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Asian female standing in front of a large YouTube logo displayed on the wall

Work Diaries: Diny Chen, Engineering Program Manager, brings YouTube Music to smartwatches

We’re peeling back the curtains with our series, Work Diaries, where you can experience the inner workings of YouTube. How do decisions get made? What goes into a product, feature or policy? We’re asking YouTube employees to give us the low-down during a five-day period.

Asian female standing in front of a large YouTube logo displayed on the wall

Featured today: Diny Chen is a YouTube Music engineering program manager who, with her team, brings YouTube Music to smart devices such as cars, smartwatches, and smart speakers.

Besides her day job, she is also the co-founder of the AAPI Taskforce, the advocacy arm of the Asians@YouTube Employee Resource Group (ERG), and an internal coach for Google employees.

Dentist chair facing a Japanese garden with a water feature and maple tree

Enjoying the little hidden zen garden during my dentist appointment.


9:00 a.m.: We have a hybrid work schedule, so what I like about Mondays is blocking my calendar for focus time and getting work done from home to make the most of my in-person days. I start off the day with a quick call with Andrew and Michelle, two of the strategic partner managers I collaborate with on the Asians@ YouTube ERG. They run cool events to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander YouTubers, one of the hottest being the annual AAPI Creator Gala (Jina the Gorgeous was one of many creators that featured last year’s inaugural gala on their vlogs). Andrew is about to go out of office for a few days, so they want a quick touch base as they prepare for some upcoming programming.

11:30 a.m.: We are preparing for a YouTube Music on Garmin launch — this is the first time we are launching on Garmin smartwatches. I have a weekly 1:1 with Jack, my technical lead, to check in. Given we are a week away from launch, we check items off to get ready to publish our app on Garmin’s app store. I’ve read so many Reddit posts about users wanting YouTube Music on their Garmin watches so I can’t wait to make this go live!

(Editor’s note: This was written shortly before the Garmin launch - Garmin just recently announced the launch!)

1:00 p.m.: I talk with my eng manager and product manager (PM) about our process around APIs we use.

2:15 p.m.: I drop by my dentist’s office for routine teeth cleaning. My dentist has a lovely Japanese zen garden which my dentist chair faces, allowing patients to enjoy the calm view of the water sparkling in the fountain (the lovely view makes the loud dental cleaning noises fade in the background). I appreciate the flexibility working at Google gives me so I can schedule dentist visits if needed during the work day.

10:00 p.m.: After dinner and the rest of the family getting ready for bed, I prepare some red envelopes for some colleagues. One is celebrating his first baby and going on paternity leave soon, and the other is getting married. They’re part of the Asians@YouTube ERG, so we’ve decided to jointly give them red envelopes — a significant mark of celebration in many Asian cultures.

Today’s highlight: Brainstorming how to better support AAPI YouTubers through events and programming, and doing something for my coworkers. I love hearing about their life events and personal milestones!

Four females posing in front of a giant Google Logo and the Google Bayview building while holding the Google bikes

Showing extended family the Google Bayview campus during my lunch break


7:30 a.m.: I wake up to the rambunctious giggles of my toddler downstairs. He is definitely a morning person (I am not). I love the little moments before and after work when I get to play with my little one. He calls out “mama,” when he sees me in the most adorable voice. The in-laws help us get him ready for daycare and drop him off and pick him up most days; I’m so thankful for their help, it truly takes a village to raise a child.

10:00 a.m.: After a morning of meetings with cross-functioning partners, I check into our engineering team meeting! We always start with a team temperature check to see how everyone is doing, followed by any new music folks have listened to (it’s a formal agenda item that we’ve named WAWLT - ‘What are we listening to?’). Someone shares the song Too Sweet by Hozier which I’m vibing with so I add it to my liked music.

11:30 a.m.: My husband’s extended family is visiting from Europe, and they’ve requested a tour of Google. It’s a busy week, so I slot in a quick lunch tour. I love the eco-friendly vibes of the Bay View Mountain View campus, so I bring them there as my guests for lunch. During lunch, I notice a song playing in the background by Jennie from Blackpink. It’s her solo You & Me. Ever since joining the YouTube Music team a few years ago, I pay way more attention to music than I ever have - my eye twinkles whenever I recognize a song. After lunch, I leave them to explore - they’re going to check out the Google Visitor Experience while I go back to work.

2:30 p.m.: We are meeting with one of our external partners to talk about how to bring YouTube Music to their cars as one of their music providers. It’s exciting to meet folks from other companies who love YouTube Music, since their products are cool as well - so a collaboration would bring so much excitement to the public! This meeting is to align on our potential launch schedule and other milestones, and to talk technical details and help them resolve some bugs they faced.

7:00 p.m.: My cute little toddler is a mischievous ball of energy who loves eating fruit, dancing to music (any genre!), and petting our dog Miya. As usual, during dinner the kiddo likes to play with his food and makes a mess. There’s some leftover salmon chunks on the high chair which I feed to Miya and she gleefully eats - the post-dinner time is arguably the best part of her day. She begrudgingly allows the toddler to enthusiastically pet her - he adores her, but she tolerates him (unless food is involved).

Today’s highlight: Being able to share my love of YouTube and Google with my extended family, and cute toddler and dog moments!

one female presenting in front of a room of people

Leading the team workshop.


9:00 a.m.: I facilitate a call with my product manager, engineering manager, and partner engineering lead to discuss launch timelines for a new integration. Part of a program manager’s job is to support complex high-priority programs and initiatives by keeping them on track, clarifying milestones and schedules, and this meeting will keep us aligned.

11:00 a.m.: We have our full YouTube Music + Premium program manager meeting. It’s summer so a few folks are out of office while others are on paternity/maternity leave, so we talk about coverage plans as well as passdowns from leadership. I also catch up on any action items from previous meetings that were canceled in favor of offline updates - no meetings for meetings' sake!

