Relationship Series Part II: The Software Engineer – Our Solution Partner

By Bernard Katz, Director: Product Management 

I have a soft spot for most software engineers. I think they are wonderful. They are our modern-day alchemists, turning dull bits of ones and zeros into shiny product gold (which has real value, unlike traditional alchemists). Some of my best experiences as a product manager have been those problem-solving sessions with a team of engineers. We are knee deep in a problem, wading through the various technological options and coming out with an elegant solution. In this post, which is part two of the Relationship Series, I unpack the relationship between the product manager and the software engineer.

The product manager, software engineer relationship is complex. It can be frustrating when communication is difficult, and it feels like you are talking different languages. It can be tedious, when it takes weeks to move a new feature forward and it can be challenging when disagreements arise about, for example, the priority of technical debt. However, this relationship can also be extremely fruitful. I have found, the more I listen to engineers the better I understand the various technology components of the product and that helps in both prioritising and explaining the product roadmap. When a product manager is in tune with the engineering team, great products can be developed. Read more