The Truth About Engineers and Product Managers
Well here's a story for you:
Crisis Communications Executive does Masters thesis on Software Engineers. Discovers "Product Managers" to be the perennial thorns in Engineers' side. Promptly changes careers and becomes Product Manager.
That's the abbreviated tale of how Vera Ruel-Wunsch became Director of Product at AudienceView, an NYC-based ticketing and e-commerce solution for live entertainment venues.
In the expanded version she tells me about quitting her job and signing up for General Assembly's Product Management Immersive - a ten-week full-time career accelerator that teaches everything from building an MVP and managing technical projects, to user-centered design and communicating with teams.
On the topic of team communications, Ruel-Wunsch says she spends much of her time acting as a defender of the engineering team - protecting them from the pull of other stakeholders who always want their features handled first and advocating instead for effective prioritization strategies company-wide.
She tells me about this and about the practical differences between the simulated product management experience in the classroom and the real deal.
"As your confidence increases, so does the risk that you'll make a bad decision." Vera Ruel-Wunsch on the double-edged sword of improving your PM skills
We talk about "failing in action" and the unexpected challenges that come from succeeding in the role.
Press play below to listen to our entire conversation.
Also in this episode:
- What engineers really think about product managers
- How to brand yourself as a PM
- Adapting to a Kanban software delivery method