Product Management Curriculum

This Spring I have an opportunity to do something that’s (quietly) sat in the back of my mind since I graduated: I get to teach a class at my alma mater, Olin College.

Olin strives to educate a new type of Engineer. Part of that is constantly experimenting with new things*. A recent experiment is having Olin alumni teach evening “seminars” to group of students. This Spring I’ll be teaching a seminar on Product Management.

It’s a unique opportunity for me. Most Product Management classes help people transition into the discipline. Oliners have most of the fundamentals — they know technical skills, they’ve learned about user centered design, and they’ve taken a Products & Markets class. This class can be based purely on how to practice and integrate those skills into Product Management. We’ll have fourteen weeks with about three hours per week to work together.

This is where you come in:

  • What do you wish you’d learned before your first Product Management job?
  • Is there one skill you think a PM needs? Which one?
  • Any (uncommon) must-read articles? Most work will be in class, but I’ll assign some light reading.

Let me know in the comments, on Twitter, or via email! I’m also open to hear about any exercises you think would be good. After the seminar concludes, I’ll put the curriculum and some notes online for anyone else to use.

* If you want to learn more about Olin, this book is great.