Which challenges do non-tech product managers face? While it can be intimidating for people without technical backgrounds to jump into a technical environment, there is amazing potential to affect change and act as a multiplier. Technical product manager at Warby Parker gave his best insight on how you can be the product genius who is good at everything and bad at nothing.
Technical Product Manager at Warby Parker
Andrew Jaico is a Technical Product Manager at Warby Parker, working with engineers and stakeholders across the organization to deliver exceptional customer experiences through products. Prior to Warby Parker, he worked in various roles across consulting, public sector technology, and advertising technology.
He also has a wealth of non-technical experiences, including writing weather forecasts in the voice of a cat, performing comedy on a moving bus, and getting paid in hot dogs. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English.
How to Understand Engineering Challenges
In this event, Andrew talked about lessons he has learned in how to better understand, prioritize, and tackle technical issues facing engineers in the workplace.
He discussed how you can understand the key business metrics and their relationship to the engineering level metrics without any tech knowledge and utilize tools that monitor those metrics. He also talked about how you can use transparency and democratization to adapt and prioritize.
- “Let go of any doubts you have about being able to work with engineers” because everyone can do it.
- Don’t make the mistake of believing in the usual myths about engineers; they do respect people that are not technical, and they are not just silent background guys.
- Don’t think that engineers are magicians; they are normal people.
- Don’t treat engineers differently from other people, but listen to them generously.
- Understand that engineering work is different and about perfection.
- Because engineering is a creative process, you have to respect each engineer’s working styles.
- “By talking and communicating with your engineers, you understand them and engineering better.”
- Remember the maker vs. manager schedule; it may take them longer to build something than you would want.
- Keep in mind that engineering has a lot of “unknowns.”
- Don’t think that you need your engineers with coding; they don’t need help for that.
- Think about the value the code carries.
There are no direct keys into understanding your engineers. The main thing is to communicate with them constantly and know how to address the challenges they’re facing. Once you have figured that out, you will be able to help them work more effectively. Don’t be afraid of working with them but respect what they do.