Data Insights

New report: How technical should product managers be?

For thousands of sprints, the question has haunted (or at least intrigued) people working in product: How technical do you really need to be? 

From the early days of Microsoft, where you couldn’t be a PM unless you coded, to Amazon, which puts MBAs above Computer Science majors, there’s no clear sense of the right pedigree for product people.

How much programming chutzpah should you have?

What are the best teams made of?

Which higher-ed degree is the biggest indicator of success?

At The Signal, we’ve pulled back the curtain on some of the coolest folks in product and brought you stories about how they think about building things. Today, we’ve asked you to give us the story.

Last month, we asked our 28,000+ subscribers what they thought of this question—To be (technical), or not to be. We also reached out to some of our friends working in product at Facebook, Slack, Shopify, and more, for comment. What did we find? The data shows a product landscape that differs vastly from the old guard of hard-lining coders. Not that just anybody can be a PM. Rather, technical know-how is greatly admired, but nothing trumps versatility.

To download the report, click the button below. 

get report button

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