Alongside data science, product management is one of the hottest careers around right now. The role of product manager is a relatively new one. Rather than seeing product development as something that occurs across a number of organisational divisions (e.g. strategy, research and development, marketing, etc), it brings all functions together under one interdisciplinary, overseeing role. In this way, it’s similar to how the role of project manager was pulled out to coordinate all aspects of a particular project from start to finish.
Here are some resources to get you started on your product management journey.
Still don’t feel like you truly understand what a product manager actually does? Then this course is for you! Patrick O’Malley is former head of product at Yahoo Answers, and he does a wonderful job at detailing the role of product manager and how they do what they do. This is a very gentle introduction to the world of product management.
This book outlines what product managers do and how to do it, but also spends time describing who they have to be to do their job and the skills they’ll need to do so. Written in an easy, straightforward style it’s peppered throughout with practical tips and advice from an experienced product manager. It focuses on startups, but is applicable for any aspiring product manager.
Infinite Series is a company that offers training in product management, and was started by Tim Davis who is a product lead at Google. They offer a range of options to learn product management, including self-directed learning, courses with instructors and courses that vary depending on your expertise as well as career level. If you’re interested in enrolling, you should check out his Twitter feed for course coupons.
This week-long course takes you through everything you need to be a product manager, from someone who understands what it’s like to be an outsider and how to go from there to insider. Alongside practical and technical matters, instructor Kevin Lee has a heavy emphasis on the soft skills around employment as a product manager, how to answer job ads and interview questions for the role. Enrolling in the course also gets you access to their popular product management Slack channel.
Most product management courses include strong practical elements in line with the idea that you learn best by doing, but this course makes that the end rather than the means. 30DaysOfProduct has you spend a month learning product management by getting you to develop an app. Of course, while you can absolutely get through the content in a month, learning is asynchronous so you can take it at your own pace.
“Product” Charles Du has extensive experience as a product manager as well as in teaching it at tertiary institutions around the world. He has an intro course as well as an extremely comprehensive course with a curriculum that covers just about anything you can think of related to product management. He also offers 1:1 coaching, and specialises in professional development for people who might have pivoted their career into product management, as well as people who have accidentally fallen into the role.