outside of designers and engineers, you also need to communicate with marketing so they know how to message things to customers, sales so they know what to leverage for upcoming deal opportunity, executives so they know what to cover in the next analyst call, and so on. As a PM you need to listen to inputs, use what you can, set expectations, and be the ambassador for your project teams.
What's the point of building new features or trying to kill useless ones if you don't know the impact?
Product management today is lean and data-driven, so people want to know whether or not changes boost engagement, help retention, increase virality, drive monetization, etc. You need to know which metrics to watch out for and assert product hypotheses that are the right things to validate.
|Section 4: Positioning Yourself for a Product Management Job|
Where do you want to be a PM? Product management varies so much from company to company - big company vs. startup, consumer vs. enterprise, Google vs. Facebook.
In this lecture, we walk through the key questions to ask yourself to figure out which tech company is the right one for you.
Most aspiring product managers run into a common Catch 22: "you can't become a product manager unless you have been a product manager before, but you can't become a product manager if..."
Here we'll talk about how business analysts, consultants, MBA students, and others can fine tune their resumes and stories to highlight the experiences they have had that are most relevant for Product Management jobs.
Prior to getting an interview, most PM candidates will have a phone screen. This phone screen is meant to see if you have what it takes to warrant an interview and have the right expectations and enthusiasm.
The homework is meant to discover your product sense, ability to understand metrics, and comfort with engineering complexity and tradeoffs.
The product management interview can be tricky. You need to have vision. You need to understand metrics. You need to balance engineering tradeoffs. You will meet with PMs, designers, engineers, analysts, and maybe others. You may get asked brainteasers. You may get asked about what your favorite products are and why. You may be tasked with walking through how you will build Facebook Timeline or Yammer Tasks or something else - real or fictional.
Negotiating for your PM position. What do you care about? Salary, equity, vacation days, health insurance, and / or something else? Fortunately tech companies today compensate (and feed) their employees well.
During this process, you should also be learning as much as you can about the company and the team(s) you'll work with if you didn't already do this in the interview process.
|Section 5: Interview Questions|
Here we walk through ideal responses to the Yammer Interview Question.
Here we walk through ideal responses to the Facebook Interview Question.
Here we walk through ideal responses to the Pinterest Interview Question.
|Section 6: Wrapping Up|
Congrats! You have completed the course and are ready to pursue a PM job. In this final lecture, we recap the course and share a few tips and resources as next steps.
A list of resources (books, people to follow) for aspiring PMs
|Section 7: Learning from the Best (Part II): More Conversations with Real Product Managers|
|Hear from Raj Ramachandran, Director of Product at Kidaptive and former PM at Zynga and Storm8, about his experience and advice on how to get into product management. Raj shares insights about how business school helps aspiring Product Managers, how to choose which industry to be a PM in (he chose gaming), and ways to break into PM without any prior experience.|
Hear from Pascal Carole, Product Manager at Microsoft / Yammer, about his experience and advice on how to get into product management. Pascal was previously a software engineer at Microsoft, and he discusses how he made the transition from engineering to product.
|Hear from Chris Lee, Product Manager at Dropbox, about his experience and advice on how to get into product management. Pascal was previously an entrepreneur and project manager at Apple (and a Wharton MBA!), and he discusses how he made the transition from his startup to product management, the role his MBA played, and what he likes the most about product.|
|Hear from Wil Keenan, Senior Product Manager at Change.org, about his experience and advice on how to get into product management. Wil shares his experience through his time at Vanderbilt, to building a business in Uganda, to becoming a chef in San Francisco, to Yammer, and now to Change.org.|
|Hear from Eva Andreasson, Senior Product Manager at Cloudera, about her experience and advice on how to get into product management. She has been an engineer and worked on hardware before her latest software product management experiences.|
|Hear from Teresa Torres, VP, Products at AfterCollege, about her experience and advice on how to get into product management.|
Janna Bastow, Founder, ProdPad and former product managerPreview