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2007-03-09 10:00:00

SourceGear Job Opening: Product Manager

This posting is about a job opening at SourceGear.  The official title for this position will be "Product Manager" (or something similar). 

But another possible title for this position would be "Eric's Apprentice".

What kind of position is this?

This is a product marketing position.  Areas of responsibility will include strategy, message, positioning and competition.

So I need marketing experience for this job?

No.  In fact, if you have any, I'll be wondering how much stuff you'll have to unlearn.  :-)

So what kind of experience do I need for this job?

Why do I have to be a developer to get a marketing job?

Because your customers and coworkers will be developers, and neither group will put up with you being a bozo.  :-)

Just to be a clear, the word "bozo" does not mean "non-developer".  The word "bozo" means "someone who doesn't know the stuff that his/her job requires him/her to know".  A software company usually employs lots of people who are not developers and not bozos.  They work in several different areas, including sales, accounting, customer service, technical support or marketing communications.  There isn't much need for any of them to have a software development background.

But product marketing is one job where it really helps to be cut from the same cloth as the customer.  You are steering the direction of the product.  You need the ability to make decisions about what's important.  You must be able to talk about design tradeoffs both externally and internally. 

We sell developer tools to software teams, so I'm looking for a developer.  If we were selling software to manage bowling alleys I would be insisting that you are a bowler.

Why would any developer want to switch to marketing?

You love to develop software, but you want to consider a broader range of opportunities.  Maybe you're looking up the corporate ladder and noticing that all the rungs above you require some business savvy.  Maybe you want to be an entrepreneur.

Whatever your goals are, I'm looking for someone who wants to follow the same career path I have.  Start with good developer skills and then add business and marketing skills and you end up with a very potent combination.

The title is "Product Manager"?  So is this a management position?

No.  That's not what "Product Manager" means.  You'll be managing the product, not the people who create the product.

The title is "Apprentice"?  So is this a junior level position?

No.  I'm using the word "apprentice" somewhat tongue-in-cheek.  The Product Manager is one of the most influential roles in the company.  This position would be a peer of the person who manages the development team.  You need significant industry experience for this job.  If you are fresh out of college, it is very unlikely you are qualified.

I just explained all the ways that the word "apprentice" doesn't actually fit this situation.  The primary way that this word does fit is that it's a marketing position but you don't need any marketing experience.  You'll learn that stuff as you go.

How much will this position pay?

I don't have a specific number in mind, but I'm looking for an experienced developer and I certainly don't think of this position as a step down.  I expect this position will be compensated at a level similar to that of a senior developer or development team lead.

An "Apprentice"?  Is this going to be like Donald Trump's TV show?

No.  I'm thinking more along the lines of the "Cruel Tutelage of Pai Mei" chapter from Kill Bill.  Your experience at SourceGear will be grueling and painful, but it will transform you into a powerful assassin, or the software industry equivalent thereof.  :-)

What education do I need?

A degree in computer science or software engineering is preferred but not strictly required.

Can I work part-time in marketing and part-time as a developer?

No.  You can have a compiler if you want, but you will not be writing production code.

Where will this position be located?

Short answer:  Illinois.

Long answer:  There is some flexibility, but geography will be an issue.  Basically, this position would work out best if you are located in Champaign or within a few hours driving distance.  For example, if you live in Chicago and can spend two days a week in Champaign, that would be fine.  Anything on the east or west coast is probably going to be too difficult.

Will travel be necessary?

Yes.  Plan on more than 6 trips per year and less than 12.

Are you actually as arrogant as the tone of this blog entry suggests you are?

No, but the whole thing reads so much better that way, don't you think?

And I'm mostly kidding about the "grueling and painful" part. 


How do I apply?

To express an interest in this position, send email to paimei@sourcegear.com