Meet Me in 5 (Questions): Lian Thompson

Apr 18, 2023

Welcome to Autonomic’s Meet Me in 5 (Questions) series where we feature the passionate individuals who inspire our work. We met with Lian Thompson to learn about the exciting projects she is working on and hear about how she is helping to enhance the Transportation Mobility Cloud’s (TMC) user experience. Lian joined Autonomic in 2019 as an intern and is currently working as a software engineer on our UX/UI Team.

1. What is a day in your life like as a software engineer on the UX/UI Team at Autonomic?

Each day is a little different, which keeps things interesting. Our team has touchpoints throughout the week. We have daily standups and a weekly retro and planning meeting. Right now is an interesting time because Autonomic has evolved quite a bit, so our team is working together to figure out how we can improve our development process and handle service disruptions more efficiently.

2. What is an interesting project you’ve been working on lately?

Lately, I have gotten to wear a lot of different hats! Most recently, I’ve been working on adding new fields and hiding optional fields to the TMC Management Console to improve the administrative user experience. Last quarter, I was also able to complete a project where I worked on the entire development cycle for improving the navigation interaction between Policy Statement view pages and Policy Statement history pages.

3. How will this project improve how users interact with the TMC?

Exposing the conditional fields to our console application will enable administrators to write policies that can give their users access to resources based on whether the condition evaluates true or false via the console. Adding new fields to an interface can seem straightforward, but it also requires us to think about the user experience – where the field should be placed, how admins will need to interact with it, how and what information should be displayed, etc. We’re always trying to improve these interactions for our admin users.

4. Which TMC service or feature excites you the most and why?

I’m excited about a new feature that empowers developers by enabling them to create their own custom command definitions. Essentially, the feature provides instructions for the TMC on how to process the command.

5. Connected vehicle technology is growing and evolving rapidly. If you could share a key learning or software development insight with your past self (or other engineers in the space), what would it be?

I would say it’s never too late to get started if you’re interested in working in the connected vehicle space! Asking questions and learning as you go is part of the job. When you get stuck, it’s helpful to focus on what the code is doing to find out why it’s behaving a certain way instead of fixating on why it isn’t doing what you think it should do.