The SVP of Technical Product Management is responsible for building and managing a team of VPs of Technical Product Management. Their primary deliverable are highly technical product specs that make the Important Technical Decisions (ITDs) for a product.
What sets SVPs of Technical Product Management apart is their ability to:
- Simplify complex architectures and decisions
- Hire and manage a team
Both SVPs and VPs must learn and use a wide array of existing third-party technologies. They must know when and how to design new data structures and algorithms. They must have the experience to understand the fatal impact that poor product design decisions can have and strategies on how to avoid them. And finally, they must be able to communicate their technical decisions in a clear, written manner so that other people on the team may follow their direction.
Unfortunately, most companies do a terrible job at this. They do not do the hard work up front and they start coding too early. They don’t invest in developing expertise and innovation, they build roadmaps based on what competitors are already delivering or on the tactical needs of the sales team. Their technical product managers focus on UIs and mockups instead of the product’s core data structures and algorithms.
If this resonates with you, and you have basic management experience combined with a track record of owning fundamental architecture decisions, you should apply.
For the SVP position you must have 5+ years experience in this role at one of the following types of companies:
- A Top 100 software development company such as Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Facebook, etc.
- A leading financial institution such as Goldman Sachs, Citi, HFT Trading firm, etc.
- Be one of the top 5 technical architects at a software outsourcing organization
As an SVP, you will recruit and manage a team of individual contributors and be responsible for their work. Your day-to-day responsibilities include reviewing their decisions and coaching them to make their architectures simpler and their decisions clearer.
You will be expected to identify and focus on the core data structures, algorithms, and third-party components that are best to use in your designs.
You should be a clear and organized thinker, able to find the important patterns in work and focus on the “big picture” without being lost in the details.
- Provide active daily feedback to individual contributors writing Important Technical Decisions. Help make them simpler and clearer.
- Interview new L2 TPMs and guide them through a structured training period
- Know how to apply modern software design patterns (think cloud, containerization, etc) to product requirements
- BS in CompSci, CompE, or EE
- 5+ years of hands-on production code development in Java or C#
- 3+ years experience making the core technical design decisions that were then implemented by other developers
- Excellent at reducing overly complicated and unstructured answers into a set of simple and structured decisions
- Able to identify and articulate patterns in unstructured and unorganized content
- Excellent written communication skills including architecture diagrams, data flows, and system component diagrams
- A passion for creating work in a process-driven way and working with team members to continuously improve that process