Should a Product Manager Know How to Code?

No. A Product Manager does not NEED to know how to code. A Product Manager is skilled in many things due to having many responsibilities that involve technology, user experience, and business. It is definitely a plus if the Product Manager knows how to code, but it is not required.

What the Product Manager should mainly be worried about knowing is the current market, and delivering communications with the product team to ensure they are on the right path and are meeting delivery deadlines.

You, the product manager with no technical experience, might be able to gain some experience just by picking it up on the job. Understanding a bit of coding will allow you to gain an idea of how long it would usually take to complete a task that the engineers have to finish, so you can set reasonable deadlines. Of course, you can’t know everything there is about what they are doing, so don’t be afraid to ask your engineers questions. 

Having a better understanding of their work is beneficial for you and the team. You are able to describe your requirements and what you want to be made more clear to your engineers. It also makes it easier for you to speak to your customers. By having knowledge of what is being done, it makes it easier for you to speak to your customers about the features that the product has. 

However, if you do have technical experience, that’s great! But, don’t flaunt it. There’s really no reason for you take part in the engineering process for the product. That is not your job and it might even interfere with the engineer’s work. 

Knowing how to code may be necessary for certain product management positions, but overall it is not really a requirement in order to be a good Product Manager. Just stick to making the right decisions in order to make the right product and leave the coding to your engineers.

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