Every modern business has an online presence. Digital products are in demand, and their currency is rising every day. Therefore, proficiency in technology is a must-have for product managers who want to stay ahead of the competition. The debate between using no code/low code tools versus learning to code is something product managers can’t ignore today. Using no code/low code tools has its advantages, but learning to code comes with a whole new skill set and ultra-vision.
Product managers are the bridge between business acumen and software development. They act as the link between C-suites and the multidisciplinary team. They ensure that the tech team’s priorities align with product strategy and business objectives. As a result, communication and collaboration skills are non-negotiable assets for them. Being a product manager means understanding every aspect of digital product development and the technical background necessary for it.
No Code/Low Code Tools vs. Learning to Code
The no-code movement has made it possible for people with little or no coding experience to become experts by using no code tools. While these tools offer a quick way to build simple applications, product managers should consider the following before choosing this method.
Ease of use and availability: One significant advantage of no code tools is that they require no coding experience. They come with a drag-and-drop interface that makes it simple to build apps and processes for simple functions. They can be useful for working professionals who want to build a side project without investing too much time in coding.
Limitations with complex needs: No-code tools are not suitable for meeting complex needs. For example, some user stories require the product manager to understand data retrieval, which is not easily done by point-and-click interfaces. Moreover, some features require back-end development, which can’t be achieved without coding.
Learning technical skills: Using no code tools for product development means relying on the development team to debug, test, and deploy the app. However, basic technical skills are required to work efficiently and improve communication with software engineers. Learning to code via coding academy, coding bootcamp, or coding courses can enhance the skills necessary to use tools such as version control, testing, and deployment.
Emerging technologies: No-code is not a substitute for learning programming languages like Python, Java, or SQL. Emerging technologies like machine learning, data science, and AI require more coding and development skills. Product managers who have some programming knowledge have an advantage in developing these products
Should Designers Code?
The value of coding skills for designers may lie in a short-term vs. long-term perspective. While learning to code can boost a designer’s professional skillset and give them superpowers, it can also be time-consuming and requires investment. Deciding to learn to code comes down to personal preferences and goals.
Importance of Coding for Product Managers
Coding is not an essential skill for product managers, but it can make their job easier and more efficient. Coding knowledge helps product managers save time and money by being more independent and building their prototypes. Debugging and critical user testing are essential skills in product development, and product managers with coding skills are better equipped to navigate these. Moreover, having coding knowledge makes it easier to communicate with software engineers, giving product managers a more significant influence on the development processes.
Coding knowledge also helps product managers prepare for the future. The trend of the increasing importance of technology in business means that product managers will be more valuable with Technical skills. Besides, learning to code to improve coding efficiency, whether through online courses or certification courses, teaches humility and practicality.
While coding can be time-consuming, even learning some basic technical skills can make a product manager more confident and valuable. Moreover, the demand for managers who understand coding practices continues to grow.
Whether product managers choose to use no code/low code tools or learn to code, technical skills are useful to effectively communicate with software engineers and developers, build apps and processes for simple functions, and deepen their understanding of development processes. While no-code tools may be useful for simple needs, technical knowledge is essential for meeting more complex requirements. Aspiring product managers should consider learning to code to open up more opportunities in the field. It’s worth noting that coding is not a magic solution to all problems, but it helps nurture lean expertise and increases the efficiency of collaboration and teamwork, something that is necessary for success.