Gridcognition recently hired a new Senior Data Scientist.
Meet Gridcog’s Product Lead, Nicki Coates
Nicki Coates joined Gridcog in September 2022 as our Product Lead. Since then, Nicki has been using her energy and experience to design new software features and and manage the Gridcog product strategy and roadmap. She has already engaged with some of our customers finding out what they love about Gridcog and what features they would like us to build, and these conversations have already helped us refine our user experience and prioritise new features.
Let’s learn more about Nicki (and the quokka selfie).
What is your role at Gridcog?
I’m the Product Lead. I’ve worked in this field for more than 15 years, and have worked in lots of different industries like fintech, eCommerce, and digital media.
What have you been working on so far at Gridcog?
Being the Product Lead, it’s important that I get to know our customers and their needs. I need to fully understand the problems they have and how we might solve them. I have been improving the product development process so that we are working more efficiently as a team. With regards to my project work, I have been improving the user experience on the front-end of the web app, and I recently worked on the new auto-sizing feature.
What attracted you to working with Gridcog?
I’ve always been interested in climate change and environmental issues. And after installing solar at home I got even more interested. I started reading up on how we can move Australia and the world to renewable energy, and what will happen to the planet if we don’t do that. So it was my interest in renewables that led me here. And I love Gridcog’s approach to helping their customer’s build real life renewable energy projects.
With Gridcog being a fully remote business, what are the best and worst parts about working from home?
The best thing is not having to commute into the city every day which means less stress, less disruptions, more focus, and more time to be with my family. The worst part is it’s harder to get to know everyone in the team, and missing out on that social aspect. But we have regular one-on-one catch ups, and we chat all the time on Slack. We’re also encouraged to meet up in co-working spaces. So the Sydney team will meet in either Manly or the city. It’s great to sit next to someone where we can both discuss tangible things like UX design.
What makes a good tech product?
It’s a product that puts the customer first and really understands the problem that they are trying to solve, and why. But it’s also a unique solution that delivers value to the customer.
What technology could you not live without?
My Strava app! I’m addicted to it. Every time I run I need to see if I got a personal best. There’s a super steep hill outside my house that’s a Strava segment and I'm currently number one on the list for the women. But there’s a runner who is really close to my time. I think the Strava app uses gamification really well - it keeps us competitive!
What’s another cool start-up in the tech space that you keep an eye on?
Blinkist. It’s a bit like Audible but it summarises books to give you a digest of it. So it allows you to understand the book in 15 minutes and gives you a general idea of what the book is about and all of the major points. And it’s got an algorithm that suggests different books for you to read based on what you’ve been looking at.
Who outside of Gridcog inspires you from a work perspective?
I would say other parents who are managing the balancing act of family, career, and life. It’s not easy to do.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I like to get outdoors with my family. On the weekend we go hiking, swimming at the beach, running, and we walk the dog. I’m also a Cub Scout leader for my son’s troop. We teach them outdoor skills like bushcrafts, navigation and cooking.
Tell us about the quokka selfie!
It was taken at Gridcog’s retreat last year in October where the whole team spent time in Perth, and a day on Rottnest Island. After I finished a jog around the island I spotted a little quokka to take a selfie with. I don’t always follow trends but this was a good one to follow. My kids love the photo.