Program managers at Facebook manage and coordinate the design of technical infrastructure for a wide array of projects. They’re actively involved in making large-scale and impactful business decisions by developing project plans and executing them.
Facebook hires Technical Program Managers for various teams. As the name suggests, TPMs need to be conversant with both the technical as well as project management aspects of a project. They also need to be good with team management skills, display the ability to coordinate, work with multiple cross-functional teams, and address any hitches during the course of a project.
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In this article, we’ll look at the role of a Technical program Manager in detail. We’ll look at how TPMs influence business decisions and what to expect if you’re planning to apply for a TPM role at Facebook.
- Responsibilities of different program managers at Facebook
- Important skills to have as a program manager
Responsibilities of Different Technical Program Managers at Facebook
Facebook has several teams working on several projects. Each project is assigned a Technical Program Manager to help drive it. A TPM fundamentally has two roles to play: a technical role and a project manager role.
Here we’ll give you an idea of what different TPMs at Facebook seek to accomplish. We mostly look at the technical aspect of their roles.
Network Engineering Technical Program Managers
Network Engineering TPMs actively work with other teams to expand Facebook's core network. They typically work on Backbone Networking, Data Centre Networking’, and Edge Deployments. Their goal is to connect different entities through the Facebook network.
Hardware Technical Program Managers
These TPMs work with hardware tools to drive scalability. reliability, and efficiency. Hardware Technical Program Managers also work cross-functionally to deliver top-tier and hyper-scale hardware.
Capacity Technical Program Managers
Capacity technical Program Managers coordinate and work closely with engineering teams to scale-up Facebook’s capacity in order to accommodate more users and features. Capacity TPMs are usually required to have a wide knowledge base as their role involves implementing and integrating complex programs, making provision for hardware scalability, network protocol and security, and managing data centres.
Data Centre Technical Program Managers
Data Centre TPMs should have in-depth knowledge of managing and leveraging huge swatches of data. They handle data servers and coordinate with engineering teams to process large volumes of data. They also deal with automation and AI to optimally process massive chunks of data.
Engineering Technical Program Managers
Engineering TPMs work with engineering teams to build programs and design scalable systems. They coordinate with several other teams to ensure that programs and applications work seamlessly.
The role of Engineering TPMs is crucial to Facebook’s efforts. They play an extremely important role in planning and executing the development of programs and applications.
TPMs are also associated with project planning and management, roles that aren’t very technical in nature. In such roles they’re in charge of ensuring that projects are planned and executed to perfection.
Project Management Role Played by Technical Program Managers at Facebook
The project management role typically comprises three main aspects:
- Resolving issues/conflicts
Let’s look at each one of these elements in detail.
Planning mostly pertains to understanding project requirements and planning the next action steps. It involves creating a project roadmap, bringing different teams together, apprising them of the project’s requirements, and organizing necessary resources to ensure smooth execution of the project.
Execution mostly involves assigning tasks to different teams and monitoring the progress of these tasks to ensure they’re in sync with project timelines. Execution also involves identifying additional resources required to ensure the smooth functioning of the project.
This part involves identifying pain and problem areas and resolving them to prevent the stagnation of progress. Resolving issues and conflicts is a key role of Program Managers, as unresolved issues can deter progress and cause long-term problems.
Important Skills That Program Managers Should Possess
Program Managers should essentially possess excellent resource management and team management skills. They should display the ability to seamlessly coordinate with other teams, work cross-functionally, and ensure that projects are completed without any hiccups and delays.
Here are some skills that Program Managers should possess:
- Customer focus: Ability to envision projects keeping the customer at the centre
- Project planning: Account for contingencies while planning the project
- Collaborative: Effectively coordinate with different teams to ensure seamless progress
- Leadership: Lead the team and ensure the work environment is friendly and stimulating
- Knowledge seeking: Be abreast with latest technological advancements
Preparing for Your Program Manager Interview
If you’re preparing for a program manager interview, you need to ensure that your prep covers all aspects of the interview — technical and behavioral.
Following are some useful resources that can help you get started:
- Google Technical Program Manager Interview Questions
- Amazon Technical Program Manager Interview Questions
- Microsoft Program Manager Interview Process and Prep — 80 Sample Interview Questions Included
Are you confused about where to start your prep? Register for our technical interview webinar to understand how we’ve helped thousands of engineers land irresistible offers from the biggest tech companies.
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