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Cracking the PM Career: The Skills, Frameworks, and Practices To Become a Great Product Manager (Cracking the Interview & Career) by [Jackie Bavaro, Gayle McDowell]

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Cracking the PM Career: The Skills, Frameworks, and Practices To Become a Great Product Manager (Cracking the Interview & Career) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 119 ratings
Part of: Cracking the Interview & Career (3 Books)

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Editorial Reviews


"Generic advice is impossible to put to work in the specifics of product management where real-time judgment calls are required. Jackie and Gayle provide context and frameworks that help future PM leaders to formulate their own conceptual models as they grow to successful product leaders."- STEVEN SINOFSKY, former Microsoft president and product leader

"More than product management 101, this book will help even the most seasoned product manager be a more effective leader and decision-maker."- GIBSON BIDDLE, former VP, Chief Product Officer of Netflix and Chegg

"Amazing, practical advice to take control and navigate your product management career. I wish I had this book when I first embarked on my PM journey. A must-have guide!"- YARDLEY POHL, co-founder and board member of Women In Product

About the Author

Jackie Bavaro was most recently Head of Product Management for eight years at Asana, the well-loved work management software, where she joined pre-launch as the first PM. During her tenure, she grew the PM team to over twenty amazing people, helped Asana's go from $0 to more than $100 million in annual recurring revenue, and launched Asana's associate product manager program. With over 15 years of product management experience, she has also worked as a PM for Google and Microsoft as well, and in a diverse set of roles--a consumer PM, a B2B PM, a platform PM, a mobile PM, and a growth PM. Jackie has coached, mentored, managed, and advised hundreds of people in product and people who aspire to move to product roles. Jackie and Gayle's first co-authored book, the best-selling Cracking the PM Interview, has been credited with helping to level the playing field for product management talent. Jackie graduated from Cornell University with a double major in Computer Science and Economics. She currently writes, coaches, and advises from her home in San Francisco, California. More of Jackie's writing about product management can be found at https: // and https: //

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, twitter (@gayle), and facebook (@gayle). --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08TQ89LKB
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ January 26, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 6851 KB
  • Simultaneous device usage ‏ : ‎ Unlimited
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 848 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 119 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
119 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2021
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4 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2021
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good PM advice for beginners, but not useful for skill building
By KGebre on June 9, 2021
If you are like me, you have probably read Cracking the PM Interview—the ten year old classic which laid the groundwork for modern product interview prep. Given the incredibly accomplished authors, I had extremely high hopes for this book. I wouldn't say I am utterly disappointed after reading this, but definitely don't think feel like I got my moneys worth.

In the book intro, the author describes the book as "80% PM skills and 20% managing your career." I have 4 years of product management experience and I felt all of the "PM skills" were superficial fluff that any APM would know. And when I say fluff, I mean just straight definitions of various product concepts like user research, product management, etc.

The reason I am giving this book 3 stars instead of 1 star is a decent amount of good advice sprinkled through the book if you force your way through it. If you start this book with the intention of up-leveling your PM skills, you will undoubtedly be disappointed unless perhaps if you are a college junior prepping for your first ever PM internship or something. However, reading this book cover to cover I think I did get some useful takeaways, especially from reading the Q&A section with Product Leaders. The common theme I uncovered was how to know when you are setup for success and when to switch jobs if/when you aren't being properly supported. Most of Q&A content can be found for free already on blogs and various video interviews from conferences on YouTube, but nonetheless, this book does a good job aggregating all this content into one place.

This book tried to do three things: teach hard PM skills, teach soft PM skills like leadership, and provide advice to help PMs navigate their career. I think for the PM career advice part, this book is the best on the market. For anyone looking to build their EQ and leader skills, I would recommend reading Empowered by Marty Cagan instead. For anyone with previous product experience looking to build their hard product skills (eg. design, data analysis, growth marketing, etc) I would recommend reading Product Management's Sacred Seven by Neel Metha instead.
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2 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2021
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3 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars The PM bible.
By KS on February 16, 2021
No matter where you are on the PM ladder, there are sections which talk to you and help you become a better PM and further your career.

For e.g. - Can't stress enough on how helpful and underrated this section is in "Cracking the PM career" especially for PM's whose 1st language isn't English.

Highly recommend it.
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Top reviews from other countries

Feet on the floor
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best books for product managers
Reviewed in Germany on February 23, 2021
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Sergio Schuler
1.0 out of 5 stars Too basic for experienced PMs
Reviewed in Germany on May 24, 2021
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Carina Sauter
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on PM by far with the most actionable advice
Reviewed in Germany on May 29, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Reviewed in Germany on March 1, 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars This will lay the foundation for u in the PM role.
Reviewed in India on July 10, 2021
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