Technical Product Manager: Core Skills & Responsibilities

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Technical Product Manager

What Is a Technical Product Manager (TPM)?

TPM Definition

A technical product manager (PM) is a professional in product management with a robust technical background, primarily concentrating on the more technical facets of the product.

The Technical Product Manager fills an important hybrid role that bridges product development’s technical and business sides. As technology becomes increasingly central to many industries, companies need specialists who can navigate complex technical issues while aligning products with market needs.

Compared to a traditional Product Manager, the Technical Product Manager comes to the role with a stronger technical background, often in engineering or computer science. 

Leveraging their technical expertise, the TPM delves deeper into the technical aspects of the product strategy. It allows them to consult with engineering teams effectively, thoroughly assess estimates and timelines, and rigorously evaluate technical options and requirements.

While all product managers today require a baseline level of technical competency, they act as subject matter experts on sophisticated technical topics. They work closely with developers and other technical functions like IT and infrastructure teams. The role usually exists at larger companies that can support specialized roles within product management.

You require a blend of hard and soft skills to succeed in this path. Technical abilities like coding, networking, and systems design are a must. Equally vital are strengths like analytical problem-solving, adaptability to new technologies, and a passion for innovation.

Wondering about career growth? The career progression for technical product managers can include advancing to Senior TPM levels with experience. Some of the roles include Senior Technical Product Manager, Director of Technical Product Management, Chief Technical Product Officer, and more 

A Technical Product Manager in the United States area is estimated to receive a total annual pay of $172,006, with an average salary of $138,188. As technology becomes more critical to business success, the demand for TPMs to help organizations develop market-leading products will continue growing. Their hybrid background enables TPMs to navigate complex technical areas while considering strategic business and user needs.

Pros and Cons of technical Product Manager

Why Become a Technical Product Manager?

Have you considered a career as a Technical Product Manager? As a TPM, you get to be at the intersection of technology and business – bridging those worlds in a way that can genuinely make an impact.

With your technical skills and background, you understand the possibilities of what’s feasible to build. But you also speak the business language and understand what drives value for customers. This unique perspective allows you to be a strategic thought partner, informing essential decisions about product roadmaps, priorities, and long-term visions.

As the liaison between engineering and stakeholders, you ensure everyone remains seamlessly aligned. Your technical expertise means efficient collaboration with development teams. You grasp the technical nuances and can guide to maximize efficiency.

Most importantly, you see the whole picture. It’s your job to understand all aspects of the product – from development to marketing to customer experience. This holistic view helps you make the right calls about features, timelines, and delivering solutions that hit the mark. You get the satisfaction of shepherding projects from concept to completion.

Responsibilities of technical product manager

Core Skills of a Technical Product Manager

Let us look at the essential technical product manager skills you need to acquire to ace in this role.

Technical Skills

Programming Languages and Frameworks

  • Proficiency in languages like Python, JavaScript, or SQL aids in understanding technical aspects and facilitating communication with development teams.
  • Understanding common frameworks like React, Angular, Flask, and more allows one to assess technical feasibilities and constraints.

Software Development Methodologies

  • Knowledge of agile, scrum, or kanban ensures alignment with development processes, fostering effective collaboration.
  • Experience working in an agile/scrum environment provides valuable context on iterative product development.

Cloud Computing and Infrastructure

  • Understanding cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, and GCP) and infrastructure basics help design scalable and efficient products.
  • Hands-on experience with computing, storage, and databases aids product architecture and management.

Data Analysis and Modeling

  • Data collection, extraction, analysis, and modeling skills aid in informed decision-making and understanding user behaviors.
  • Proficiency in SQL, Excel, and data visualization tools is helpful for insights-driven product management.

Security, Privacy, and Compliance

  • Familiarity with security best practices and privacy regulations ensures product integrity and user data protection.
  • Common compliance standards like PCI and GDPR are essential for sensitive data products.

User Research and Usability Testing

Non-Technical Skills

While technical expertise is crucial, a TPM’s most essential qualities have little to do with code. Strong product strategy and planning skills are essential in crafting a cohesive vision aligned with market trends.

Suggested Read: 6 Key Ingredients for a Successful Product Strategy

You’ll also need a nose for understanding users. Do you have a knack for insightful research revealing what people need? An eye for analyzing data to spot patterns and opportunities? These skills help inform the best solutions.

Communication is arguably the most essential of all. As the bridge between teams, you must convey complex topics. You’ll work cross-functionally, so collaboration comes naturally.

Leadership is also required. People will look to you for guidance and decisions every step of the way. Do you have a way of challenging teams productively while maintaining focus?

Finally, organizational fortitude is a must. Juggling priorities, deadlines, and moving pieces takes discipline. Can you see the big picture while sweating the small stuff to get big things done?

At its core, this role is part strategist, part facilitator. Technical know-how just makes the job more meaningful. Strong soft skills for insight, communication, and coordination determine true product management success.

