Iris Wong is the senior dev project manager for Infor Rhythm™ for Commerce, an e-commerce platform that’s currently in development. Iris is responsible for a lot. Really, she does way too much to list here, but to give you a taste: Iris is responsible for all Infor and non-Infor product integrations with Infor Rhythm, launch activities leading up to GA, and keeping everyone that’s developing Rhythm happy, productive, and sane.
In college you double majored in painting and art history. How did that experience influence the way you work today?
It’s been easy for me to step into a role that’s very tech-heavy because I spent so much time in college trying to make sense of an abstract world. To me, tech and art are both about listening, understanding, and being able to pinpoint what you need to know and what you should filter out.
What did you paint?
Mostly landscapes—very old school. I studied landscape and figurative painting in France for one year. Not many Americans study landscape painting, but of course the French still do. And then in art history I focused on abstract expressionism. Pairing the two helped me understand the world both abstractly and at face value.
These days you’re passionate about running—in very unusual places.
I choose crazy races because I love being out of my element. Last year I ran the Polar Circle Half Marathon on the Greenland ice cap and I recently qualified for a 2018 spot in the Antarctica Marathon (yay!) I’ll need a few more marathons under my belt and one in extreme weather to train.
What drew you to Infor? Adventure?
Absolutely, and after being here for a year and a half, that sense of thrill still hasn’t gone away. It’s exciting to be a part of a huge product launch like Rhythm. I’ve done both short- and long-term projects, and I tend to prefer long-term, more complex projects because you see more return. You put a lot of sweat and tears into something this massive.
What do you think it takes to be a great project manager?
Effective leadership, excellent listening skills, a non-partisan approach to solving problems, and, above all, the ability to quickly boil down what you need to do to get from A to Z in a heartbeat.
Why are women successful in tech?
I think women have a natural tendency to nurture and relate. That’s critical in a world governed by logic. Women approach problem solving with a point of view that’s centered around people. They’ll look at their options and weigh each potential outcome by how it may affect their co-workers, clients, customers, and users. It’s not like men don’t do that—but I think it comes more naturally to women.
Do you have any advice for women who are new to tech?
Don’t get bogged down by the details. We’re constantly filtering so much information—know when to surface what’s relevant and when to forget everything else. When you can do that, you’ll always be able to manage the depth and breath of whatever you’re facing.