Job descriptions for product managers often ask for someone "technical enough", but what does this mean?
Establish a baseline of technical understanding & invest more over time
Being "technical enough" involves the following:
1. Trace a user issue back to the underlying problem.
2. Estimate how long it will take to build A vs. B.
3. Anticipate implementation challenges.
4. Brainstorm potential solutions to technical problems.
5. Identify opportunities that arise from new technologies.
Relative importance will vary depending on the product.
Some next steps roughly in order of importance:
Start from a place of curiosity.
Appreciate the creativity in engineering.
Set aside time to pick an engineer's brain.
Synthesize what you've learned into a shareable format.
Use feedback & bug reports to pattern match different issues.
Familiarize yourself with bits of the code base.
Focus on core concepts.
Develop a thick skin.
Build credibility by figuring out how you can add immediate value
Learning new skills take time. Identify how you can make an immediate impact. Here are some possibilities to consider:
1. Dig into the data.
2. Do the blocking & tackling work that keeps trains moving.
3. Lean into your experiences & strengths.
4. Provide a shared framework for decision-making.
5. Take the time to give your team broader context.