Inside ProDev: Charlie Masters on communication, people and pantomimes
This week, we sat down with one of our Product Managers, Charlie Masters, to find out what makes him tick, and what life is like as a Product Manager at Unruly.
Q: Hi, first of all, could you introduce yourself and tell us about what you do here at Unruly?
I’m Charlie and I’m a Product Manager here at Unruly. I currently work with our Data Engineering team, helping to shape how machine learning and data science is applied across our business.
Q: Can you talk a bit about how you joined Unruly?
I joined Unruly after almost 3 years in my previous role. I was ready to try something new and challenging, and Adtech has certainly been that! Unruly is ten times bigger in terms of people and products than my last place and the industry is completely different.
Q: What notable roles did you hold before?
I was Product Manager at Piriform, who released one of the most downloaded programs ever, CCleaner. It was a very small company with a very large user base. It taught me a great deal about working with different markets, products and environments. It was also surprising to learn how much people loved cleaning up their internet browsing history!
Q: How would you explain your job to your grandparents?
I’m a sort of translator between teams and people who are all very engaged with Unruly and with our mission but might not know how everything ties together.
Q: What draws you to this type of work?
I like being exposed to technology and people at the same time. My role allows me to be a part of building something great and working with other people to work out what problems we need to solve.
Q: What continues to surprise you about your work?
I’m continuously surprised at peoples willingness to try new things and learn what the results are. This is something I’m pretty passionate about. I’ll always pick trying an idea *for real* (if possible) over vast amounts of analysis. On a slightly different note, I was pretty surprised at my colleagues’ willingness to perform in a Pantomime before Christmas as a way of communicating our next strategic goal! It started off as a silly bit of fun, but I was amazed at how seriously everyone took it. It was, of course, a very serious piece of theatre!
Q: It’s the weekend: what do you like to do in your spare time.
Free time during the week is a rarity, but on the weekend I’ll normally do some sort of healthy thing (yoga, gym, run, walk) followed by some unhealthy thing (boozy brunch, boozy lunch, boozy dinner, boozy booze up) because life is about balance.
Q: What kind of challenges does ProDev tackle?
Communicating to the wider business what we are and aren’t doing, and why, is a particularly big challenge. Even when the communication content might be right, the format might be wrong, so it doesn’t get to the people it needs to. It’s a constant learning experience. Other challenges include work scheduling, working out how to stop doing things (and stop developing old products), and keeping tabs on the many moving parts in our industry. Thankfully, there are quite a few of us so these challenges are spread among lots of talented people.
Q: What music do you listen to while working/do you have a specific playlist?
I’ll generally have an 80s vibe when I’m listening to music at work; New Order, Depeche Mode, Lime, The Flirts, generally any Italo, and of course, Madonna.