How to Become a Microsoft Program Manager

March 17th, 2009 by lewis

Today’s Microsoft Jobs Blog discusses skills and experiences they look for in an ideal program manager (PM).  Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft’s Senior VP of Windows and Windows Live Engineering, wrote a legendary post on what it’s like to be a Microsoft PM.  Here’s a short excerpt on the key qualities he looks for in a top-notch PM:

  • Strong interest in what computing can do — a great interest in technology and how to apply that to problems people have in life and work
  • Great communication skills — you do a lot of writing, presenting, and convincing
  • Strong views on what is right, but very open to new ideas — the best PMs are not necessarily those with the best ideas, but those that insure the best ideas get done
  • Selfless — PM is about making sure the best work gets done by the team, not that your ideas get done.
  • Empathy — As a PM you are the voice of the customer so you have to really understand their point of view and context
  • Entrepreneur — as a PM you need to get out there and convince others of your ideas, so being able to is a good skill
For those of you who are sold on being a Microsoft PM, take my favorite list of Microsoft program manager questions and try out a few!

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