12:30 p.m.: I head over to the office to facilitate a Gallup CliftonStrengths team workshop for a Partnerships team offsite in Mountain View. This is part of my community contribution work. Once a quarter, I make myself available to lead a CliftonStrengths or #IamRemarkable team g2g workshop.

2:30 p.m.: After the workshop, I race back to attend a steering meeting so we can update our directors on our most important priorities. One of our leads is out on paternity leave, so our Engineering director is holding down the fort. She’s interested in how the upcoming launch is going, so I give her a quick update.

6:15 p.m.: Once home, I quickly change into workout clothes and then go to a local pilates class since the in-laws are picking the kid up from daycare today. After a sweat session which humbles me, I drive to meet the family for dinner - we’re eating Vietnamese seafood as a last meal with the extended family before they fly out.

9:00 p.m.: The toddler is asleep, so I catch up on some work and get in some deep focus time. The workshop today really inspired me, so I write a quick LinkedIn Post about how being weird can be a superpower for teams, and schedule send it before going to bed.

Today’s highlight: Energizing the partnerships team during the team workshop - they surprised me with flowers! And managing to get a quick workout in; my 2024 goal was 2-3 workouts a week.

A smartwatch on a wrist, displaying a music being played.

Another spare moment when I’m testing on the watch.


9:00 a.m.: This is the last vendor daily standup meeting of the week. Since they’re in Poland, they’re ahead of us and it’s their evening.

10:30 a.m.: We meet with our Garmin partners to make sure everything goes smoothly as we upload our YouTube Music app to the app store. I watch with bated breath and fingers crossed.

11:30 a.m.: We want to make sure AAPI YouTubers feel supported on platform. I’m syncing with some user researchers who are joining the Advocacy pillar of the Asians@YouTube ERG to help us better understand our Creators. We’re chatting with Culture Lab, the folks who are leading user research to help inclusive YouTuber communities, to ask them for advice and to figure out a potential partnership.

1:30 p.m.: YouTube Music + Premium has an Advisors program where you’re paired with a more senior mentor to help guide you. My Mentor Dhruv makes time for me despite his busy schedule on Generative AI work - our past topics have touched upon keeping calm in chaos, perfectionism, how to communicate up to VPs, and owning your space. Dhruv is brilliant and I’m glad for his sage wisdom - the Advisors program is one of my favorite offerings by my greater team.

4:30 p.m.: I have a break in the day, so I grab my earbuds and my Garmin watch and test the latest YouTube Music build on the watch to make sure I can’t find any issues. Since we’re preparing for launch, we rely on the project team (like myself) and dogfooders (internal employees willing to try out pre-released items to help us find issues) to make sure we hit a high quality bar. Taylor Swift recently released a new album, The Tortured Poets Department, so I use this time to opportunistically download and listen to her new album on YouTube Music on Garmin - win win!

Today’s highlight: Getting truth bombs, powerful metaphors, and deep reflection in my conversations with the ever thoughtful Dhruv, an amazing mentor. And delighted that neither I nor our QA testers can find any new issues with our YouTube Music on Garmin experience - that builds my confidence we are ready to ship!

 image of the dashboard of a Hyundai IONIQ car. It’s on a Now Playing screen and shows an album cover of an Asian artist

My uncle showing off his new car while playing Rogue by Ronald Cheng from one of his playlists.


5:00 a.m.: The kiddo wakes up super early today, luckily my husband takes him so I can continue sleeping and they both fall back asleep.

8:30 a.m.: On Fridays, YouTube has something we call “Focus Fridays” which minimizes meetings in favor of deep-focused work time. I appreciate the heads down time as this week was meeting-heavy in preparation for launch.

9:00 a.m.: I send some quick messages to the team letting them know updated timelines based on yesterday’s discussion. I also give our business development, legal, marketing, PR and product specialist teams an early heads up on launch date so they can start aligning any work they need to do as well.

12:00 p.m.: YouTube Music and Premium hosts monthly conversations where folks share their experiences in specific topics (past topics included Age in the Workplace, Caregiving, Being Asian in Tech). In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, today’s topic is mental health. This is my other favorite part of being part of Music and Premium - hearing stories from my fellow coworkers, building empathy for one another, and getting to know each other beyond our work. After hearing stories, tips, and resources, I pipe in with one coaching question of my own: “If you are saying yes to something, what are you saying NO to?”

2:30 p.m.: I have an internal g2g coaching session with Lili, a fellow Googler who is also a member of the Asian Woman Coaching Collective. I decided to get coach certification during the pandemic because I wanted to learn new skills like how to become a better listener, how to support my team by asking the right questions, etc. As part of giving back to Google, I offer 1:1 coaching for individual contributors and managers. I enjoy coaching managers because of the multi-faceted and complex problems they deal with at work and home. I enjoy spending the time to make a difference by asking deep questions, leveraging the power of metaphors and visualization, and helping my clients find their own north star.

3:00 p.m.: I spend the rest of the afternoon wrapping up work. I’m working from the guest room of my cousin’s home today so her cat surprises me with a meow and then quietly walks away.

5:00 p.m.: My uncle offers me a ride in his electric vehicle. Geeking out because he’s using YouTube Music on Apple Carplay to listen to one of his fav Asian artists. I excitedly tell him that my engineering team built that!

Today’s highlight: Building empathy and impact through the Monthly Conversations and 1:1 coaching really fuels my soul. It was a great week - one exciting product launch coming, another coming soon, and on top of that, my community contributions allow me the opportunity to give back to the internal Google community and external YouTube Creator community.

Interested in a career at YouTube? Peruse through open positions here.