Suggested Read: The Product Manager Career Path: A Step-by-Step Guide

Responsibilities and Day-to-Day Tasks of TPMs

Now that you have better understood who a Technical Product Manager is and the core skills you require to become one, it is time to look at the main responsibilities.

Product Roadmap Development and Execution

One of the core tasks you will find in technical product manager job description is that you will work closely with cross-functional teams to define the product roadmap and technical strategy. Through collaboration with engineering, you ensure the technical capabilities will support business objectives. 

An essential task is prioritizing features and initiatives based on customer and market insights. A clear roadmap establishing technical milestones is crucial for guiding the team’s work.

Technical Communication and Collaboration

An essential part of the role involves facilitating communication across teams. You translate complex requirements into straightforward terms all audiences can understand. It helps provide a shared understanding of goals. Regular technical meetings allow the engineering team to address challenges and stay aligned as they work towards objectives.

Data Analysis and Performance Monitoring

To evaluate technical performance over time, you leverage various data sources. Defining and monitoring key metrics allows measurement of feature and initiative successes. Analyzing this data provides actionable insights into areas for optimization or potential issues. Collaborating with analysts and engineers, they implement data-driven solutions for ongoing improvement.

Stakeholder Management

Engaging stakeholders across the organization is also crucial. Timely status updates let executives, managers, and customers track progress while concerns get addressed. Managing expectations involves considering how technical decisions impact different groups and aligning with strategic goals.

Anticipating Challenges

Beyond the above responsibilities, risk assessment and mitigation help navigate obstacles. Feature scoping involves collaborating with product managers to define requirements and prioritize technical implementation.

Fostering cross-team alignment ensures everyone is working towards a shared product vision. And through self-guided learning, you integrate advances to strengthen your expertise.

Read: What Is Team Alignment & Its Value to My Organization?

How to Get Started as a Technical Product Manager

Whether you’re just starting your career or transitioning, becoming a TPM requires developing business and technical skills. Here are some practical ways to get started.

Develop Foundational Technical Knowledge

While you don’t need to be a coder, understanding basic technical concepts will help you communicate more effectively with engineering teams.

Take online courses in SQL, HTML/JavaScript, APIs, and DevOps methodologies to learn the lingo. Courses from DataCamp, freeCodeCamp, and Codecademy are excellent starting points. Gaining this foundation strengthens your role and strategies as a PM.

Consider Technical Product Management Certification

Look into certification programs focused on technical product management to bridge the gap between business and technical skills. For example, Product Management Headquarters offers a one-week intensive course ideal for newcomers. Their curriculum teaches both softer skills and technical product development practices.

Get Hands-On Experience Through Extracurriculars

Hackathons and local tech meetups provide low-pressure ways to immerse yourself. Attend hackathons as a product advocate, keeping your team focused. Volunteer at startups to work directly with technical teams on product roadmaps and methodologies. Sites like Indie Hackers connect individuals to startup opportunities.

Build Side Projects to Develop Deeper Skills

Constructing your products, services, or startups from scratch is incredibly educational, especially with online learning. Choose feasible projects you can continuously develop yourself or with engineer partners. Building technical products strengthens your full-stack skills and resume.

Follow the Lead of an Expert Technical PM

For the ultimate hands-on experience, seek intern or volunteer roles assisting technical PMs at startups. Observe their problem-solving approaches and involvement in sprints, backlogs, and agile ceremonies. This real-world exposure accelerates your technical proficiency and career preparation.

With focused learning and practical application, you can gain the well-rounded expertise to excel as a technical product manager.


Technical product managers are vital in bridging the gap between business and engineering for digital products. Their dual expertise in technology and product strategy allows them to engage with technical teams as a peer while representing the business priorities and user needs. 

An ideal product organization leverages technical and business-focused product managers to craft holistic solutions informed by diverse perspectives. Together, they can unlock new possibilities through technological innovation while maintaining a realistic understanding of feasibility. 

These individuals may be singularly qualified for complex products requiring specialized technical knowledge to drive strategic direction. Technical product management also allows former engineers and computer scientists to apply their skills while advancing in a more business-oriented path. 

Overall, including TPMs on the team can yield faster, better outcomes by strengthening collaboration across all functions in bringing customers outstanding digital solutions.


What is the highest salary for a technical product manager?

In the United States, technical product managers in the technology industry command the highest compensation. They receive the most substantial salaries in California ($131,440), Washington ($125,622), and Oregon ($117,809).

How much does a technical product manager make at Google?

The projected overall compensation for a Product Technology Manager at Google is $297,943 per year. The estimated base pay is $182,260 per year.

Do technical product managers make more than software engineers?

The compensation comparison between technical product managers and software engineers varies based on skill sets, experience, and company requirements. Sometimes, TPMs earn more, especially if their skill set aligns with the company’s strategic needs.

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