Do PMs need to have a technical background?

Another “management-type” position that engineers often move into is product management (PM). Depending on who you survey, anywhere between 24% and 66% of PMs were previously developers. Ask anyone whether PMs need to have technical backgrounds, and you will get 600 words of “It Depends” dodging the question. You can code; that certainly does not hurt. Now, your task is to figure out whether product management is for you.

If you came into the tech world entirely via coding, PMs might seem like an odd breed of bullshit job from a distance. They show up every couple of weeks, tell everyone what to do, disappear to do god knows what, get mad when their meticulously color-coded Gantt charts run afoul of reality, and take credit for everything when stuff is shipped.

Mini-CEOs of the product

I’m kidding. The variety of PM jobs and roles are even more diverse than EM roles if that is even possible. PMs are classically regarded as “mini-CEOs of the product,” entrusted with bridging the gaps between engineering, design, and business.

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