Should A Product Manager Know How To Code?

Product Management School Interview

‘Should a product manager know how to code?’

This is a relevant question that you should think about if you a planning to take up the role of a product manager.

While it’s not a mandatory requirement having knowledge in coding will be surely beneficial to you. The importance of your knowledge in coding depends on the industry, company, etc that you work for.

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Here is what you can gain if you are well versed in coding. 

Communication with Engineering Teams

As a product manager, the most important task you do is communicate with the engineering team. Being able to talk to them in their language helps you to convince them and make them work in the direction you want. Engineers usually report to an engineering manager and not the product manager.

They even have the option of backing up from a project, switching projects, etc. So to persuade them and convince them to work on your idea requires proper technical knowledge. Having knowledge in coding will also help you to identify mistakes seeing such mistakes at the very beginning itself.

Prioritization becomes easy!

One of the important responsibilities you will have is to prioritize tasks and rank them on the basis of the amount of effort or time required. Having knowledge of coding can make these tasks easy for you. If you have enough knowledge in coding you can have an upper hand with the customers too. Once you know what has actually gone into the making of the product the better you will be able to translate it for your customers.

Must Read: Why do engineers become product managers?

Foresee the problems and make better decisions!

Having a basic knowledge of coding will surely help you to calculate and make decisions spontaneously. You can foresee the pitfalls and problems that might be waiting for you in the future. Most importantly you get the respect and trust of the engineers who work for you. Once they get to know that you are strong on the technical side they will be more interested in working alongside by side. In a way, you too develop empathy towards them identifying what they exactly go through every day. 

Actually if you are pretty good in coding then the greatest advantage for you is that you wont have to rely on the engineering team and wait for their decisions only to follow them as they are.

You become independent and can understand the processes behind the making of a product in a much better manner. Taking up the role of a product manager demands up to date knowledge in everything related to your field. So you should absorb as much as information possible for which coding will be of great help. If you are planning to build your own products then it’s a must that you have knowledge of coding. Or else you will have to spend your money and energy relying on other people and resources.

So now you clearly have an idea regarding  the benefits  you can attain if you know coding. But this doesn’t mean that only if you are an expert in coding you can grow in your career as a product manager. If you are ready to learn there are many  courses available online on coding and once you are an expert than everything gets so simple.

People also ask :

  1. Why should product managers know how to code?
  2. Is it possible to become a product manager without a knowledge in coding? 
  3. Do all product managers need to know to code?