Should I learn to code?
pranjali
1

Excellent topic. I have had some debates with myself over this as well. Your article is very well articulated. The one part about “not trying to be a full fledged coder but creating something to scale still seems ambitious to me”. Unless you put in a ton of effort (which debatably could have been put into more PDM learning) it’s hard to build something fast and big that would become mainstream consumable software. Also given the plethora of programmers in the world compared to the smaller number of PdMs, I wonder if it is an efficient use of the world’s resources when a resourceful PdM can execute her ideas into a prototype in less than half the time with the help of an enthusiastic programmer. Isn’t that can’t of team work also a good example? Note I don’t know how PdMs with non-engineering backgrounds manage to be effective, but at least those who have had engineering experience in the past can envision the implementation at a high level or read enough platform documentation to asses what is doable and what is not. Or comb stackoverflow and github for a good reusable solution without having to make a final decision on which one themselves. The better thing to do would be to look resourceful and take the early research to a tech lead or programmer who can take over the execution from you, while the PdM frees up to focus on other marketing/product/design requirements around the same to parallelize the supporting work. The PdM is at the intersection of the design, biz and tech spaces and that alone is a challenging and time consuming responsibility, and finding any additional time to program probably comes at the cost of their own personal time. In my experience, every time I took the time to program something, I became absorbed in an rabbit hole where I kept pushing to perfect my work while loosing valuable PdM time which dedicated programmers were least interested in doing. So why this whole hype around everyone learning to program? If the tech in this world is truly so much smarter then we should already have plain-English to code converters readily available or robots who can interpret human requirements into machine language. Versus topics like market research, competitive analysis, etc (typical Product manager skills) which are subjective enough for robots to possibly never be capable of doing.

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