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How others have moved into Product Management

How do I become a product manager? There is no one right answer to this question however one thing we do know is that very few if any people enter the realms of technical product management immediately. I have interviewed a number of Product Managers who have shared their background, experiences, likes, dislikes and given tips on how to succeed.


1. From Marketing to Product Management
Ivan Chalif studied psychology and counselling at university as opposed to business studies or technology – however he is a successful technical product manager. Read how Ivan made the various transitions in his career that eventually resulted in him becoming a product manager. Read From Marketing to Product Management for more details.


2. From Web Developer to Product Manager
Patrick was a web developer who produced online products for the travel industry. Patrick took an interest in the business operated become acquainted with the key business stakeholders and eventually made the transition into product managers for the travel products the business went through a restructure. refer to Patrick's interview for more details: Transition from Web Developer to Product Manager
3. From Hardware R&D Engineer to Product Management
Francois Abbe had a strong technical background and worked for an engineer led company. As a result the engineers were used in many client facing activities. This gave Francois the opportunity to perform many of the product management roles while being an engineer. This helped make the smooth transition to product manage many of the products that he worked on as an engineer.Read From R&D Engineer to Product Manager for more information

4. From Mechanical Engineering to Software Product Management
Bikram Gupta has an academic background
in Mechanical engineering – he used his engineering degree to get into IT. Bikram has a wide technical background and has read his way into Product Management Follow the link to read Bikram's interview
Moving from Technology to Product Management to increase business skills
5. The man that did all the roles before entering Product Management
Marty Cagan has worked for several hi tech Silicon Valley companies. He has a wide range of experience in many technical roles including Product Management. Marty is a founder of Silicon Valley Product Group a consultation firm that helps companies with all aspects of the product life cycle read the the interview by going to the following link From Software Engineer to Product Manager to Founder of SVPG - Interview with Marty Cagan

6. From Business Analyst to Product Management
Andy started his career as a Business Analyst - the opportunity arose for him to temporary manage a few products. He took up the challenge, impressed his employer and then got promoted. He has since moved onto a new product management role and market sector Andy's interview can be found at
Moving from Business Analyst to Product Manager to "Online Product Manager"

7. From Webmaster to Product Management
Daniel worked for a publisher as a webmaster. When his company went through a restructure he applied for a job as a project manager in the IS department. This gave him exposure to Product management and it was just a matter of time before he moved through the ranks and now managers a strong portfolio of online products for the aerospace industry Danile's interview can be found at the following link:
Transition from Webmaster to Product Manager via Project Management

8. From Web Applications Programmer to Product Management
Paul Young started life studying Radio-Television-Film at University but quickly moved into web applications programming which eventually led into Product management. Paul is currently a Director of Product Management. Read
Interview with a Director of Product Management for more details.

9.From Account Management to Product ManagementBrunella Russo was an Account Management for a Financial Company. She moved into Product Management at AOL. Read Interview with an Ex AOL Product Manager


10. From User Experience Designer to Product Management
Jeff Lash has a strong background in
User Experience Designer and has practiced information architecture. Jeff now works as the Product Director for MD Consult, a leading web site providing clinical reference information for physicians and medical professionals.Interview with Jeff Lash: Author of How to be a Good Product Manager

11. The man who read himself into Product Management.

Matt Rowe is one of those Product Managers who is self taught and self read. Matt was a Business Analyst (BA) prior to becoming a Product Manager. As a BA he ran several small projects – this coupled with his BA experience put him in good stead to become a product manager. Interview with a Product Manager

12. from Customer Support Engineer to Product Management
Mark Barnes found him self having to face customers in order to fix and install problems with equipment they had purchased - now he talks to customers with the aim of producing products that will provide them with solutions. Read From Technical Support to Product Management for more information.

Related articles:
How to improve your Product Management career and grow in your job
Interview Questions for Product Managers
How to get into Product Management


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