Skip to main content
  1. Learn
  2. Design & UX
  3. Posts
  4. A day in the life of a technical product manager

A day in the life of a technical product manager

PostsDesign & UX
Georgina Guthrie

Georgina Guthrie

June 09, 2023

In a busy tech team, the technical product manager (TPM) is like a savvy business owner who not only understands the intricacies of their own products, but also knows how to combine the strengths of others to create an irresistible offering. 

Just as the business owner coordinates with suppliers, marketers, and salespeople to bring their product to life, a TPM adeptly navigates the complex landscape of tech development, aligning techy and business aspects to deliver products that walk a tricky tightrope: providing good value to customers and driving growth for the business.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the role, its unique responsibilities, and the essential skills required to excel in this ever-evolving field. Let’s get started! 

A technical product manager, or TPM, is a specialized role within the product management domain that focuses on bridging the gap between technology and business. They possess deep technical expertise along with an understanding of market needs, which allows them to guide a product through its entire life cycle, from conception to launch and beyond.

What is a technical product manager?

A TPM is responsible for defining the product vision, setting clear goals, and developing a comprehensive product roadmap. They work closely with cross-functional teams, including engineering, design, marketing, and sales, ensuring that the product development process stays on track and aligns with the overall business objectives.

One key aspect of a TPM’s role? Their ability to translate complex technical concepts into easily digestible terms for non-technical stakeholders. This helps facilitate informed decisions and ensures everyone involved in the product development process is on the same page.

Additionally, a TPM is constantly keeping an eye on market trends, customer feedback, and competitors’ offerings to make informed decisions about product enhancements and future development priorities. They also play a crucial role in managing risks and mitigating potential issues, making sure the product delivers on its promises and meets the expectations of users.

To summarize, a technical product manager is a critical player in the tech industry who combines their technical knowledge and business acumen to develop and deliver innovative products that resonate with customers and drive success for their organization.

A technical product manager job description 

A technical product manager (TPM)’s unique blend of technical expertise and business acumen helps to bridge the gap between technology and business needs. Here are the kinds of responsibilities and skills you’ll see crop up on TPM job descriptions. 

Key responsibliites

1. Define product vision and strategy

Develop a clear strategy in line with the company’s goals and objectives, taking into account market trends, customer needs, and the competitive landscape.

2. Create and maintain product roadmap

Develop and maintain a comprehensive product roadmap, outlining the timeline for feature releases, updates, and enhancements. Prioritize initiatives based on business impact, customer feedback, and technical feasibility.

3. Collaborate with cross-functional teams

Work closely with engineering, design, marketing, and sales teams to ensure the product development process aligns with the overall business objectives and user needs.

4. Manage the product backlog

Oversee and prioritize the product backlog, ensuring that it reflects the most up-to-date product requirements, user stories, and technical considerations.

5. Technical decision-making

Make informed decisions about technology choices, including platforms, tools, and architecture, to ensure the product has a solid technical foundation.

6. Translate technical concepts

Communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders, helping to bridge the gap between technology and business, and facilitate informed decision-making.

7. Monitor product performance

Track and analyze product performance metrics, user feedback, and market trends to identify areas for improvement and future development opportunities.

8. Manage risks and mitigate issues

Proactively identify potential risks and challenges related to product development and implementation, and devise strategies to mitigate or address those issues.

Key skills and qualifications

1. Technical expertise

A strong background in software engineering, computer science, or a related field, with a deep understanding of technology and software development processes.

2. Product management experience

Proven experience in managing technology products, preferably in a similar industry or domain.

3. Business acumen

A solid grasp of business fundamentals, market analysis, and competitive landscape assessment.

4. Communication skills

Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to present complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.

5. Analytical thinking

Strong analytical and problem-solving skills, allowing the TPM to identify opportunities, assess risks, and make data-driven decisions.

6. Collaboration and teamwork

The ability to work effectively with cross-functional teams and build strong working relationships with stakeholders at all levels of the organization.

7. Adaptability

The capacity to adapt to a rapidly changing environment, embrace new technologies, and stay current with industry trends.

What’s the difference between a product manager and a technical product manager?

