Jobs for a product guy who can't code?

New beta17
May 13 34 Comments

I've managed dozens of engineers building web & mobile products, but don't have any coding experience over 8 years of tech startups. Most PM roles seems to ask for coding - any suggestions for what I can apply for?

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TOP 34 Comments
  • New vosk4
    Learn to code.
    May 134
    • New beta17
      OP
      On my to-do list. Any recommendations on where to start for learning by myself?
      May 13
    • Qualtrics Yeet-Code
      Why learn to code as a PM? You think pilots know how to put engines together?

      PMs are needed in a lot of companies to understand products at a high level and collaborate with other PMs.

      If required, just know what common technologies used are used for. SQL, services, etc but you'll also learn on the job.
      May 13
    • New beta17
      OP
      Are you sure? I always assumed they required at least some coding experience for more higher level positions.
      May 13
    • Facebook / Eng
      baldnshort

      FacebookEng

      PRE
      Facebook
      baldnshortmore
      Go hack yourself
      May 16
  • Microsoft gfba68
    PM roles almost never code
    May 133
    • New VreM84
      Or do anything useful for that matter.
      May 14
    • Cvent / ProductEdvk70
      Feel free to build your own roadmap
      May 14
    • Google / ProductrustySpOOn
      Lol, go to better companies
      May 14
  • Nvidia youruncle
    If you're coding as a PM, you're doing it wrong
    May 130
  • Amazon sGNh87
    Amazon
    May 130
  • Walmart.com / Productlore
    Need to understand concepts, be able to speak with engineers on technical aspects but you do not need to know coding. SQL is definitely needed though to pull all sorts of data
    May 134
    • New beta17
      OP
      Thanks! I'll definitely look into SQL more then
      May 13
    • Facebook / Eng
      baldnshort

      FacebookEng

      PRE
      Facebook
      baldnshortmore
      Taking career advice from strangers in the internet. So wholesome.
      May 16
    • New beta17
      OP
      Have anything of value to add?
      May 16
    • Facebook / Eng
      baldnshort

      FacebookEng

      PRE
      Facebook
      baldnshortmore
      Why would I be on blind if I did?
      May 18
  • Expedia tier n!
    Expedia. We like your moxie.
    May 130
  • New beta17
    OP
    Wow, thanks a lot everyone! I really appreciate all the feedback - I was grossly misinformed. In a nutshell, just learn some SQL and focus on studying PM methodologies. All your advice has greatly improved my confidence going into the job search - THANK YOU!
    May 137
    • New VreM84
      Are you at least pmp certified?
      May 14
    • New beta17
      OP
      I am not. Again, most of my experience has been with tech startups, not big companies who needed PMPs - just people who got shit done
      May 14
    • New VreM84
      Get a PMP. While it's absolutely useless joke PMI used to make money out of nothing, it positively identifies you as a non-idiot. Truly stupid people won't pass it and there's no braindumps online like for any other cert.
      May 14
    • New beta17
      OP
      Thanks! Will check it out
      May 14
    • Amazon / ProductdInl50
      Why does a PM need a PMP cert.
      May 14
    • Google / Productex-xoogler
      Bad, outdated advice. I did my PMP on the east coast and let it lapse when I moved to SV. It (at least at the time) had nothing to do with software development and nobody here gives a shit if you have it.

      My only lingering value is dropping words like "critical path" in meetings.
      May 14
    • Google / Productex-xoogler
      That said, project management and detail oriented work are requirements to being a PM. I just don't think you need a PMP to get that skill set.
      May 14
  • HBO / ProductOkaj28
    I’m in the same position but I’m focusing my learning on DevOps and architecture. It’s more important that you understand systems and integration points vs code level knowledge IMO.
    May 140
  • Nvidia uint
    What PM roles ask for writing code these days? Maybe reading and have an understanding of design and arch, but dev work is clearly a plus not a req for T/PM.

    Even Google TPMs don't usually have to write code.
    May 130
  • Salesforce / Productfooboofoo
    As a PM, you should be focusing on the WHAT and WHY, not the HOW.
    May 140
  • Oracle / Product
    user 42

    OracleProduct

    PRE
    ClearDATA
    user 42more
    Some PMs happen to also know how to code. It often gets in the way.

    If coding is a requirement, you're either building a product aimed at developers or the hiring manager(or someone above them) is a former developer with useless requirements based on personal bias.
    May 140
  • New sjrS68
    Coding is easy. Learn it,
    May 130
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • New beta17
      OP
      I'm in the Bay Area too
      May 13
    • New beta17
      OP
      Don't think I'm technical enough for TPM, so PM will have to do man
      May 13
  • Okta / ProductjUNm85
    If any of my code were in my product, I wouldn’t buy it

    A PM’s role is to help engineers focus and prioritize, not to help them code directly
    May 140
  • Cisco wmcx87
    To be clear: are these firms asking you to possess/prove technical depth & understanding or do they want a PM to be directly contributing to codebase? The latter isn’t unheard of but it is somewhat unusual for usual PM roles but it really depends on the firm and what PM means to them
    May 130

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