Computer Science has, in the last few decades, become one of the most studied fields. Today, we see a push to teach basic programming skills to younger students as a way to start their interest in the field of computer science. With the creation of programming languages, such as Scratch, it is becoming more relevant to bring the idea of implementing computer science as a core subject of study as is English or math. Computer literacy is becoming more important as professionals realize the applicability of computer science into any field. In application, the utilization of computer science in the workforce can be often found through the employment of software engineers.
What is Software Engineering?
The task of software engineers is to design and develop software that performs specific functions through the utilization of computers. The applicability of software engineers is impressive because of the wide array of uses that software gives in today’s workforce. Whether the software is the product itself or used for work efficiency, software engineers are beneficial to any company.
How do Product Managers Work with Software Engineers?
Product Managers can work with software engineers in two primary cases. (1) The product being developed is software or (2) software can be employed to improve efficiency in the company’s workforce.
In the first case, Product Managers must work with software engineers at every stage of the software development. Since the software itself is the product, the Product Manager should be communicating with the software engineer(s) in how they envision this software. The end goal of the product is to provide some solution for the consumers; therefore, it is important for both the engineering team and the Product Manager to understand what the problem being solved is and how to solve it through the development of software.
In the second case, Product Managers should explain their current workflow to the software engineers. Most importantly, they have to explain any bottlenecks throughout the different aspects of manufacturing the product. In this case, the software engineers will not be working on the product itself, but on the process that is deployed on creating the product.
In both cases, it is of great importance to clearly explain what needs to be done for the product as the Product Manager. Being vague or too general can lead to software that does not tend to the consumer’s specific needs and may lead to features being included that are unnecessary and unused.
The Importance of Software Engineering in Product Management
In the case of selling software as a product, the importance of software engineers is apparent. Without software engineers, there would be no product to sell.
However, the importance of software engineers can be more ambiguous if you are selling a product that requires no software. Previously, it was said that one has to explain the bottlenecks of production. Maybe one has the means of mass-manufacturing physical products, but they are slow to ship orders because of an outdated system in receiving orders. In this case, a software engineer should be employed in developing a system to remove this bottleneck. As the Product Manager, you must be able to identify what areas of the product process is limiting the progress of the product. For these problems, software engineers can be employed to design and develop programs to streamline the product process.
About Tony Tran:
Tony is the Co-Founder and CTO of Quadency, a modern cryptocurrency trading platform featuring live portfolio tracking and market analysis dashboard. Previously to finding Quadency, Tony was a Software Engineer and Tech Lead at LearnVest. Tony has 9+ years of experience in creating websites and programming. Tony received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington.