What does it take for an engineer to become a product manager? Certainly, there are many ways to achieve this and no paths are the same, however in this Sunday Rewind, we look at a post by Victor Kosonen, Product Leader at NetSuite, to explain how he made the transition.
Learning the basics is the first step. There are a plethora of training materials out there to equip you with the right skills needed, such as Coursera, Linkedin Learning, or Mind the Product Training.
After many training sessions and courses. The next step is adapting to the new role. Victor says: “As with every change in life, you need time to adapt to a new role. This is not easy. You need to stop worrying about the development process and start to focus more on the requirements itself.” It’s no longer about the HOW. Now it’s about the WHAT and the WHY. Having said this, it’s perfectly normal to feel impostor syndrome during the first days or weeks (or even months), he says.
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As a product manager, you need to interact with a lot of people (developers, designers, technical writers, other product managers and so on), this means that you have a lot of meetings during the week and that you handle a lot of information. Being organized is crucial.
At the end of the day, the transition from engineering to product management requires you to change your mindset about product development, and see it from a different perspective, Victor says.
“It’s not about focusing on developing new features now, but about knowing which ones should be done first (prioritization), how they should look (design), how they should behave (usability), and thinking out of the box to come up with good solutions (creativity)” All of this is always done with a customer-centric approach and validating everything you do so that you make sure you create something that will really help to solve a problem. Sounds challenging, doesn’t it? If you’re really considering making this transition, Victor encourages us all to go ahead and try it.
Read ‘How I moved from engineering into product management’ to gain full insights into Victor’s career journey.