At Meta, we view being an individual contributor (IC) and manager as parallel career paths, so you can continue to grow in your career and have impact as an IC without directly managing people. Regardless of which path you choose as a DPM (and many people move back and forth between the two), we view career growth as opportunities to take on more scope and complexity, which I like to think about in terms of “breadth” versus “depth.”
As a manager, increasing breadth in a DPM career might mean supporting a larger team working on a number of products or initiatives, while as an IC, it might mean partnering with senior leadership on company-wide initiatives. Increasing depth as a DPM generally means working on a single, very complex product or program, whether that’s partnering with a small team as a manager or working with design leads as an IC.
Regardless of the career path, Meta offers a constant stream of opportunities for DPMs to evolve their career based on what they do best and enjoy most. By focusing on strengths and helping people find the internal communities that can make them feel supported at work, we help DPMs grow and succeed.
Over the last few years, design program management has emerged as a discipline that is in high demand at Meta, and with that, the possibilities for the evolution of DPM careers is open and exciting. As leaders, it’s been thrilling to grow alongside this community and learn from them. I’ve seen our DPMs grow their experience in product strategy, design systems, leadership and operations at global scale, and these are skill sets that translate well across product as well as business functions. Many of our DPM leaders have moved into management to address the needs of our organization, but there is also a huge opportunity for us to grow our bench of senior ICs who can take on our most ambiguous and complex challenges ahead.
Another way we see our DPMs grow is by developing our craft. We have a strong community and we come together to shape what our discipline looks like in terms of best practices, continued education and recruiting. We help shape what the DPM practice is at Meta.