Product Engineering Mindset and working with Developers - AMA with Siddharth Sharma

Hello folks! Welcome back to our weekly AMA series. This week we were elated to invite Siddharth Sharma, CTO InVideo.

Siddharth Sharma is a full time CTO at InVideo, a company that is trying to solve one of the most complex technology challenges - online video editing. He is ex-CTO at, a name all of us are familiar with and was responsible for overhauling the legacy systems at Shaadi and giving it its new lean tech stack. 

He is also a founder and a technical leader and has built and managed teams across the stack and at a wide variety of scales. He is a musician, a writer, a conference speaker and can speak 6 languages! 

So let's jump straight into the AMA!

The Product Engineering Mindset and Working with Developers

In this AMA Siddharth Sharma answered questions about Product Engineering Mindset and art of working with Developers. Find out more below! 

How to be a great Product Manager?

The PM role as it exists in the popular imagination today is the MBA finance from 10-15 years ago and the Doctor/Lawyer/Engineer aspiration from our parents' generation. It is the default career path for people from 'good families' i.e. families that have the resources to invest in education and delay the need to earn an income.

If you're one of those people following the crowd to become a PM, I have good news for you. You can make a decent living as a mediocre PM. Be a part of the 'necessary bureaucracy' of an organisation valued for your ability to look like the founders.

However, in my opinion there is only one motivation to be a PM and this is the motivation that separates the great ones from the mediocre ones - the burning desire to build cool shit!

How to build products from scratch as a beginner in Product management ? Especially when you have average dev skills and below par design skills? 

How to become a coder with below par coding skills? How to become a designer with below par design skills?All your skills will be below par when you start. The first ten things you build will be's true for everyone.

How to collaborate better with engineers?

Build stuff yourself. You will learn everything you need to know to empathise with builders.

As an engineer would you be more inclined to work with a PM who was a developer previously OR a PM from a non technical background ?

A PM who has built and sold stuff previously.

What are the worst things that you've seen PMs do while collaborating with engineers?

If PMs are collaborating with engineers then there's very little they can do wrong. The problem arises when PMs think they are collaborating with engineers but in reality are giving orders. It's a common misconception that PMs are the boss of the team. This is a recipe for disaster.

In a moment of crisis - e.g. end of the world failure in production , while the team is fire fighting what would you desire from your product team- other than stakeholder management?

Ask yourself what you would do to help a fire fighting team deal with an actual fire in an actual building. Then do that. ie don't panic, don't cause panic and leave the team to do their work.

Want to join the next conversation? We’ll be having another Product Chat soon, get your invite to our Slack community to get all the details. See you inside.

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