How does a Solutions Architect role compare to Product Manager?

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Product Manager - What must be built, Architect - How must it be built

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Product manager is responsible for the business case and requirements. SA is responsible for the technology design for how the implementation works, is secure, and is performant. On many teams the SA is a tech leadership role

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A good SA could be a good PM if they have the people and non-technical skills but the reverse isn’t true. A good SA must have strong technology solution design skills and know how the chosen technology stack works in a detailed manner. A PM shouldn’t be a technologist role unless the end users are technologists (like for AWS services) A PM is typically a stop-gap for teams that can’t get an empowered Product Owner with decision-making authority.

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You shouldn’t be a SA unless you’ve already been a tech lead for some time in my opinion. These are 2 very different roles

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Solutions architect is way more technical than product managers. Product managers are good project managers and have good knowledge of the product such as design specs and need strong organizational skills. Solutions architect need to have knowledge of product and why the specs are the way it is and how it helps the customer and excellent communication skills to deliver them.

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Does an SA have good career trajectory growth as compared to a PM? For ex if applying to FAANG for product related work what’s more appealing 5 yrs SA or 5 yrs PM?

To be an SA, you first need to be a very good engineer. FANG doesn’t do SA’s, they have TL (tech leads) which is just an unofficial title for the most experienced and competent engineer(s) on the team. If your not already an extremely competent engineer I’d spend your time focusing on PM work, normally easier to develop those skills within consulting.

They are two different jobs !! Not sure what you are confused about. If you are, perhaps you should be in neither. Does that make sense? else it could be my synthetic meds.

Or maybe OP is confusing Product Manager with PM.

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