Welcoming Alyssa Atain, Technical Product Manager

Alyssa arrives at Boomerang with an unorthodox background, ranging from pioneering a social venture in Lao PDR, to software engineering and product management at goop, to now joining Boomerang as a Technical Product Manager (sitting between Engineering and Product). 

Let’s learn more about Alyssa’s background and her journey to Boomerang. 

Q: After graduating from Princeton, you went overseas as a Princeton in Asia fellow working at a secondary school. Just fresh out of college, why did you choose this route and what did you love most about your time in Thailand?

I knew I wanted to volunteer and do something service-oriented abroad. I wanted to go somewhere far and super different, where I would need to learn their local language. It was all about gaining experience (and confidence) in operating in the unknown and Thailand seemed like a great fit.

I did 4 years total in Southeast Asia: the first three as a Princeton in Asia fellow. First as a teacher, one at a nonprofit, one at a social enterprise, and the fourth at my own social venture.

The reason I split my time between two companies in the second and third year was because I wanted to learn the differences between the two models and how they work. What I learned from that was that the social enterprise was very focused on Stanford’s D-School approach of design thinking and understanding users and going into the field to see how they worked, and what they needed. In hindsight, this was an obvious tell-tale of how and why I ended up wanting to have a career in Product Management. 

Q: Once you decided to come back stateside, why did you get into software engineering?

At Princeton, I had done tons of research using R, the statistics programming language. I had really loved the rhythm you get into when you’re solving a problem, and I was looking for that same kind of thrill when you’re in the zone: heads down thinking through a solution.

When I looked around in Los Angeles, where I found that was in Silicon Beach. I decided to put those skills to good use and pivot to software engineering. 

Q: After years of being an engineer, what made you want to jump into product?

I think I was always asking questions about users, really since day one. So even though I was a software engineer, I was definitely a developer that was curious about more. How do we talk to users? How have we used customer feedback? Is there any qualitative and quantitative data around our users? What’s our bigger strategy and how do these features fit into our product vision?

I like to think I brought that energy, that inquisitive nature, that I have had since I was little to the role as a software engineer. I think product is very much a spoke dealing with different stakeholders. You need to interact with engineers. You need to interact with business. You need to understand a lot of aspects of the company, and all of those really attracted me. 

At my previous company, I helped with user research and process when I could, so that role of a Product Manager as a liaison between so many different teams drew me in.

Q: What made you want to join Boomerang? 

Boomerang is getting people back the items that they love, and for me, there’s something just so genuine about that mission: it’s such a fascinating business goal, but at the end of the day, you’re helping people. It has a purpose, a bigger purpose. 

It’s very service-oriented, so it really reminds me of my time in Southeast Asia where you’re helping people through education and volunteering. At Boomerang, I’m able to work on a product that continues to help and bring joy to people in a big way.

Q: Three months in, what are you enjoying most at Boomerang so far?

Designing the product as a whole and thinking through how we can service our full service and our self service partners is great, but what makes Boomerang for me is the people.

I love that I’m with a group of people that are motivated and inspired by a bigger cause, and want to get together and throw out their ideas and share their opinions. I love that I’m with a team that does activities like storytime and that wants to authentically get to know each other, and bring their true selves to work.

So while I love all aspects of the technical product manager side, the big thing these past three months has been the people here.

Alyssa Atain | Personal Website

Q: From a product perspective, what’s the most exciting feature of solving lost and found that you enjoy thinking through the most? 

So far, it’s all been fascinating. I enjoy the big things like how we do matching flow that is really intuitive for the user and doesn’t overwhelm them with all the possibilities.

But then I also enjoy really digging into the copy. What’s the best copy here and how is it going to work? What’s our tone? Are we playful? Are we focused on getting their stuff back? So far, and maybe this will change as my career at Boomerang moves, I am enjoying everything –– from tackling the bigger questions to answering the ones in more detail. 

It’s all so new. That’s the exciting part of working at a startup like Boomerang because there’s so much blue ocean for us to explore. Every day, I’m presented with new riveting challenges to solve. 

Q: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing the most?

Visiting my relatives’ horses and just being outside. I live outside of Houston, so I really enjoy the greenery. That’s my happy place. I also love spending time with my family. My latest fun thing is watching my cousins’ sons and daughters play tee ball!


At Boomerang, we can’t solve lost and found without our amazing people like Alyssa who build and put all the pieces of the puzzle together on both product and engineering. So, we’re excited having you Alyssa!

If you’re looking to join a fast-paced and disruptive company, made up of kind, diverse, and whip-smart people who are working hard to solve a big problem, then Boomerang is the place for you. Come join us at https://thanksboomerang.com/careers!

Skyler Logsdon

CEO, Boomerang