I am a Java/JEE/Flex person with approx. 7 yrs experience (4 yrs in the services industry and 3 years in the product industry). I am now getting bored of coding and want to move to a slightly higher level where my role demands decision on new features, market study rather than getting into the nitty gritties of the implementation of a feature.
So my questions are:
1.What are kind of opportunities for vertical growth in a technical career path? 2. Are there roles where a technical person can get some client interaction and use this interaction to drive a product?
Product management is the group responsible for planning out a product/product family. The group itself works closely with strategy, marketing, and engineering and in some companies may be found within one of those three departments or may have responsibility for one or more of those tasks.
Product managers are not "management" in the sense of managing other people. This is a common misunderstanding. The term "management" in "product management" refers to the management of a product (e.g. deciding what to build) as opposed to the management of people in a supervisory role. Unfortunately because of the common understanding of the term, many people see product management as managerial and therefore a higher position on a totem pole.
Product managers can go one to more senior product management roles, taken responsibility for more decisions and eventually owning not just part of a product or a product, but eventually whole families or categories of products. They also may take on supervisory roles along the way being responsible for more junior product managers. Very senior people can wind up in roles in the categories named above.