While both roles share some common responsibilities, there are notable differences in their areas of focus and expertise between a product manager and a technical product manager.

Technical product manager (TPM)

A technical product manager focuses on the tech aspects of product development. Here’s what we mean by ‘tech’: 

1. Technical background

TPMs typically have a background in software engineering, computer science, or a related field. This allows them to effectively communicate with engineers, understand technical constraints, and make educated decisions on technology choices.

2. Technical decision-making

TPMs make technology-related decisions, such as selecting the right platform, tools, or architecture for the product. They work closely with the engineering team to ensure that the product is built on a solid technical foundation.

3. Technical problem-solving

TPMs tackle complex technical challenges that arise during product development, working with engineers to identify optimal solutions that align with the product vision and business goals.

Product manager (PM)

A product manager, on the other hand, has a broader scope, focusing on the overall product strategy, market positioning, and user experience. While they may not possess the same level of technical expertise as a TPM, they excel in understanding customer needs, competitive landscapes, and go-to-market strategies. Key characteristics of a PM include:

1. Customer-centric mindset

PMs prioritize understanding user needs, pain points, and desires. They use this knowledge to define the product vision and create features that address those needs.

2. Business acumen

PMs are skilled at identifying market opportunities, assessing competition, and defining go-to-market strategies. They play a crucial role in driving the product’s success in the market.

3. Cross-functional collaboration

PMs work closely with various teams, including marketing, sales, and customer support, to ensure a cohesive approach to product development, launch, and ongoing improvements.

Think of the product manager as the visionary who decides to connect two islands via a bridge, and the technical product manager as the person who engineers it, right down to selecting the bricks and overseeing the builders. 

How to become a technical product manager 

Becoming a technical product manager (TPM) requires a unique combination of technical expertise, business acumen, and product management skills. If you’re interested in pursuing this dynamic career path, here are some steps to help you get started:

1. Turn yourself into a technical powerhouse 

A solid understanding of technology and software development processes is essential for a TPM. Pursue a degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field, or acquire relevant experience through internships, work, or personal projects. Familiarize yourself with programming languages, frameworks, databases, and other technical tools commonly used in your industry or domain.

2. Develop business acumen

A TPM needs to have a firm grasp of business fundamentals, including market analysis, competitive landscape assessment, and financial modeling. Develop these skills through formal education, such as an MBA or business courses, or through self-study, online resources, and practical experience.

3. Gain hands-on product management experience

Working in a product management role, even in a non-technical capacity, will provide valuable insight into the product development process, customer needs, and market dynamics. Look for opportunities to work on product-focused projects or roles, either within your current organization or through internships and volunteer work.

4. Learn from industry experts

Connect with experienced TPMs or product managers through networking events, online forums, and social media platforms. Seek their guidance, learn from their experiences, and stay informed about industry trends and best practices. We’ve listed some resources at the bottom of this article to point you in the right direction. 

5. Acquire relevant certifications

While not always required, earning product management certifications, such as the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) or the Certified Product Manager (CPM), can help you stand out and demonstrate your commitment to the field. Additionally, consider technical certifications related to your industry or domain, such as AWS Certified Solutions Architect or Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect.

6. Master communication and collaboration skills

As a TPM, you’ll be working with cross-functional teams and communicating complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders. Strengthen your written and verbal communication skills, and practice presenting technical information in a clear and concise manner. Work on your collaboration and teamwork abilities, as you’ll need to build strong relationships with colleagues and stakeholders across various departments.

7. Showcase your skills and experience

Create a compelling resume and LinkedIn profile that highlights your technical expertise, product management experience, and business skills. Include specific examples of projects or products you’ve worked on. Focus on the results you’ve achieved and the impact you’ve made.

8. Apply for positions and network

Search for TPM positions on job boards, company websites, and networking platforms. Reach out to your network for potential opportunities or referrals and attend industry events and conferences to expand your connections.

What does a technical product manager earn?

A technical product manager’s (TPM) salary varies significantly depending on factors such as location, level of experience, industry, and company size. In general, TPMs tend to earn higher salaries than non-technical product managers due to their specialized technical expertise. While it is important to note that the following figures are only estimates and subject to change, they can provide a general understanding of the earning potential for a TPM.

