Joyce Park’s Dark Secret

Dear Joyce Park (aka Troutgirl):

We’ve had our differences in the past – between my constant un-RSVP’d appearances at 106 Miles, or my continued insistence that I am still relevant despite ‘betraying’ engineering for product management – but Saturday changed everything. There, in the company of your Renkoo brethren, you spoke the words I’ve longed to hear:

Boy, Renkoo really needs a product manager! I mean, I never realized there was all this stuff that needed to be taken care of! We need someone to venga-ize us!

At first, I thought you were joking. Or drunk (Lord knows it sounds like you were making words up). Or possibly both. I knew those words would never easily escape your lips, at least not without the assistance of some light bondage and a car battery. But the sincerity, the exasperation with which those words were spoken made me realize you were serious.

Although I had wondered about your Herculean intake of tequila over the course of the evening, I now understand what you were doing: steeling your nerves for this scandalous admission. I just want to let you know, privately, how much I appreciate this validation. Product Management’s a tough gig, and most engineers don’t get it because they can’t measure it in lines of cleanly encapsulated, syntactically pure code. We take the requirements from the customers to the engineers. That’s our jobs. We have people skills dammit!

Your confession is appreciated – it’s always good to know someone “gets it”. If only every engineer understood this, and I wish you would tell them all – but don’t worry: the secret of your admiration for Product Managers everywhere is safe with me. I wouldn’t dare speak a word of it – who would believe me? I mean, I could plaster it on the Internet, complete with a photo or two of the moment, (the blogosphere will believe anything), but putting this out there would just be…tacky. 😉


Brendon J. Wilson