Technical Product Manager


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Technical Product Manager

$ 100k/Year  ($ 50/Hour for 40 hours of productive work per week)  Remote Position   Long-term

As a Technical Product Manager at Crossover, you will make critical decisions on more products each year than most product and architecture executives will make in a lifetime.

Each week you will draw on your deep technical knowledge across a broad range of domains to create clear, high-level product specifications defining the core functionality of a product.

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WHY CROSSOVER?
Crossover recruits and builds world class high performing teams to power the fastest growing portfolio of software products in the world. No other company provides the training and the opportunities to test yourself on the depth and diversity of projects that we do. All roles are location independent so you are guaranteed to work with the best in the world. Challenge yourself. Be part of the change.
 
 
WHAT YOU'LL BE DOING

As a TPM, you will work across dozens of products to understand the problems they solve and make important technical decisions that will determine their long term viability

We believe that our approach towards Technical Product Management is truly unique. We objectively define each product in terms of the market it serves and the technology it leverages.

We uncover market-gaps or user pain-points by identifying CIV (Challenging, Important or Valuable) problems specific to that domain. We employ a standardized process to elicit relevant information from SMEs and succinctly describe each CIV Problem.

We then define Core Functionality (CFs) which the product will implement in order to address each CIV Problem. Through a combination of CIV Problems and CFs, we are in a position to analyze the product-market fit in an objective, standardized fashion. A CIV problem without any CFs is a remaining gap, while a CF which doesn’t address a CIV problem represents unnecessary complexity within the solution.

Once we have articulated the product-market fit, we turn our attention (and most of our time) towards identifying the Important Technical Decisions (ITDs) that will provide the core functionality in the most effective way.

As a TPM, you will:

  • Define CIV problems and Core Functions and make ITDs as part of a weekly iteration of a product specification.

  • Set the scope of these specifications by focusing on the core of the product and the real world problem that it solves.

  • Identify technology trends and understand when to apply them - leveraging leading open source and SaaS solutions to reduce the size and complexity of the product codebase


On a daily basis you will leverage your existing technical expertise and communication skills to:

  • Know what’s important. Understand where to focus your attention. Look for factors that impact the core of the product.

  • Communicate clearly and effectively. Not only should you be able to make your point concisely and unambiguously, but you also need to distill the important information from what others say and write.

  • Be able to simplify. Focus on the core the product, where your input can have the greatest impact.

ONLINE HIRING EVENT



A hiring event is a scheduled online event where all our relevant testing relating to a role is conducted on the same day. Submissions received during the event are graded the following week, and successful candidates notified if they have progressed to the next round which is an online interview with a Hiring Manager.

 
 
KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

Each Week, you will:
• Craft a technical design specification that ensures optimal product-market fit and defines Important Technical Decisions which are focused on the core of the product

• Identify relevant design and integration patterns to standardize product requirements and functionality

• Define data structures, object models and algorithms to solve high-value problems

• Make decisions that reduce scope in favor of simplicity

Throughout your time with us, you will:
• Continually learn and leverage new technologies, patterns and practices

• Solve complex, ever-changing problems across a large and growing product portfolio

 
CANDIDATE REQUIREMENTS

Being successful as a TPM requires deep technical skills across a variety of technologies and domains in addition to exemplary communication skills

Specifically, candidates must have:

A Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or a related discipline, (M.Sc. or Ph.D. preferred)

1+ years experience in a senior architecture role at a leading software company, or as CTO/technical co-founder at a smaller company or successful startup

Developed and continue to maintain extensive, hands-on expertise in Java and/or C#

Leveraged both traditional RDBMS as well as contemporary alternatives such as Graph, Columnar, Key-Value and/or Document databases

Thorough practical understanding of common Design and Enterprise Integration Patterns

5+ years of hands-on production code development and architecture experience on a scalable, commercial product

Experience in taking product requirements and are creating work breakdowns for engineering teams to develop

A total of 8 years experience in designing and developing software solutions

Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English, and the ability to identify and articulate patterns in unstructured and unorganized content

Other, highly desirable skills include:
• Expertise in other current, mainstream languages (examples include Python, Go, Kotlin, Scala) and frameworks (examples NodeJS, Spring)

• Architecting web-scale SaaS solutions

• Ongoing contributions to leading Open Source project

Timezone Requirements

Our teams are designed to accommodate top talent across a wide range of time zones, however, there are certain hours we require in order to have team-based collaboration or to have customer-facing engagements in the customer's working hours. Candidates should be able to work 8 hours a day while meeting the following constraints Monday-Friday:

• 2 hours between 1:00PM-3:00PM UTC (US "core" hours)

• 2 additional hours between 12PM-12AM EST (US "customer" hours)

• 4 additional hours in any timezone you wish ("flex" hours)

 
 
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
 

We believe in continuous growth and strive for constant improvement. As part of our TPM family, you will be exposed to a multitude of new technologies, products and industries on a daily basis, and our comprehensive suite of playbooks will equip you with the foundation to develop and enhance your existing expertise.

