Alumni Spotlight

Lote Kinney.jpg

Lote Kinney graduated in 2014 with an MA in Media, Culture, and Communication from Steinhardt.  Lote is now Technical Project Manager at CodeMetro.  

What’s your favorite part of your work? 
 
My favorite part of my work is seeing the completion of a product. After many hours of brainstorming and drawing sketches, overseeing the development process, and finally releasing the finished product is very rewarding. To start with sketches and end with working software truly shows the amount of hard work we put in.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?
 
The most difficult part of my job is keeping up with emerging technologies, design, and functionality. In the Tech Industry, everything is always moving forward. As a Product Manager, we need to be aware of these changes and incorporate the right technologies, design, and functionality so that upon release the user (consumer) is getting an intuitive and up-to-date experience.

What does your average day look like?
 
My average day starts off with meeting with each of my teams to discuss what we did yesterday, what we are doing today, and if there are any impediments blocking them from being able to work on their tasks. I take a look at how far each of my teams are in terms of the development cycle and make sure we are on track to meeting our deadlines and milestones.  Usually while we are developing a product, we are also in the process of designing new products.  I spend part of my day with a designer sketching out ideas that we will eventually present to the larger Product team.  I also spend part of my day taking designs and writing functional specifications and acceptance criteria.  These are called “stories” that will be given to the developer so they know what is required to make the designs into functional software.

What advice do you have for current students looking for jobs in your industry?
 
My advice for students looking into this industry is applying to internships. Gaining experience is imperative and if the internship is working on a product, it would look great on a resume or portfolio. You learn so much on the job whether it’s full-time or an internship so be sure to take everything in.

What are some common misconceptions about your work?
I feel like most misconceptions come about from people not knowing what a Product Manager is or what the title means. And that can be difficult to fully describe since as a Product Manager, I wear many hats. I work with a lot of different roles whether it is managing a software development team, coordinating with the Marketing department, or collaborating with designers. The main concept to take away is that a Product Manager is in charge of a product from conception to release.