In the United States, according to data from Glassdoor (as of 2023), the average base salary for a technical product manager is $160,103 per year. However, more experienced TPMs working at larger tech companies or in high-demand markets can earn salaries well above $200,000, with some even exceeding $250,000 per year.

A day in the life of a technical product manager 

While no two days are exactly the same, let’s walk through a typical day in the life of a TPM to get a sense of the tasks and challenges they might face.

Morning: Review and prioritize

A TPM’s day typically starts by catching up on emails and messages from the team, reviewing any updates, and addressing any pressing issues that require immediate attention. Next, it’s time to review the product backlog and prioritize tasks for the upcoming sprint. This involves evaluating user stories, technical requirements, and project dependencies to ensure the development team focuses on the most impactful features or improvements.

Mid-morning: Stand-up meeting

The daily stand-up meeting is an opportunity for the development team to sync up on their progress, discuss any roadblocks, and share insights or updates. As a TPM, you’ll actively participate in this meeting, offering guidance and support to help the team stay on track and maintain momentum.

Late morning: Technical discussions

After the stand-up, you might find yourself in a deep chat with the engineering team, discussing architectural decisions, evaluating technology choices, or troubleshooting a complex technical issue. Your technical expertise is crucial here, as you’ll be able to contribute to the conversation and help the team make informed decisions that align with the product vision and goals.

Lunchtime: Refuel and network

Lunch provides an opportunity to recharge and connect with colleagues from other departments. Networking is essential for a TPM, as it helps you stay informed about company updates, initiatives, and cross-departmental projects that could impact your product’s development. Or maybe you just want to get a sandwich and chill — it’s your lunch. 

Afternoon: Cross-functional collaboration

The afternoon might involve meetings with other teams, such as design, marketing, or sales, to discuss product updates, gather feedback, or strategize on go-to-market plans. You’ll need to effectively communicate the product’s technical aspects and ensure that all stakeholders align on expectations and timelines.

Late afternoon: Data analysis and strategy

As the day winds down, you might spend some time analyzing product performance metrics, user feedback, and market trends to identify areas for improvement or future opportunities. Based on your analysis, you’ll update the product roadmap and strategize on how to capitalize on new trends or address user pain points.

Evening: Reflect and plan

Before calling it a day, take some time to reflect on the day’s achievements and any lessons learned. Jot down any ideas or insights that came up during the day and plan for upcoming tasks or meetings. Finally, make sure to set aside some time for professional development, whether it’s reading up on industry news, learning a new technology, or networking with other professionals in your field.

Technical product manager resources

Whether you’re just getting started learning about this fascinating profession, are preparing for an interview, or are looking for ways to brush up on your knowledge, there are numerous useful resources that you can draw from to become a master in the discipline.


  1. Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan
  2. Cracking the PM Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell and Jackie Bavaro
  3. Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value by Melissa Perri

Online Courses

  1. Coursera: Product Management with Lean, Agile and System Design Thinking by Boston University
  2. Udemy (search for technical product management courses)
  3. EdX (search for technical product management courses)

Blogs and Websites

  1. Product Talk
  2. Mind the Product
  3. Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG)


  1. Product to Product
  2. This is Product Management


  1. Meetup: Product Management
  2. LinkedIn Groups: Product Management

Job Boards

  1. ProductHire
  2. Mind the Product Jobs


  1. Cacoo: Our diagramming tool for creating flowcharts, mind maps, org charts, and more. It’s helpful for visualizing product roadmaps and user journeys.
  2. Backlog: Our own project management and collaboration tool for teams, with features for task management, version control, and bug tracking.
  3. GitHub: A code hosting platform for version control and collaboration.
  4. Google Analytics: A web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic.

Final thoughts

A technical product manager is a rewarding and fulfilling career path, requiring a unique blend of technical expertise, strategic thinking, and effective communication.

From collaborating with cross-functional teams to defining product roadmaps, conducting market research, and overseeing the development process, the profession plays a pivotal role in shaping innovative solutions that meet customer needs.

If you possess a unique combination of technical prowess, business acumen, and strong interpersonal skills, this could be the career for you.



Subscribe to our newsletter

Learn with Nulab to bring your best ideas to life