I have worked in the consulting and VC sectors and am looking to work as a PM in a tech startup.
However, i do not have any tech background, apart from my decade old engineering degree.
I am looking for ideas for first steps. Is there something I can do with my current job, to prepare myself as a PM? Is it even reasonable to aim for a PM role with no background?
Thank you! And I look forward to a stimulating discussion.
The requirement for a tech background for PMs varies on the nature of the role. If you are interested in being a technical PM then you need to understand how technology works. You still won’t be coding or design the system architecture.
What you will be doing is working with customers, understanding their needs, and then working with engineering to build what is needed on time. When you work with engineering, you need to speak their language. Understand what APIs are, what database structures mean? What does full-stack mean? What is front-end? What is the back-end? What does really mean to ‘ship’ a product? What are version controls? How does deployment work? What is DevOps? What is caching?
You can learn all of these things in no time using Youtube. Just search on YouTube and you will find very good resources to understand what each of these things mean. It is not rocket science. It just takes some effort and time.
You can also use the technical 101 resource provided by Prowess in the learning resources - Technical 101 for Product Managers.
Many jobs have components of product manager skills and it is your job to match your experience with the experience needed for a product manager. If you have ever tried to solve a problem, come up with a solution and worked with a team to build it. You are close to a product manager that you might realize.
I would use this platform to showcase some of the work you have done previously and get it verified. Worst case scenario - you will learn something and you will know what to do next. Best case scenario - your project would be valued by an expert and add a tangible asset to your portfolio.
I hope this helps.
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