How to land a job in tech when you have zero interest in writing code Despite a barrage of layoffs, there are still jobs to be had in tech. And companies need more than just developer teams. So what else is there? A tech product manager answers.

Despite the prevalence of budget cuts and layoffs in various industries, businesses are still investing in technology, ranging from start-ups to established companies. Over half a billion new cloud-native products are predicted to be developed by the end of the year. Considering this, many people, from recent graduates to experienced professionals, are asking how to break into tech. However, people may feel intimidated by the industry if they don't have a background in engineering or software development. Nevertheless, product management (PM) is a critical aspect of the product creation process, and people from diverse backgrounds can excel in this role. There is no fixed route to becoming a PM, which is a good thing, as varied experiences and skill sets create stronger PM, teams. Technical and nontechnical individuals can both find a place in product management. One of the best ways to learn about PM is to build a product, as it requires taking a product to market and finding product-market fit, which teaches hands-on product management skills.

If you're unable to build a product yourself, consider finding an opportunity to align more closely with the product team within your current company. This was the author's experience, as they had no engineering background and had never created software themselves. They were rejected from multiple product manager roles due to their lack of experience but realized they could leverage their expertise in analytics to take on a pricing product manager role. By focusing on their strengths and applying their analytical and strategic thinking skills, they were able to become a successful product manager.

The author encourages individuals to identify their "spike" or area of natural talent, which can be technical expertise, analytics, user experience, or strategic thinking. Each spike is equally valuable, and those with backgrounds in design or humanities may excel in areas such as user experience and customer understanding. The author cites an Amplitude product VP who majored in photojournalism and worked as an editor before bringing her unique strengths to the product leadership team.

One of the key takeaways for finding success in product management is to focus on your strengths and build on your spike, which is what distinguishes you from your peers. Instead of aiming to be well-rounded, it's important to lean into what you're already good at and look for opportunities where you can showcase your skills. Additionally, being customer-centric is crucial in product management, as customers are the ultimate decision-makers. Understanding their pain points and finding ways to address them is essential for creating successful products. This means that people with a background in customer-facing roles, such as customer success, can also make great product managers, even if their technical expertise is not on their spike. To break into the tech industry and pursue a career in product management, it's important to broaden your search beyond your current experience and focus on your transferable skills. Working closely with customers is key to developing a strong foundation in product management and building better products for your company.

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