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I am a programmer, should I become a Product Manager?

Xccelerate HK
September 15, 2021
Last updated on
March 13, 2024

Whether you're an experienced programmer or just getting started, there may be many reasons why you might be interested in the role of product manager. At the same time, it can be anxiety-inducing to change careers at any point in your life.
The safety net and comfort of staying in a career that you're familiar with and have experience with is sometimes all too good to give up. But if you never take the leap, you'll never know what you're missing out on.

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The truth is, it's never too late to change course and pursue a different career. In the grand scheme of things, it's probably better sooner rather than later so that you don't spend any extra time doing something that maybe isn’t right for you.
As a product manager, you interact with a team daily, work together, and grow in your career every day. There's plenty of positive prospects for future growth as a product manager.

How can I transit my career from programmer into product management?

To successfully transition your career from a programmer to a product manager, there are a few key skills you'll need aside from the tech skills as a product manager.

Learning the relevant skills required to transition your career is the most obvious, yet most important in order for you to become a product manager. While many product managers today don't actually have a formal degree or training, it suffices to say that you should definitely train yourself to be more confident in your new field.

Whether you choose to do a specialized product manager course, MBA program or learn on the job, you'll need to take special efforts to equip yourself with the required skills to be a good and efficient product manager.

There are a ton of resources online that will help you with this. Today, courses can be completed remotely online meaning that you don't even need to go too far out of your way to achieve your dreams and get the quality training that you need. Xccelerate’s Introductory part-time Product Management Course is a great way to take that first step to becoming a product manager. It provides you with a great foundation and relevant skills that you can apply to your future job.

What is expected from a product manager?

A product manager is a critical role and has many key tasks to perform on a day-to-day basis.

  1. Determining the vision for the product
  2. Defining strategies and goals for the product
  3. Product lifecycle management
  4. Close contact with the marketing and sales division
  5. Problem-solving skills
  6. Delivery a monthly revenue forecast
  7. Interaction with developers, support, and customers

There is a lot more to it than a 7 point checklist, but it is important to make sure you know the basic expectations.

Read Also: Top 5 Tech Skills for Aspiring Product Managers

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What are the transferable skills from a programmer to a product manager?

There are many skills that you can transfer over to your career as a product manager if you're a programmer.


Teamwork is an important skill that is shared between both programmers and product managers. When you're a programmer, there are many team members that you need to interact with, like the UX managers, content writers, and other developers. Learn what is UX Design and how it helps businesses.

So too, with product management, you will be responsible for having open communication with other team members to ensure the efficient performance of the product.


Communication skills are key in every role. "No man is an island", and no product manager or programmer can exist in a vacuum. Constant collaboration and open communication are keys to being able to efficiently perform these roles to the best of your ability.

Problem Solving

When developing software as a programmer, some frequent issues and problems crop up that need constant bug fixes and improvements.
Much the same with a product manager, there may be frequent issues that you might encounter when it comes to the effective management of products in your day-to-day work life.

Understanding Customer Requirements

When it comes to business, the saying goes, "The customer is king." Today, this couldn't be more true.

The single most important factor that goes into both programming software and product manager is the demand of the customer and their likes and preferences.
The end-user decides what works and what doesn't for them. It's a common trait of a good developer and product manager to be able to understand these requirements to adapt quickly to them.

## What is the difference between product management and coding?

Product managers primarily concern themselves with the management of a product life cycle. This includes activities related to product planning and execution throughout the entire lifecycle of a product. There can be many auxiliary responsibilities that come with this, including understanding customer requirements and acting accordingly.

The product manager defines the vision and objectives of the product. They also work closely with engineers, salespersons, the marketing division, and customer support to make sure that the product is optimally managed.

Programmers, on the other hand, are responsible for coding for computer programs and mobile apps. Many other operations come under this broad umbrella, including activities like debugging, troubleshooting, and other forms of problem-solving.

While there are many key differences between a product manager and programmer, it's important to remember that they're both an integral part of companies all around the world.

Read Also: Innovation: The Key Ingredient In The Making Of A Great Product Manager

How to become a product manager as a programmer?

So you've decided to make the change from product manager to a programmer. Great! Here are a few things you can do to get started on your journey.
Firstly, start by reading a short blog on how to become a project manager in Hong Kong.
Secondly, you will want to meet with other product managers and discuss their career paths and choices with them. Since many product managers today don't have their own formal training in the field, the experiences you hear might vastly vary from person to person.

Still, strive to collect as much information and be a sponge that is ready to absorb new ideas and advice from those who have already broken into the field.
The saying goes, "Your network is your net worth.", so go ahead and expand your horizons by speaking to the professionals in the field that have already achieved what you are striving for. This will give you a clear idea of the opportunities and capabilities that exist within the field for the role of a product manager.

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What will be the benefits and challenges?

There are several benefits and challenges to keep in mind during your transition from a product manager to a programmer. Firstly, getting yourself in an abundant mindset to prepare yourself to take risks and be positive about the future is an important step during a career change.

Secondly, training yourself for a new career can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Today, with online remote means of learning, there's not much difficulty associated with obtaining new training for an exciting and rewarding career right from the comfort of your own home.

If you're successful in completing your specialized product management course, MBA program, or on the job training to transition into becoming a product manager, you might find that you now have a promising and rewarding career path in front of you that pays comparatively very well.

Not only this, but you'll be able to expand your horizons in a new field that will offer you all sorts of exciting challenges and rewards. This can be a welcome change, especially if your job as a programmer isn't giving you the challenge that you desire.

Additionally, you'll be able to meet new people and broaden your horizons for the future. This will keep you inspired and thinking about new possibilities in the field that you've just entered.

Read Also: Product Manager Salary in Hong Kong


It's never too late to make the jump from programmer to product manager. There are many advantages to a career change that can be greatly beneficial to you.
A change in career may be just what you need to begin a fresh start in an exciting career. Whether you want to work in a start-up, or a corporate company, product managers are well paid around the world with ever-expanding opportunities for growth. Although if you want to know which one is a better option for you, read Startup vs Corporate: Which is better for career switches?

Today, there are unlimited opportunities to get the training and qualifications you need to get you started in the right direction and provide you with some well-needed experience to kickstart your new career.

It's a great career for a software professional at any point in their career. Product managers may transition into other roles over time, such as CEO, founder, etc.
If you're a programmer interested in switching careers and becoming a product manager, you should go ahead and speak to those who are already in the field to get a clear idea of the role and the responsibilities that come with it or contact our personalised 1-on-1 Career Consultation.

Learn more about companies in Hong Kong that are hiring tech talent and have open positions.

Related Full-time Tech Training Bootcamps in Hong Kong

Need more advice?

If you are not sure which option might be best suited for you and need someone to help you navigate the challenges. You can make an appointment to our complimentary 1-on-1 Career Consultation and receive personalised career advice.