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What is a Program Manager?

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  • User profile image
    aza

    Everyone on the video interviews seems to be a Program Manager. Do these managers actually have subordinates? Or is the use of manager referring to the software?

    Just interested to know if we are getting the views of people working with the "live" code in these programs or the people managing them.
     
    Thanks,
    Aaron

  • User profile image
    miies

    I'm still figuring out what a 'software evangelist' actually does..

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    The Program Manager is the person who writes specs, works with devs and testers, etc. Gretchen and Zoe have a great post here: http://blogs.msdn.com/jobsblog/archive/2004/04/26/120598.aspx

    As far as evangelists, you're looking at one of the things they do Wink

  • User profile image
    aza

    Interesting. 

    So the Program Manager is a Project Manager who gets to define their project.

    "pick up and run with the ball, they go find the ball"

    (Please excuse my developer's skepticism, I am still waiting to be issued with my evangelists toolkit)

    I actually thought us developers already exceled at deciding what is best for the them! Surely no one else knows the customer as well as a developer? In fact who is this non-customer Program Manager and why are they dictating requirements? They don't even need the product they can just make up new requirements all day to torment the devs.

    Program Manager sounds like a great job to me Wink, I bet they get paid a lot as well.

    Aaron

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    gmiley

    Basically Program Managers coordinate and organize team(s) of other programmers. The PM might not be quite as technical as the programmers but usually has a business degree and a cs degree. They normally set up meetings and make final decisions regarding product development.

    They are also the ones the other programmers go to when a major decision needs to be made or there is a conflict of what the client is telling them with what is on the spec sheet. Just as the title implies they are the managers of the project/programming team.

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    Jeremy W

    From what I understand, a large majority of PM's actually come out of SDE (developer) roles. Also, PM's aren't acting alone. It's not like you'll have one Program Manager for all of Office. There are probably hundreds. It's a team environment where it's their job to decide things that, by and large, Dev's don't necessarily have time to think about.

    In a company the size of Microsoft, it is everyone's job to think about the customer, but there needs to be people doing that, spec'ing, verifying things are on track, motivating and doing 'future stuff' beyond just generating ideas (which I'm sure many SDE's are really good at).

    As far as the Evangelist position, there have been several really really good posts on this over the last little while at various blogs.

    Here's one thread of conversation, for instance:

    Post from Carter Maslan for an Evangelist position (read comments): http://blogs.msdn.com/jcmaslan/archive/2004/04/17/115358.aspx#FeedBack
    My response: http://www.ensight.org/archives/2004/04/19/being_an_evangelist.html
    Brendan's response: http://www.griffin-digital.com/200404archive001.asp#1082391623001
    Lenn (Channel 9 Dude) responds: http://www.glitteringgenerality.com/PermaLink.aspx?guid=299499cb-dce6-4c6a-a07d-fe850e0bc0f6
    I respond: http://www.ensight.org/archives/2004/04/21/the_truth_about_evangelism.html

    Personally I like Lenn's response best as he IS an Evangelist (capital e). It's not a simple topic, because it's not a simple role. It'll be different in every team, and be different at various times.

  • User profile image
    bhrgunatha

    miies wrote:
    I'm still figuring out what a 'software evangelist' actually does..


    many times I find myself pondering... "what is the meaning of code"

  • User profile image
    chsumanth

    I have done my Bachelors in Computer Applications & then Masters in International Business. I have 1.5 yrs of Business Analyst/Project Coordinator/Program Mgr (basing on the project, my role varies) experience as a Consultant in Citibank representing a small IT company, Yalamanchili Consultancy Services (YCS) in Chennai.

    Does this experience sufficient for me to be a Program Manager in MS? If not, can anyone let me know the eligibility for the same.

    Hope I would get a reply for my query...

  • User profile image
    BlackTiger

    aza wrote:
    Everyone on the video interviews seems to be a Program Manager.


    Good point! Big Smile:D:D

    That's why Microsoft don't need office cleaners!

    If you stumbled and fell down, it doesn't mean yet, that you're going in the wrong direction.
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  • User profile image
    Pace

    miies wrote:
    I'm still figuring out what a 'software evangelist' actually does..


    I think the idea is that they liase with customers...

    Whats cool, whats not, whats easy, whats repetitive about the products etc etc... They then pass this on. Well at least thats what I think it is correct me if im wrong.

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    Deactivated User

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