This Fitbit Exec Parlayed a Psychology Degree into Product Development
Tim Roberts gets a special kick out of getting people moving, and as the vice president of interactive and design at the personal health tracking company Fitbit he gets to make that happen.
"We've engineered activity out of our lives," Roberts says, "whether it's remote controls or software games, elevators or escalators or cars. The consequence is you sit around a lot.
"To interject more activity into your life is an amazing mission. We spend most of our days sitting in front of a computer, which is not what we were biologically created to do."
Like many liberal arts students, upon graduation Roberts realized he didn't want to take his psychology degree and work in either academia or psychology. A class in cognitive science combining computer science with neuroscience and product management helped him see he really wanted to design, build and make stuff.
So he successfully translated that skillset to software development and learned most of what he needed to know on the job -- including product management, design, and user experience for all of Fitbit's digital products.
Roberts grew up wanting to be an artist, and has evolved with Fitbit since the do-it-all-myself early start-up phase to more than 200 workers. The biggest part of his job now involves pulling together the right people to get things done. He likens it to creating a rock band, rather than a rock star, to get the right music.
Watch the video for more about working at Fitbit and the life of a vice president of interactive and design.