Meet the Engineering Team: Lu Chen, Engineering Manager

Meet Lu Chen, our newest engineering manager leading teams focused on creators and their communities. She has a passion for solving people problems, mentoring others, and building tools creators can use to grow and thrive. Learn more about Lu and what brought her to Patreon.

Winning together

Our “Build with Craft” core value definitely stood out to Lu when discussing the caliber of engineering talent at Patreon, but the value that she feels most connected to is “Win Together.” She has always felt that a sense of team is paramount in crafting great products and particularly relevant when building for communities.

She has worked on consumer-facing products at Meta for the past 11 years, and is excited to draw from that experience while putting creators first. “I love that we only succeed (and get paid) if a creator does, too. There isn’t an ads model intermediary that kind of sits in the middle where it’s a lot more difficult to align incentives and optimize for the right things,” she explains.

With the perspective that no two creators or communities are the same, Lu is ready to work closely with our research teams to solve pain points for creators and patrons using data and insights. She’s looking forward to unpacking a unique set of problems and driving value for creators in a space where their needs have traditionally not been met.

As she takes on that challenge, Lu recognizes that the stakes are high. “It’s a big deal for a creator if they try to schedule a video post and it gets corrupted or never goes out,” she says. “Patrons who are paying for this content will be pretty disappointed. And for creators, this is effectively their livelihood!”

Supporting other women in tech

Lu cares deeply about bringing underrepresented genders into tech. She has inspired other women in engineering since stepping into her role as the first female engineering manager at Instagram, and she frequently shares advice around time management, building trust, gaining confidence, and overcoming “new manager insecurities.”

Lu hopes to be a mentor and bring more technical women into leadership roles. “I kind of figured it out on my own but I would’ve loved to have somebody to talk me through what the transition from IC to manager might look like,” she says. “I hope to be that for others.”

Beyond the work

Lu studied at the University of Pennsylvania, where she got an Engineering degree in Digital Media Design and took several classes on 3D modeling and animation. She realized early in her career that working on computer graphics wasn’t the right path for her, but she still loves catching every new Disney and Pixar movie. The natural builder in Lu is constantly seeking out a behind-the-scenes look into the 3D effects or stop-motion animation of each film.

When she’s not catching up on the latest animated flick or learning to watercolor (her most recent hobby), you can catch Lu trying recipes from one of her favorite creators, Made with Lau, which is all about classic Cantonese cooking and culture.

Lu feels connected to them because of their shared Cantonese heritage. The Laus are creating a very special atmosphere for their patrons through food, language, and a sense of nostalgia. It might not be as error proof as painting, but Lu still enjoys trying her hand at new dishes.

Whether she’s focused on whipping up a wonderful meal, completing a piece of art, building a winning team, elevating the bar for engineering craft, or inspiring other women in tech, Lu brings her passion and energy into everything she does. We can’t wait for her to bring that drive and enthusiasm to our team.