Shanghai Rendezvous is an interview series for women in technology of Shanghai. Inspired by ‘Superwomen in Data’, we feature exceptional women in the digital space.
Superwomen in Data is a series of innovative conference on digital topics. A team of exceptional women organized the event as a venue for sharing their valuable experience in the digital space.
This week, we feature Fei Feng, the lead of Google Developer Group Shanghai.
My name is Fei Feng, woman tech lead of Google Developer Group Shanghai. It’s the product marketing of Pingplusplus, a local payment system company. I grew up in Shanghai and got my Master’s degree in Information Technology Management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
How did you get into the digital/data industry?
My interest in IT grew as I was pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Information Management in SISU. With a bit of experience in programming, I started working in an online advertising agency after graduation.
The app market was booming at the time, and people started paying attention to ‘mobile internet. PR companies also started to split digital marketing into mobile marketing and other online advertising resources.
I started as an advertising planner, looking into lots of new technologies in the advertising field to enrich my content proposals. The combination of creation and technology was so sexy for me. It attracted me so much and I just wanted to know more about it.
Do you consider yourself as having been a geek?
Many of my good friends often describe me as a geeky girl, but I don’t consider myself as one. I wasn’t a geek in school, and until now I’m not a qualified programmer. But deep inside, I’m so rational and sensitive to technologies. I can understand technical professionals easily and we communicate very smoothly.
What are your bigger success and failure in your professional life ?
I have worked on many different projects featuring all kinds of new technologies.
Back in 2013, I have spent two days in a row working with my team for a hardware project in Cyberport of Hong Kong. I was responsible for the product design and project management. The schedule was really tight but we managed to accomplish 80% of our prototype, which was far better than other teams. That was my first time to win the first prize in an international hackathon.
I had participated in several product design competitions after that, including NYU Hackathons, Aliyun Hackathons, etc. We never missed once and every time, we won.
What does it take to be a superwoman in data? Why do you believe people see you as one?
Data can be very specific, such as your driving record, your family members, or your traveling wish list. In a broader way, data is all kinds of information generated by creatures on this planet. The knowledge of Internet and what technology can do in different fields can be diverse, which makes deep understanding of data and related technologies a must.
I have accumulated lots of experience in understanding how the internet can affect people’s life with a tech and product background,. The age of information or if I may say so, the age of data, requires not only tech development but applications in specific situations.
You are recognized as the women tech lead in Shanghai by Google. Can you tell us more?
I have been in Google Developer Group for more than 5 years. Hundreds of events for developers have been organized by me. But females are the real minority in the tech field.
My friend who was an engineer and entrepreneur in Brunei was the inspiration for the community. One day when we were talking, he suddenly said, “Fei, why don’t you organize a community for women inside GDG group? Especially for women.”
And so I set to work. The preparations took half a year.
I also started to hold regular events for tech women. At first, most of the attendees were men. Only a handful of them were women. But after nearly three years, the community grew. This year, our Womentechmaker conference had over 1000 registrations, 86% out of which were women.
Is it an advantage for you to be a woman in a digital environment of mostly men? If yes, how do you use this advantage?
I believe everyone has a unique talent. This is also the most interesting part when I communicate with different people. I enjoy working with rational engineers who are talented and logical. They make conclusions with foundations.
Although I don’t work on real coding stuff. I can always look deep into the principles of systems to make an accurate product and market positioning. Communication and understanding are the biggest advantages I have in this male forest.
What is your advice for women?
Imagine and create. A photographer told me this when we talked about “how to have an ideal life”. And I think it’s quite true if you believe in yourself.
To know more about the event “Superwomen in data” on 22nd of June in Shanghai. Scan the QR Code below and follow them on WeChat. Or register directly on this link.