The Product Manager’s Guide to Coding

Learn to Code. Unlock your Superpowers

Abhishek Chakravarty
The Startup
Published in
9 min readMay 2, 2020


Photo by Nicole Wolf on Unsplash
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Let me first apologize for not being able to post this sooner. These last few weeks have been quite crazy. Like all of you, I am getting used to working from home, and my writing discipline and schedule needed adjustment. I hope you all are healthy and staying safe.

Ok, so this is a sequel to the previous post on learning to code. Part 1 was about my journey with code & Part-2 is about (a) Learning to code and, (b) Popular technologies that are widely used that you might want to learn.

Thus spake Naval

There is a lot of debate on whether or not one should learn to code. Naval Ravikant, who is arguably one of the greatest thinkers of our time believes everyone should learn to code or at least know some coding. I tend to agree.

But the ability to Code — what does it even mean?

It can mean many things. To me personally, it means is that you can write computer code to solve a problem that you’ve always wanted to solve.

The solution could be anything — an excel VBA macro, a simple “prototype” or a highly sophisticated app. It really depends on the problem.

The good news is that if you can write an excel VBA macro, you can almost certainly build a web application. The technologies and programming languages may be different, but the core skills are the same.

So you see, the underlying skill is problem-solving. Every piece of code you write should solve a problem.

Should Product Managers be able to code?

My experience is that as a Product Manager, the ability to code gives you superpowers. It imparts a deeper understanding of the products that you manage and enables informed and involved conversations with your software team. The ability to code gives you the chops…