Go Time Go Time #189

Do devs need a product manager?

What is a Product Manager, and do Engineers need them? In this episode, we will be discussing what a Product Manager does, what makes a good Product Manager, and debating if engineering teams truly need them, with some tech companies going without them. We are joined by Gaëlle Sharma, Senior Technical Product Manager, at the New York Times, leading the Identity group.


Discussion

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2021-10-11T19:06:32Z ago

I found it interesting that both the Product Manager and the Dev in the discussion were talking about managing and using the ‘backlog’. I think that’s where the tension comes in. As devs, we actually gatekeep the backlog pretty carefully to make sure it doesn’t fill up with unrealistic tasks that will never get done, destroying team morale. But the Product Manager also wants to manage the backlog to work out what can get done. So how to reconcile the two?

Well, there can be multiple backlogs. The dev backlog is at a lower level–tasks, stories, bugs. The PM backlog is at a higher level–epics, sagas, whatever. And again the tooling that we have today is not great at helping to manage this distinction, but if each role stays at their level, I think that can make a pretty good collaboration.

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