Do you need technical skills to be a PM?

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Product management and technical skills – have you ever wondered about the relationship between the two? Do you need technical skills to become a product manager? These are valid questions, and the answer is a mix of “no,” “yes,” and “maybe.” If you’re curious about what this means, you’re in the right place. Hi, I’m Sachin Sharma. With over ten years of experience in product management, I’ve mentored over 1,000 aspiring product managers. Today, I’ll address another popular question: Do you need technical skills to enter the field of product management, and how significant are they in your product management journey? Put your thoughts aside and get ready to take notes on the powerful ideas I’ll share in this podcast.

Technical Skills and Product Management:
First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that possessing technical skills is not an eligibility requirement to become a product manager. Product managers come from diverse backgrounds, including project management, sales, marketing, customer support, customer success, and even mechanical backgrounds. It’s not mandatory for product managers to have a software background.

The primary skills you need to become a product manager include excellent communication, presentation skills, a willingness to learn, and a strong product sense, often referred to as the sixth sense of a product manager. These skills are essential and non-negotiable.

However, this doesn’t mean that technical skills should be ignored. Having some knowledge about technology, even without coding skills, can be advantageous. Understanding fundamental technical concepts can be beneficial in various ways:

Benefits of Technical Knowledge:

  1. Understanding How Tech Products Work: Basic technical knowledge helps you comprehend how tech products function. It answers questions like how Google delivers search results quickly or how live cricket is streamed on OTT platforms. This understanding is essential for a product manager, as you’ll be working on tech products.
  2. Better Decision-Making: Technical awareness enables you to make better decisions. Informed choices result from good awareness, leading to better outcomes. For example, when you encounter a bug or need to develop a new feature, understanding whether it’s a front-end or back-end issue can expedite the process.
  3. Conceptualizing New Ideas: Technical knowledge fosters creative thinking. As a product manager, you’ll often need to conceptualize new ideas and improvements for your product. Technical insights can inspire innovative solutions.
  4. Effective Communication: You’ll frequently collaborate with tech teams. Understanding their vocabulary and terminology makes communication smoother. This is crucial, as you’ll need to explain how your product works to non-tech stakeholders, such as marketing, sales, and customer support teams.
  5. Enhanced Decision-Making with Developers: Technical understanding helps you assign tasks to the right developers efficiently. You can identify whether an issue pertains to front-end or back-end development, streamlining the process.
  6. Minimizing Release Risks: Knowledge of technical concepts enables you to release features with minimal risks. You can decide whether to release through the back end (easier to roll back) or front end based on your understanding.
  7. Critical Component Communication: When you have technical insights, you can communicate critical components and features effectively. This knowledge can significantly impact system design and architecture decisions.

Remember that you don’t need to be a coding expert or deeply technical. Understanding basic concepts like front end, back end, tech stacks, databases, and request-response mechanisms can be highly valuable.

In conclusion, technical skills are not a strict requirement for product management, but they can provide valuable advantages. While it’s not necessary to be a tech expert, possessing a basic understanding of technology can benefit your product management journey. These skills can enhance your communication with tech teams, facilitate better decision-making, and empower you to conceptualize new ideas and improvements.

So, continue to develop your technical knowledge alongside the essential skills required for product management. Stay tuned for more informative content to help you upgrade your product management game. If you’re interested in joining my community and accelerating your product management career, sign up for my free training at I’d love to have you as part of my community. For those already in my community, consider upgrading to the Diamond membership to fast-track your product management journey. 

Best of luck, take care, and stay tuned for more valuable insights in the future. Thank you.

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