Product Manager Spotlight: Alex Chen

Marketing Innovation

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Product Manager Spotlight: Alex Chen

Marketing Innovation

Alex came to LiveRamp after graduating from an Engineering Leadership Development program at Lockheed Martin. Prior to that, he studied Electrical Engineering in undergrad at University of Michigan  and received a graduate degree from Cornell’s Systems Engineering program – which has a strong overlap with product management.

“Seeing the team here was good for me to understand who I wanted to surround myself with – people to help me grow and stretch me in different ways. For me, the people I would work with is my highest priority.”

Alex initially started at LiveRamp on the Product Implementation (PIM) team and transitioned into the product team over time. “I knew I wanted to do product long term. PIM was really good for understanding the nuances that customers care about. Having deep insight and translating it into product offerings is really important. I positioned myself to take on product related tasks in the PIM team – for example, I worked on deeper investigations with engineering and spent time working on new partner integrations. I was able to show that I could lead a broad set of projects. As you become more knowledgeable about the product you can take on more complex areas in the company. Once I became a key owner for integrations, the transition just made sense.”

Alex’s experience highlights the level of freedom to explore your interests and eventually realize what you want to work on long term. “I was able to do market research on our partners – no one was telling me to do that, but you can just go do it if you want to be more involved in integrations.”  That level of flexibility and motivation is what allows for movement between teams at LiveRamp.

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In his experience, Alex transitioned into a business-centric role on the PM team. It’s hard to describe “a day in the life” of someone on the product team because every day is truly different depending on your product and your stakeholders.

One project Alex recently worked on during the last engineering cycle was taking our Data Distribution Service (DDS) which is technically complex and mainly focuses on partner integrations, and building a more brand-centric offering called DDS Client-side Data Transfer, which is conceptually easier for brands to understand.

Additionally, Alex works with many different teams across the organization:

I work with our Business Development team on overall product strategy and our Product team on product roadmap. I also work with our account teams on customer development and feedback and join in meetings with customers and partners. I define features so that engineering has something to actually build. There’s also an aspect of project management – to ensure that all projects are on track and people are held accountable.

While you are not directly coding, the product manager role at LiveRamp is fairly technical, so we are generally looking for someone with a technical background and an ability to understand complex systems and technical tradeoffs.

The product team comes from a variety of backgrounds, but Alex mentions that they have a few things in common: their diligence and their goofiness. When they recently presented a new product to the company at our weekly all-hands meeting, they introduced it in video that mimicked Jony Ive’s presentation of the Apple Watch. “We spent an excessive amount of time making the video. It clearly wasn’t professionally done but it was a mix of meticulous editing and a good sense of humor. We wanted people to rally behind our product.”

 

Interested in learning more about the current job openings at LiveRamp? We’re hiring!