Gayle Laakmann McDowell
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About Gayle Laakmann McDowell
Gayle Laakmann McDowell is an author, consultant, and founder focusing on improving tech hiring for both the interviewer and the candidate.
Gayle has worked as an engineer for Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Most recently, at Google, she served on the hiring committee where she interviewed hundreds of candidates and evaluated thousands more. It was here that she discovered the disconnect between candidates, their skill set, and their interview performance.
Though her company, CareerCup, Gayle has worked with many of the top tech companies to reform their hiring practices and implement interviewer training programs.
She is the author and creator the best-selling Cracking the Interview & Career series: Cracking the Coding Interview, Cracking the PM Interview (co-authored with Jackie Bavaro), Cracking the PM Career (co-authored with Jackie Bavaro), and Cracking the Tech Career
Gayle holds a bachelor's and master's in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
She currently consults, writes, and codes from her home in Palo Alto, California. She can be found online at gayle.com, twitter (@gayle), and facebook (@gayle).
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Books By Gayle Laakmann McDowell
Cracking the PM Interview is a comprehensive book about landing a product management role in a startup or bigger tech company. Learn how the ambiguously-named "PM" (product manager / program manager) role varies across companies, what experience you need, how to make your existing experience translate, what a great PM resume and cover letter look like, and finally, how to master the PM interview questions (estimation questions, behavioral questions, case questions, product questions, technical questions, and the super important "pitch").
The Product Manager Role
What is a PM?
Functions of a PM
Top Myths about Product Management
Project Managers and Program Managers
How the PM Role Varies
Getting the Right Experience
Making the Most of Career Fairs
Do you need an MBA?
Why Technical Experience Matters
Transitioning from Engineer to Product Manager
Transitioning from Designer to Product Manager
Transitioning from Other Roles
What Makes a Good Side Project?
Tips and Tricks for Career Advancement
Q & A: Fernando Delgado, Sr. Director, Product Management at Yahoo
Q & A: Ashley Carroll, Senior Director of Product Management, DocuSign
Q & A: Brandon Bray, Principal Group Program Manager, Microsoft
Q & A: Thomas Arend, International Product Lead, Airbnb
Q & A: Johanna Wright, VP at Google
Q & A: Lisa Kostova Ogata, VP of Product at Bright.com
Behind the Interview Scenes
The 15 Second Rule
Attributes of a Good PM Resume
What to Include
Real Resumes: Before & After
Elements of a Good PM Cover Letter
The Cover Letter Template
A Great Cover Letter
"Tell Me About Yourself" (The Pitch)
"Why do you want to work here?"
"Why should we hire you?"
"Why are you leaving your current job?"
"What do you like to do in your spare time?"
"Where do you see yourself in five years?"
"What are your strengths and weaknesses?"
Sample Strengths and Weaknesses
Why These Questions Are Asked
Types of Behavioral Questions
Numbers Cheat Sheet
Tips and Tricks
About the Product Question
Type 1: Designing a Product
Type 2: Improving a Product
Type 3: Favorite Product
Tips and Tricks
From the authors of the best-selling Cracking the PM Interview comes the comprehensive guide to the skills, frameworks, and practices to become a great product manager. It will help you level-up your skills and career from your first product management role through product leadership, addressing questions like:
- What does it take to become a great product manager and great leader?
- How can you reliably ship products that make a difference in the world?
- How do you build your product intuition, hone your execution, strengthen your leadership, and develop your strategic skills?
- What does it take to lead and inspire teams?
- When is people management the right career move?
- How does excellence in those skills translate into career success?
This book will teach you the reliable frameworks and best practices that improve your chances of shipping a successful product. The frameworks won't transform you into a great product manager overnight or guarantee that your products never fail, but they'll help you avoid the most common problems and give you the structure to start experimenting, reflecting, and improving.
You'll learn how to:
- Design high-quality products that delight users and solve people's needs.
- Run and deliver your projects quickly, smoothly, and effectively.
- Create product visions and strategies to set direction and optimize for long-term impact.
- Lead people and influence without authority.
- Manage people, develop great PMs, build great teams, and create great product organizations.
- Manage your career so you can translate your efforts into the recognition you deserve.
- Getting Started: the product life cycle; the first 90 days
- Product Skills: user research; A/B tests; problem solving frameworks; systems thinking; product discovery; design sprints; ethical product design; technical terms and concepts; product documentation (specs and PRDs)
- Execution Skills: agile project management; minimum viable products (MVPs); incremental development; product launches; time management; overcoming obstacles
- Strategic Skills: product vision; strategy; roadmaps; goals and OKRs
- Leadership Skills: growth mindset; ownership mentality; influencing without authority; stakeholder management; collaboration; communication; inspiring a team; mentoring; working with designers, engineers, and executives
- People Management Skills: becoming a people manager; being a member of the leadership team; reviewing work; holding people accountable; coaching and development; recruiting and interviewing; product processes; organizational structures
- Careers: career ladders; career goals; partnering with your manager; picking the right team; negotiations; networking; handling bad situations; career options beyond PM
- Product Leader Q&A: in-depth career interviews with eleven successful product leaders who have chosen career paths including CPO, head of product, CEO, social impact work, venture capital, angel investing, coaching, and starting th
Cracking the Tech Career is the job seeker's guide to landing a coveted position at one of the top tech firms. A follow-up to The Google Resume, this book provides new information on what these companies want, and how to show them you have what it takes to succeed in the role. Early planners will learn what to study, and established professionals will discover how to make their skillset and experience set them apart from the crowd. Author Gayle Laakmann McDowell worked in engineering at Google, and interviewed over 120 candidates as a member of the hiring committee – in this book, she shares her perspectives on what works and what doesn't, what makes you desirable, and what gets your resume saved or deleted.
Apple, Microsoft, and Google are the coveted companies in the current job market. They field hundreds of resumes every day, and have their pick of the cream of the crop when it comes to selecting new hires. If you think the right alma mater is all it takes, you need to update your thinking. Top companies, especially in the tech sector, are looking for more. This book is the complete guide to becoming the candidate they just cannot turn away.
- Discover the career paths that run through the top tech firms
- Learn how to craft the prefect resume and prepare for the interview
- Find ways to make yourself stand out from the hordes of other applicants
- Understand what the top companies are looking for, and how to demonstrate that you're it
These companies need certain skillsets, but they also want a great culture fit. Grades aren't everything, experience matters, and a certain type of applicant tends to succeed. Cracking the Tech Career reveals what the hiring committee wants, and shows you how to get it.
HOW IT WORKS:
The Bedtime Bunny uses the evidence-based behavior strategy of positive reinforcement to motivate young children to stay in bed.