Meeting… Jasmine Chan, Engineering Manager at The New York Times

Illustration by Claire Merchlinsky

“Meeting…” is an ongoing series from NYT Open that features New York Times employees from different corners of the company. In this installment, we meet Jasmine Chan, an engineering manager on the Technology team.

What is your name?
Jasmine Chan

What are your pronouns?
She/Her

What is your job?
Engineering Manager

What does that mean?
I lead a team of passionate and engaged engineers who are focused on solving complex technical problems, and I work with product managers to strategize our team’s roadmap. As an engineering manager, I coach and help engineers so that there are minimal obstacles for them to get to their goals, and I support any decision making that needs to be done.

How long have you been at The Times?
Shy of 8 months.

Most Times employees are working remotely right now. Where are you working from these days?
When the news broke that many non-essential businesses were being shut and that The Times was moving to remote work, my fiancé and I escaped to Connecticut. I’m very lucky to have a larger space to work from. I’ve converted the dining room table to my office.

How do you start your day?
Honestly, it’s been tough to wake up early because I know it doesn’t take a long time for me to “commute to work.” I set my alarm clock to 7 a.m., but usually end up rolling out of bed at 8:30 a.m. I then, finally freshen up, go to my “office,” turn on “The Daily,” make a cup of tea and breakfast, and I check my Trello Board, emails, Slack and calendar to figure out what I want to accomplish in the day and to catch up on anything I missed the day before. On a good day, I’ll actually wake up at 7 a.m. to go work out.

What is something you’ve worked on recently?
Currently, I’ve been taking up knitting, baking and cooking. I’m working on a baby blanket, and last weekend I made some dumplings from scratch (skin and all!).

Tell us about a project you’ve worked on at The Times that you’re especially proud of.
A couple weeks ago, we rolled out the PayPal smart button with the use of the new Braintree SDK. It was a huge undertaking with three teams, and it showed how great we collaborated with each other. This allowed us to refactor some of our code to make our systems more scalable and maintainable. It also opens up many avenues and opportunities to introduce simpler workflows for our readers.

What was your first job?
My first job was a pager at a library. I basically lived and breathed the Dewey Decimal system.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I have done 15 skydiving jumps, and I once did a cross-country ski road trip chasing the snow.

What is your secret to career success?
My secret to my career success is to not be afraid to take on new opportunities even if they are in unfamiliar territory. This allows me to learn new things and to discover what growth areas I can work on.

What is your superpower?
I am attentive, which allows me to absorb the opinions and ideas of others.

What are you inspired by?
I’m especially inspired by how people are coming together to help each other during this moment, and all the essential workers out there who are risking their lives.

I’m also inspired by the women in leadership, past and present, who paved the pathway for my generation.

Name one thing you’re excited about right now.
I’m excited to finally meet my niece once we’re able to travel again.

What is your best advice for someone starting to work in your field?
Be patient, and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.

More in “Meeting…”

Meeting… Storm Hurwitz, Senior Analyst at The New York Times


Meeting… Jasmine Chan, Engineering Manager at The New York Times was originally published in NYT Open on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: New York Times