How Important is it to Know How to Code for Product Managers?

Ollie Chap
4 replies
Hi PH! I'm working as a junior PM, as well as working on a few side gigs. Coming from a marketing background, I've been a bit self-conscious that I do not know how to properly code, although I have been teaching myself Python through HyperSkill. Do you think it is important for product managers to know how to proficiently code in order to work better with the development team?


Amir Tarighat
I think knowing how to code is pretty important, but I think knowing how a team of developers work on a project is probably even more important.
It really depends upon what your product is. If the technology itself is the differentiator, then yes, you likely need to be fairly proficient.
Understanding the technical side is important for a product manager. This helps to plan better, be inline with developers (some really dislike non-technical managers), look more professional when communicating with clients (if in response to any question you reply that you have to ask the developers it doesn't look good, they should feel you understand the topic). Here I want to stress on the fact that being technical is not the same as being able to code. If you take a Udemy course on javascript basics it won't help. You should understand why language A is better than language B in a particular case, why some technology won't suit for a particular issue, but another one will work, and why Wordpress sucks after all :) Here are also some thoughts on why a product needs a technical founder/CTO
Ollie Chap
@andrey_mi Thanks mate. Makes a lot of sense. I've found my technical knowledge as expanded quite a lot by just working with and observing our dev team, but am also looking for additional resources to help out. Cheers