I'm currently thinking about whether Product Managers (or other non-coder end users) can be able to make direct changes to native product without Engineers. In the companies I've been at, there's been paper cuts and requests that engineers make to the product, which are time-consuming, tedious and take away from actual product/infra development.
If there are guardrails that Engineers define on certain parts of the product, are there any problems to this idea? Curious what others think and/or have seen
Personal Dynamic Media
06/06/2023, 9:50 PM
Personally, I don't think anyone who can't code should ever be allowed to be a product manager. A product manager will be making countless decisions whose impact on a product only a programmer can understand.
06/06/2023, 11:02 PM
I’d strong disagree that a product person necessarily needs to know how to code, but that’s a total side topic for now. To the OG question, I’ve seen similar situations where this worked as an opportunity to extend or add configuration options — stuff that wasn’t available to end users, but that could be fiddled with on a per-client basis by in house folks familiar with the system.
06/07/2023, 2:59 AM
I fall down on the opposite end of the spectrum from @Personal Dynamic Media — but an issue here is we might be imagining different ideas for "product" and "changes".
I build tools for non-technical artists, who use these tools to do programming-like tasks and ship their work straight to prod. I've built these tools to give the artists plenty of rope to hang themselves (and our customers) with, but also the adequate context, training, documentation, and features to make it so that the benefits vastly outweigh the risks and occasional mishaps. (And I, the senior programmer, also occasionally ship something that has avoidable bugs. My programming ability doesn't save me from being fallible, heh)
06/07/2023, 6:12 AM
Something to further define for this question is what qualifies as a change in this context. Like, if you have an apartment rental site, does adding/removing apartments qualify as a change? I suppose not a very interesting one at least, and it's something that has basically been solved. How about defining the sorting logic in search results? Changing visual styles? UI layout? Adding new data field to apartments.. Many of these have specific challenges and solutions when it comes to non-coders making changes. As a whole this question is basically about low/no-code solutions and the current industry approach is to have domain specific solutions as a generic one would start to resemble a general purpose programming language..
But @Sophia Deng I'm curious, what kind of changes would you expect Product Managers wanting to make?
06/07/2023, 11:38 AM
Having worked with several product managers who do not code, it's attention to detail and consequences that matters. These thoughts can happen mostly in the application domain, I only need to add info about computational and visual constraints.
That said, the value of making "direct changes" depends — since building a domain specific editor usually, unfortunately requires a shocking amount of development.