Angela Vitzthum, Product Manager
Hi Angela, tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m a Product Manager for SpotHero focusing on the SpotHero for Business product and dabbling on the Consumer product. My product line includes mobile, web, widgets and our developer platform. Previously I was with a small Chicago based start-up focusing on mobile products spanning multiple verticals and industries.
I get my kicks in knowing how databases are setup and talking through how to query data with the engineering team. My trademark skill is managing chaos and keeping a clean & tight backlog so that everyone knows what the priority is and what we’re working on next. When I’m not working or reading everything I can about emerging trends, product management best practices and technology in general you can find me outside with my dog or rock climbing.
What is your profession, how is it related to technology, and how did you get started in it?
I’m a product manager for a tech start-up, so I use technology daily. I work daily with product design to create the best user experience and our engineer team to build out that experience. I get to touch everything that goes into taking a concept from an initial validated concept through to user acceptance testing and seeing the feature launched out into the wild.
I was working in creative staffing to place UI, UX professionals and Front End Developers when I realized I wanted the opportunity to work hands on in the industry. I took a step back and looked at the hiring landscape to see where I could fit. That’s where I found product management. I went to a few networking events and signed up for a product bootcamp. A few months into the bootcamp I was leveraging my connections to get the word out that I was looking to transition from staffing into product management. A few key conversations led to the right co-founders and eventually a product role within their start-up. Fast forward 2 years and here I am at SpotHero.
Do you have a favorite hero who is a “woman in technology”?
Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest. I’m going to be 100% honest and say I don’t use the actual product, but I think the content and message Sallie and her team send to empower women in FinTech is worth paying attention to. They’re the first group I’ve heard coin the term Financial Feminism and are giving women the tools to invest smartly and gain financial freedom.
What are some challenges you have experience, and overcome, in your career as a woman technologist?
Aside from the same issues most of us face as being women in technology, such as having your voice heard at the table, rampant sexism, etc., my biggest challenge has been self-validation. As someone who previously worked in a relatively unrelated field to product management and technology in general I’ve struggled to feel relevant. My product path started off as fake it until you make it and though I’ve been working successfully as a product manager for over 2 years I still struggle to defend my strategies. The only way to overcome that is to continue to be active in the product community online and in Chicago and eventually I’d like to start pushing content of my own.