Lately, I’ve had a number of people reach out to ask for recommendations on skilling up as a product manager.
There are a zillion things to read on this topic, but I usually offer a single resource — the book, Cracking the PM Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell and Jackie Bavaro.
If you don’t enjoy reading this book, you won’t enjoy being a PM.
Why? Because this book shows you all the stuff you’ll need to know to succeed at an interview, which is your first step towards succeeding at the job where you have to actually do all the stuff you talked about during the interview 😉
Product interviews are hard because product jobs are hard.
As a product manager:
- You have your hands in ten different projects all day long,
- So, you switch contexts as often as you breathe.
- Managing people’s feelings is a huge part of the job…
- …and doing a bunch of really technical stuff is too! 😛
This book is a microcosm of what you need to know to succeed in an interview for a product manager job, and the interview in turn is a microcosm of what you need to know to succeed in the job itself.
Product roles are some of the widest and deepest roles around (which is why they can. You might embrace your brand as a generalist, or decide to specialize in technical/design-focused/marketing-focused/analytical product management. In either case, this book covers a lot of ground, teaching you how to estimate things, choose between feature sets, write algorithms, make a product roadmap, and practice leadership skills.
Go read it!