Nitronauts hail from across the globe, and a good number of them work out of our office in Melbourne, working on everything from CSS to Marketing to Engineering. Today, we’re focusing on Alex Lunnon, Technical Product Manager.
Alex is a born and bred Melbournite – he loves his single origin coffee, bikes to work and eats at bohemian vegetarian cafes. In his third year at Nitro, Alex has been part of a winning Product team that has radicalized the experiences of thousands of Nitro users, specifically in his work on the Nitro Cloud plug in and Lenovo partnership.
As the go-to guy in Nitro for all things product-related, Alex’s depth of knowledge has helped almost every Nitronaut from the Engineering to the Sales team find clarity. Today, our most affable Alex opens up about his Nitro journey from our Australian office:
Tell us a little bit about you pre-Nitro.
I was born in Melbourne, and grew up in the South East with my mum and two sisters. I started at RMIT University where I met my lecturer, Patrick Poppins from the School of Business Information, who kindly introduced me to Chris Dahl, who was Nitro’s Product Director at that time. The rest, they say, is history.
When did you get bitten by the technology bug?
My first brush with technology occurred in ‘96 when we bought a Windows 95 PC, shortly after my cousin had loaded Visual Basic 3 from x3 floppy disks and I was introduced to programming. Funnily enough this was the same year I learnt to cycle on my first bike.
So, what do you do at Nitro?
When I began in August 2011, I was a product assistant migrating product specifications to a new system. I now play a direct role on the conceptualization of those specifications right through to market delivery as a technical product manager. This transition into my current role has enabled me to learn and grow around areas of the PDF Specification and Product Management disciplines.
What’s a typical Nitro day like for you?
My day can change drastically, and is often based on what teams are around me. Some of the constant work I do is researching for exciting features and improvements, tweaking our installer infrastructure, setting up a server environment, building out analytic reports and assisting internal teams and enterprises with technical enquiries.
How is Nitro different from other companies you’ve worked for?
After high school, I worked in a customer service role at one of Australia’s largest airlines, Qantas, and later in retail for a major telecommunications company, Vodafone. Based on these past experiences, the main difference at least for me is the level of empowerment that I feel here at Nitro to make a real difference for its customers. I also was surprised at how fun, down to earth and face paced the Nitro working environment is!
Which Nitro Pro feature rocks your world?
Tabs. I’m a huge fan of working with 20 or more open tabs above all the other great features on Nitro Pro. Whether I’m in Chrome or Nitro, I love having all my documents right there and open. Nothing worse than having to jump from one window to another when you’re trying to get some work done. It’s a small thing but something I surely miss in other applications out there!
Coolest project that you’ve worked on at Nitro?
It has to be my first project on Optical Character Recognition (OCR), where I reworked how Nitro Pro users interact with the feature. OCR converts paper scans into ‘live’ editable digital documents – it was a powerful feature that users were struggling with. We changed this by creating clearer messaging, adding detection when working with image-based documents and automatically applying OCR when converting image-based text documents (such as scanned letters, reports, contracts and invoices) to formats like Word. These changes are at the heart of what Nitro is all about, making working with digital documents a breeze.
So we know you love Nitro. What else gets you going?
Too easy. These are largely, cycling, technology, sun/water/music and consistently good Melbourne coffee.
It’s spring in Melbourne now. How do you enjoy it?
I head to Fitzroy pool on a sunny afternoon and do some lazy laps before heading down to Brunswick Street for food at Vegie Bar, or I wake up early and go for a refreshing cycle down the Mornington Peninsula with mates.
Alex’s commitment to our users and drive to work on improving Nitro’s products are a few good reasons why we’re experiencing continued global growth. We are always on the hunt for new Nitronauts who truly believe in the work hard, play hard mantra – go to our Jobs page to find out more.