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Technical Product Manager (TPM)

San Francisco, CA, US
On-Site

The TPM is chief customer advocate within the Manta product group and will report directly to the Product Owner. It is the most important role in the product group and arguably more important to the day to day functioning of the organization than the Product Owner. They will bring an analytic mindset to uncovering sources of risk to the product and customers. A TPM will need to be compassionate and level-headed towards team members within the Manta group while at the same time being unapologetic about making sure the customer’s needs are met. At times this role will be supervisory, at times it will be solitary and require contemplation of data. The TPM will determine their own day to day activities with the singular mindset of ensuring customer satisfaction.

Customer Advocacy

First and foremost the TPM will represent the interests of the customer within the Manta product group. They will actively attempt to steer all work towards providing the most value for the customers. The TPM is expected to be stubborn in the face of challenges when the customer’s needs aren’t being met. Moreover, the TPM will work to reduce risk that is transferred from the product to the customer’s business.

Responsibility and Clarity of Thought

In teams that span geographies and cultures, there tends to be a diffusion of responsibility effect where individuals allow other people to take responsibility so that they do not have to. This happens without many people noticing it. Concretely, you can have meetings where no one has complete understanding of what was discussed because everyone thinks that it is someone else’s job. It is the TPM’s responsibility that we come to precise clarity on all of the customer expectations - stated or unstated and to hold the greater team accountable to those expectations. This will require an uncommon level of perseverance and stubbornness.

Technical Depth

The TPM needs considerable technical depth in order to properly analyze the different sources of risk to the customer. Topic areas include but are not limited to: security practices, file systems, distributed systems, databases, algorithms, networks and hardware. Ideally, the TPM is a rock-solid generalist who can sniff out practices within the organization that lead to increased risk.

Trade-off Analysis Review

The TPM will be responsible for analyzing the trade-off analysis reports done by product managers and determining if they are acceptable trade-offs for the customer. When unacceptable, the TPM will actively work with others to discover a solution.

Risk Analysis

This role will require structured thinking about the threats to the customer’s business by failures in the product. For example, if QA is not including a performance impact test to a new feature that is being released, it would be the TPM’s role to attempt to catch that problem before the feature was released. They would ideally catch risk before it was increased by: reviewing product roadmaps, PRDs, incidents, bugs, development practices, QA practices, the SDLC, deployment practices and customer communication practices. The TPM should have a global view of the day to day operations of the product group and be a careful guardian of the customer.

Authority

Outside of the Product Owner, the TPM holds the greatest authority within the product group. The TPM can overrule any other member of the group, but will reserve their authority for only the most egregious cases. They will act as a servant to the group as a whole and attempt to guide them towards a mindset of customer centric product development.

Competitive Understanding

The TPM should be able to make a steelman argument in favor of a customer using competing technology. The TPM will be constantly educating themselves on the features, prices and technological underpinnings of competing products. At anytime the TPM should be able to give the product group a realistic assessment about where their product sits in the market relative to customer value.

Counseling and Guidance to the Product Owner

The TPM will be the Product Owner’s trusted advisor for the oversight of the entire organization. They will collaborate with the Product Owner about how to improve the organization and how to measure the performance of the organization.

Experience

The TPM will ideally have the following experience:

  • 5+ years of experience as a software engineer as an individual contributor
  • 3+ years of experience in management (managing 10+ people)
  • 1 year of experience in a customer facing or product management role
  • 2 years of experience working in a dysfunctional organization that changed to a functional organization
  • Experience creating development processes
  • Experience creating quality processes
  • Experience creating release processes
  • Experience working in an pure operations organization or in a devops model

An ideal TPM candidate may also have the following experience:

  • Worked as a turnaround consultant/expert
  • Experience with cloud computing, systems software, distributed systems or storage
  • Worked actively in a risk-management role

About Joyent

Joyent, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung, is the open cloud company. With its Triton Kubernetes services and support, Joyent helps its customers build and operate modern cloud native applications across multiple clouds. Joyent’s Triton Private Regions provide low cost, dedicated cloud infrastructure that gives its customers the ability to own their data and control their cloud costs.

To apply, please submit a brief introduction, a copy of your resume, and a link to your Github or LinkedIn profile to jobs@joyent.com with Technical Product Manager in the subject. Qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered for the position in a manner consistent with the Fair Chance Ordinance.

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