We also provide a unique CTO bootcamp for all new SVPs of TPM. This full-time, fully-paid training program covers all of the unique aspects within our approach to TPM, including:

SME engagement and how to elicit the important information:

  • How to uncover CIV (Challenging, Important or Valuable) Problems in a particular domain/industry

  • How to define Core Functions to address CIV problems and ensure optimal product-market fit

How to make the Important Technical Decisions to ensure that:

  • Core architecture decisions are not left to chance

  • Core functionality will be delivered effectively

  • Architecture and development teams are not micro-managed by imposing unnecessary constraints (low-level, unimportant decisions)

Throughout your training, you will get daily feedback to accelerate learning and growth far beyond typical classrooms or training programs.

Our curriculum includes a number of bite-sized training videos where we explain how we design great software. Here’s an example where we show you how to make and validate Important Technical Decisions.

 
 
 
 

Work Examples

How do you know when and how to apply a particular technology? How can you be sure your shiny new tech isn’t going to stifle your architecture in the long-run?

Here are some playbooks produced by our team members on how to safely and effectively apply two of the latest “big things” in technology:

Page 1

Blockchain Decentralized Apps

Playbook for Using a Blockchain dApp Platform Such as Ethereum

Serverless Architecture

Playbook for Using a Serverless Architecture Such as AWS Lambda

If you’d like to create similar playbooks for your own use, please feel free to use our template.

 

Questions
and Answers

  • What does a good technical product manager look like?

    TPMs should be super-technical and great at connecting the CORE of the software's design decisions to the way that those decisions allow the product do the "important thing" in the best way possible. They focus on data structures & algorithms, not slick UI/UX. They write their logic/rationale down so that it can be vetted by healthy debate - or at least understood! They engage directly on the important topics. They spec important product simplifications ("non-features") as often as they spec the “must-have features”.

  • How would you describe a day of work as a TPM at Crossover?

    If I had to describe it succinctly, I would say that the main thing a TPM does each day is to focus on a "thing" that needs a solution. It may be a data structure or an algorithm for a brand new product. It may be how to change an existing codebase to adopt some new technology component that will make the product much better, or retire a bunch of low-value code, or a variety of other problems we are trying to solve. TPMs write down their thinking/logic in the most succinct and clear way possible. They work with other people (global/remote) to ask questions in order to get peer-feedback, and feedback from their manager.

  • How many products does each role manage? What’s the typical size of each product team?

    We don't limit the number of products that TPMs work on in that way. They generally work on one product at a time, and once finished solving that problem/design, they move onto another product. They may come back to a product too. We want TPMs to have continuous learning. By doing this, our TPMs learn many new technologies, design patterns and architectures, industries, and business models. We have designed our organization and processes so that this works. We like people on the team to contribute work and ideas in a fluid manner, in the same way, that great, high-caliber engineering teams all work on many different parts of the same codebase. As long as they are all of sufficient skill, collaborative, and have the right review/approval process, so the code isn't a complete mess. It may be slower in the short-term (because of ramp up) but its better in the long-term. Our engineering teams generally follow the "2 Pizza Rule" regarding size.

  • How are the teams formed within the actual projects and as VP of TPM would I have any influence over the selection of the project I'd be working on?

    Our view is that TPMs (and the TPM Org) should not focus on managing or influencing the engineering delivery team. We leave that to engineering management. Our TPMs focus on making the important technical decisions that in aggregate define “how the software should work to deliver customer value” and not on “how the engineering team should work to deliver the software.” An analogy would be the way an Architect's job is to clearly define the important decisions regarding the construction of a building but is not part of the building team that the construction company uses to build the building.

  • How do you know what insights are important?

    The important decisions are always there, and they always get made one way or another. The question is whether they are made deliberately and with the gravity they require, or whether you find out how they were made after it is too late. Our process works to identify these decisions early - we invest the necessary time and skill, drive alignment and feedback from all parties, and learn and improve over time. To do this, TPMs must be very technical and able to explain the reasoning for their engineering decisions. TPMs need to see the "big picture" and focus on the important capabilities, not the many minor features. TPMs must be fast learners and great writers and know the difference between controlling what is truly "important" versus micro-managing engineering (which we do not want to do). This is the core of our 30-day CTO Bootcamp process - we, focus on our quality bar, and the goal of our processes.

  • How do you measure success?

    This is a long answer, but the basic idea is that we define actual deliverables for TPMs. These weekly deliverables are quite structured, and we check the quality of the content within those specs. For example, we evaluate how "Important" the content is, how correct the "Technical" content is, and how clear and justified the rationale for the "Decision" is. We call those ITDs, and TPMs get feedback on the quality of their work. So, by measuring the Quality and the Quantity of work, we measure success. In the longer term, we also measure how well those decisions played out in the real world.

  • How does the TPM organization fit within the rest of the organization?

    Our approach to Product Management is heavily technical, and that is because of our belief that the most important thing is mapping the customer problems to a 10x better engineering solution to that problem. We try to simplify and make the core of the product 10x better instead of chasing every little feature that competitors do or developing piles of minor features from the backlog. That said, we also send the core messages to marketing and sales so that they can do their job. Those core messages start with the TPM team.

 
 
 
ABOUT THE ROLE

 
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