Get to know Propeller’s world-class team in our ongoing employee spotlight. Today, we talk to Angus Keatinge, who serves as an engineer on the hardware team. Angus is based in Sydney, Australia.
What do you do at Propeller?
I’m the product manager for the hardware team, which is made up of a handful of engineers. I make sure we’re making good products. To make Propeller’s products better and easier to use, we need to know how our products are used in real life right now. So I get feedback from customers and feed that into our team. It’s all apart of product innovation and iteration.
There are all kinds of things the hardware team wants to be working on, at the same time we have product and feature requests coming in from customers and internal teams. It’s my job to prioritize those, work out for our team how to make the biggest impact, and keep things on track and momentum up. I also provide visibility into what the hardware team is doing for the rest of Propeller.
What’s your career background?
This is my first full-time job. I studied electrical engineering at the University of New South Wales. (That’s where I met Fred.) During my studies, I did a few internships with electronics companies. I got first class honors. Fred and I both won the best thesis award, which is voted on by both academics and industry representatives.
While at uni, I heard about this cool stuff Fred was working on. It made me want to work at Propeller. I started at Propeller in July 2018 and spent my first year or so here working on the software development for our hardware products. My very first project was helping Fred build out the PPK workflow. It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve taken on a product manager role.
What’s been the most memorable project you’ve worked on in your career?
Me and some mates at uni built a robotic drum kit. We built an algorithm that tracked music as we played, worked out the beat and tempo, and played drums alongside us. We took it to competitions around the world and won some awards.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up on a farm in the mid-north coast in New South Wales, Australia. It was a great place to grow up. My dad grew flowers. I used to dread summers. All my friends couldn’t wait for it; they wanted to go to the beach and not do homework. I had to work on the farm, carry buckets, and crop plants.
But when I was 13 or so, I moved to a small beach town near Newcastle—that was when my summers started being fun. After high school, I moved to Sydney for university. I’ve just been moving further and further south in Australia.
Any talents, secret superpowers, or fun facts about yourself to share?
I have two kids and a third on the way. That’s kind of a fun fact—three facts!
Before working at Propeller, what’s the strangest or most interesting job you’ve held?
At uni, I worked as a wardsman (like an orderly) in a day hospital. It was a really interesting place to work. Mainly, I cleaned rooms, put away stock, and whatever else the nurses needed me to do. I think I lived on tea and cookies there.
I was friendly with all the doctors, and they would tell me about the medicine and treatments they did. For example, the eye surgeons would explain to me why they were operating on someone’s eye. One time, I was brought in to observe a cosmetic surgery and the nurse explained what was going on in real time. But I passed out and had to be taken to the recovery ward to be revived.
If you could be any piece of worksite equipment, what would you be?
I would be a D10 T Caterpillar dozer. It’s my favorite machine. They are really amazing. Those things can level a small hill in an hour.
What’s your favorite Slack emoji and why?
It’s the call-me hand. I’m from a beach town, so everyone throws shakas. I’m big on throwing them myself.
What’s one thing you wish people understood better about your job?
The really exciting part of my job is that I’m on a team of inventors who are trying to make a difference. That’s what really excited me in the first place about Propeller, and that’s what excites me now.
Taking an idea from conception to implementation, from building the hardware and software stack through to getting feedback from happy customers—that’s amazing to be a part of. I’ve always wanted to be an inventor. I’ve always been excited about doing something that changes how a small part of the world works for the better, by being clever with what we can create. I wish people understood better that there’s a place for people like that here at Propeller.
Want to join Team Propeller? We’re hiring!