Interview Series: Lillian Liang, Senior Software Engineer

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Lillian Liang started her time at Plastiq as a contract [job title], but the fit was quickly apparent, and she joined full-time just a few months later. At close to her 1-year mark, she’s already contributed to multiple teams and many different improvements to the platform. Read what Lillian thinks about Plastiq’s culture, the big problems she’s entrusted to solve, and why she loves working here. 

What attracted you to Plastiq?

I started in February, 2020 as a contractor and I joined full time as an official employee in May 2020. I heard really great things about the culture of the team, the leadership from my fellow contractors. They enjoyed working here and the work they do, and I felt really comfortable.

Give us an overview of what you do at Plastiq.

I’m a full stack developer. I make sure that the code we ship and the UI design that we build are efficient.

Can you talk about specific projects?

I have been lucky enough at Plastiq to have worked on different teams building different features. I first started on our internal risk tools team, which helped customer support detect fraud or auto approve payments. I’m also working migrating customers to our new platform and ensuring backward compatibility with features they had access to on the older platform.

Tell us about the team.

The teams I work on are usually 3 to 5 developer developers, a product manager, and an engineering manager. We all work together to solidify requirements, answer any questions, and then break up the bigger projects into smaller pieces for each engineer to work on. Since a lot of the team members are working remotely due to COVID, we prioritize zoom calls so we can speak face to face to resolve any issues quickly.

What are the biggest problems you’re solving?

Businesses need to meet their payment deadlines. Without Plastiq, they would not be able to. I love learning to architect bigger technical problems and work on things I have never built before.

What’s the engineering technology you guys are using? What’s in the stack?

For the front end, we use React language, and then on the back end we use node JavaScript. As for tools for infrastructure, we use AWS databases as well as AWS tools for encryption.

Do you feel like you can take risks and really stretch yourself? Is that part of the culture?

Absolutely. Everyone is very encouraging and supportive across the different teams that worked. Even our project postmortems, where we identify issues we encountered, are blameless. Everyone is just trying to learn and improve the process.

How does customer input make its way into engineering problem solving?

That is a really good question. We might get customer feedback from our team leads or managers, which is taken to consideration for features or fix bugs. In general, a good developer will always view software like a customer—think about what you would like feature wise or things that could be useful.

You’re a woman in engineering, what is that like? How many other women are on the team?

Yeah, women engineers are kind of used to being the minority. At Plastiq, it’s not 50-50% but I feel like they make a point to hire women. I’ve been in maybe three or four companies and this is my first time having a female engineering manager. That’s pretty exciting.

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