What would you call me?
March 2, 2010 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Time to update my resume. I think I have very marketable job experience in the software development industry, but I am not sure what to call my job title so that it describes what I do.

I work at a small software company of about 40-50 employees. I was originally hired as a "Software Analyst", which is business speak for "you do everything". I installed the software at clients, travelled onsite for go-lives, fixed bugs, configured according to project plans, tested, wrote documentation, and was tech support for advanced questions or problems.

Within two years, I literally knew the software better than anyone in the company, so they moved me over to the development department and created a new position for me. My job is to act as the gateway between project managers and development so the developers didn't just develop everything that the project managers told them to, which had started happening a few months prior and was causing a lot of problems in the software.

I assumed the Scrum role of product owner, and I have the complete freedom to reject requests that were not in line with the vision of the product or to modify them so that they are. I also have complete freedom to design new features or modifications that are not related to any project requirements, in the interest of improving the quality of the software. In summary, I have near-complete creative control over enterprise-grade software that we are selling for upwards of a million dollars.

Fast forward to now... the company is not doing too well, and while I am in no danger of being laid off, the company is in danger of going under. We may have a few months or even a year left, or we could even come out of it, but I have reached the point where I need to cast my nets back into the water. I am not desparate yet, but if a really good job opportunity comes, I will take it.

So, here's my question: What would you call me? When I first moved into the new position, my boss issued a temporary job title of "Requirements Analyst" while he thought of a better name. He never did, and Requirements Analyst sort of stuck. But this is a made-up job title that won't mean much to anyone outside my company, and analyzing business requirements is only a small part of what I do, so I'd rather include something more accurate on my resume. (Product Owner is a process role rather than a job title, so I don't want to use that one either.)

Does my job have an equivalent in other companies, and what is the job title for it?
posted by relucent to Work & Money (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Product Manager. Agile shops will know what a product owner is too.
posted by GuyZero at 12:09 PM on March 2, 2010

I'd be inclined to call you a Product Manager. When I hear that, I'm inclined to assume that the person is responsible for the vision of that product. Note that Product Manager is a different role than Project Manager, and that difference seems to jibe with your description.
posted by flipper at 12:10 PM on March 2, 2010

Your role, plus a bit of involvement in the sales process, sounds almost identical to mine when I had the title Technical Product Manager.
posted by deadmessenger at 12:12 PM on March 2, 2010

Seconding the prior comments. At our software company, you would hold the title of X Product Manager, where X equals the software that you cover. If you cover all (or the only) product, then you would be listed as Director of Core Technologies (but that may be company specific)
posted by valoius at 12:42 PM on March 2, 2010

N'thing Product Manager.
posted by COD at 12:49 PM on March 2, 2010

Product Manager is perfect. Five for five. Thanks everyone!
posted by relucent at 12:52 PM on March 2, 2010

Yeah, Technical PM may be more accurate if you didn't have any marketing responsibilities.
posted by GuyZero at 1:02 PM on March 2, 2010

In the world I live in, this is called a program manager. A product manager is something different in my world. The product manager does biz dev work, customer analysis, competitive analysis, market placement, marketing etc and the program manager does what you describe.
posted by crazycanuck at 1:24 PM on March 2, 2010

Microsoft would probably call you a Program Manager but my experience is that that's not a widely used title to describe that role elsewhere in the s'ware world. But if you're applying to Microsoft it would be a good choice.
posted by GuyZero at 1:59 PM on March 2, 2010

I also first thought "Product Manager". However, I would look into the program manager versus product manager thing. There is a split in many companies between the business development and everything else.
posted by xammerboy at 2:06 PM on March 2, 2010

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