Hello all, this is my first post here.

I've been working as an assistant product manager at a software developer for 18 months, and I'm looking to put my resume out there within the next 6 months, as a either a product manager, or as an APM in a larger company.

I've been exposed to C++, Java, and .NET, but I'm trying to figure out how much exposure is sufficient so that companies will be interested in interviewing me to learn more. I'm posting here because (I think) C++ is the most important skill I need to be comfortable with.

Right now, I know enough to talk to my programmers, and I know enough to know what is realistic and what isn't (at least when it comes to reaching milestones). But I can't write my own code (although I understand the basic syntax).

I'd like to figure out what would make me a stronger candidate so I can focus on learning/strengthening those skills over the next six months or so.

My longterm goal is to oversee PLM of a given software product.

I tried to keep this post short, I hope it's enough info to get a feel for what I am looking for. Can anybody toss me some suggestions, or point me to a resource that will help me out?


By "product manager" do you mean you work for a company that makes widgets with integrated computer and software? Or do you mean you work for a software development house to write computer programs exclusively?

I suspect if you want to work as a product manager for a software house then you will need a pretty firm grasp of programming languages so that you can talk intelligently with the software development team(s). Given you lack of much knowledge in that area 6 months seems like a reach. Take some college courses in software development, and/or get your MBA in computer science. That will probably get you on the fast track to the position you want.

Thanks for the reply.

Right now the company I work for develops a few commercial B2B products (I work primarily with one of them, although I'm familiar with two others from filling in during cycles).

My main asset is the ability to bring all of my people together (I basically do my boss's jog, who tends to stay satisfied by overseeing all of the products): I work with our programmers for each service release, a graphic designer (for most cycles), our QA team, and I often end up writing the service release documentation myself (by virtue of my writing skills and my good understanding of the content).

It's funny you mention MBA, because I am planning to attend business school, but I want to stay in general management. I just enjoy working on the IT field because it's interesting and (at times, frustratingly) challenging.

However, since that is still at least two years away, I just need to expand my knowledge and try something a bit different, expose myself to some new facets of the industry, and a new process. It doesn't matter if it's handheld, video games, web, although I would like to avoid B2B, since that's what I do now.

Also, we use agile development, and (although the amount of info out there is staggering) it's not clear to me if this gives me and advantage or a disadvantage since I'm not familiar with waterfall.

I have a ton to learn, but I need to take what I know now (or, will know 6 months from now), and hope it's enough to appeal to somebody.