Lessons for an Engineer from a Corporate Vice President of Product

Few insights for engineers from a product person with over 22 years of experience

At my workplace, we have an internal career guidance fair where you can book one-on-one sessions with senior folk from various disciplines. I was fortunate enough to secure a session from a CVP (Corporate Vice President) of product. I wanted to understand software engineering from the perspective of a product person and this was an opportunity I couldn't miss. I have noted few of the questions which I had asked in the session and I'm glad to share these insights with you.

Quick housekeeping before we begin: My idea of a "product person" is vague and for the purpose of this article I will borrow the definition from this article by Noah Weiss: "Great PMs [product persons] live in the future and work backwards, focus on customer and business impact, and amplify their teams."

Now, let us begin!

What are the traits you have liked, disliked, and wanted more of, with the engineers you have worked with?


  • Curiosity
  • Sharing ideas


  • Apathy
  • A fixed mindset

Wanted More Of

  • Open-mindedness

How can an engineer communicate better with a PM?

What methods have you found to be the most effective to deal with setbacks and failures?

  • Explore your own failures to learn from them
  • Overcome them by sharing and confronting

What are the things you would like me to keep in mind for a successful career?

  • Develop desired skills
  • Work on something you're passionate about
  • Find a good manager
  • Seek mentors outside your hierarchy
  • Do side quests, build relationships to power through work

Let me know in the comments if you would like me to expand on any of these points!