Introducing our team: Alex

Merete Nygaard
Alex, CTO of Lawbotics
Alex CTO of Lawbotics

Tell us about yourself, Who are you?

I’m an Aussie living in Oslo. I’m a software engineer with a passion for automation. I want to ‘automate all the things’ in every aspect of life. For example, I created an electric thermostat with microelectronics to control my heater. It’s integrated into my home automation system and uses an algorithm so that the temperature of my room is always the right temperature. In general, I like tinkering and pulling things apart to understand how they work. I also like the thrill of riding motorcycles, to get out on the open road and see the countryside. Once I did a motorcycle tour on the Ho Chi Minh trail in Vietnam for several days. That was a really fun way to experience the local culture in a way that not many people get to experience it. As an Australian, of course I love travelling and one of the major highlights for me is the food. Some of my favorite meals from abroad are chilaquiles, a Mexican breakfast with tortilla chips, salsa, pulled chicken and egg; mole, which is a savory chocolate sauce served with chicken and rice, and elotes… they are the best.

What did you do before joining Lawbotics?

I have worked more than 12 years across different countries such as Australia, England and Norway. I’ve been in consultancy firms as a principal consultant, working on development projects, sales meetings, system designs and proposals, employee management and reviews, and leading technical projects among other things. Right before starting to work in Lawbotics I actually did an aquaponics project. I got an urban agricultural grant and created it for the reception of the Bymiljøetaten. I designed, constructed and engineered all the bits, which is pretty tough, I had to learn about wood building and many other things. It was really fun though and I think aquaponics is the way of the future.

What is your role in the company?

I am the CTO. At the beginning, I worked on the core design of the platform and created the conceptual basis for the creation of templates. I am working very closely with the CEO, customers and developers to implement our vision of the company. Nevertheless, the responsibilities are changing because the workload is growing. There is more and more to do, which is why we are hiring new positions. We are currently looking for a project manager that can take ownership of the product, someone that is willing to be hands on, wear multiple hats, take decisions, and overall contribute to the product strategy. We are also looking for front end and full stack developers to set up our core team in Norway. The early arrivers will have the ability to shape and to lead the growth of the product, which I think is quite exciting. My focus moving forward is to design how we are going to scale from a technical perspective and integrating with different services.

How is it to work in a startup?

You have a lot of ownership and freedom and in the way that you work, which is really good for your lifestyle. There is always a lot to do and it can be tiring sometimes but it feels good to experience new challenges. The risk for some people working in startups can be high, nevertheless, in our company we have been very lucky with our customers. We have been very well received which confirms that we are actually creating a product that solves people’s problems. So basically we get to work in a very excited environment without much of the risks that you might get in other startups that are trying to get the right market place. It’s definitely a lot of fun.

What have you learnt during this job?

I have learned a lot of new tech. Being part of a tech startup requires you to be on the forefront of new tech and new movements in the industry. I guess I have also learned some Norwegian, even if our working language is English.

What is the best part of working in Lawbotics?

The coffee is so good… but other than that, you kind of work for yourself, so you feel self-empowered and you have a stake in something. We are a small and nimble team, so the opportunity to have an influence is very big. The offices are also very cool, we are very lucky to be in PierX at Aker Brygge, in the middle of a modern, vibrant and pleasant working environment with many other aspiring companies.

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