Do Product Managers Need to Know How to Code?
The short answer, no.
As a product manager, you just need to be “technical enough.” And this doesn’t require a Computer Science degree or a background in development.
So why is it important to be technical. Consider the following:
- Understanding the technical aspects of the product
- Working with the engineering team
- Estimating feasibility and scope of a proposed feature
- Understanding the tradeoffs a technical decision
While coding isn’t necessary here’s a few actions you can take to get there:
Learn the technology stack. What languages and frameworks is your product built in? Each language/framework has benefits and tradeoffs and understanding this helps you follow along in technical discussions.
Ask an engineer to walk you through the systems architecture. Why does this help? First, it helps with feasibility and scoping. If you’re working on a feature that has many dependencies then naturally it will take longer and may require cross functional effort across different teams. Second, it helps you understand the technical tradeoffs of decisions.