Coming from a non-traditional program and trying to break into Product Management, I always asked myself this question.
I found not every PM has a computer science degree, but they sure are technical.
PMs need to know everything about their product. They should not only know the users, strategy, monetization and marketing, but also understand how their software works and what tools/technologies are being used.
So how did I ramp up my technical knowledge without switching to computer science?
I just watched a 20 mins video on YouTube.
I basically followed a tutorial on how to make a Twitter clone and built very first full-stack app (“Twitter Clone” Full-Stack Web Development project tutorial – https://youtu.be/1YXqXPWjmKk)
It helped me understand how to set up a database, build the back-end and the front-end – along with gaining experience with code editor, version control system, web servers, etc.
At the end of the day, unless you’re a TPM, you’re not hired as an additional technical resource. You’re there for the intangibles – deep market insight, user knowledge, stakeholder management, strategy, etc.
And you’ve to build trust with your engineering team, so that you can count on them to fill in the gaps of your technical knowledge.
Photo credits: vinodh kumar/Dribbble