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5 min with... Lim Zhiming

Feb 05. 2024  Lim Zhiming, Software Engineer at Thales Singapore: "It is not only about writing elegant and efficient code, but it is also about enjoying the process and solving problems together, because we are able to achieve so much more collectively as a group than if we do it as an individual."

Hi Zhiming! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Lim Zhiming, Age 29, Software Engineer at Thales Singapore (AIR Lab)
Avid gamer and aviation geek. Loves commercial aviation as well as technology since young, achieved his First Solo flight in Melbourne back in 2020 on a Light Sports Aircraft (Sling 2). Currently on a journey to explore the world through Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020!
Now he combines both expertise in engineering and technology, with excitement and zest for aviation in AIR Lab, contributing to various projects such as aviation data flow and prototyping software systems for Regional Air Traffic Awareness.


Can you provide an overview of a typical day for software engineers at the AIR Lab?

At AIR Lab, we build innovation solutions for the Air Traffic Management space in a joint collaboration with CAAS.
We started with an Open ATM system platform, and then developed a digital twin aimed at virtually mirroring an entire ATM system, solidified by a modern cloud-native architecture framework to give us a strong foundation in paving the way forward.
Presently, we have several work streams in parallel such as Green Aviation, TBO and Regional Experimentation Platform, to name a few.

For software engineers, we begin a typical day with a daily standup meeting to discuss our progress on work in the sprint (we use the Scrum framework). Then we spend the day collaborating with our teammates, architecting and translating design and constraints into code, writing unit tests and ensuring deployments run smoothly on our Kubernetes platform.

Once every few months, we also embark on an innovation week, where we have the opportunity to pitch innovative ideas outside of our work streams and explore creating something we have not delved into before. Some of our day-to-day products and processes came out of those innovation weeks!

Could you share your career journey and how you progressed to your current position?

When I first joined AIR Lab back in May 2021, I was part of a new and exciting squad (with some of the best squaddies I've ever worked with!) amongst several other squads where we focused on developing the ATM Digital Twin here in Singapore. We were dedicated on building data flow and pipeline software solutions to enable use cases such as live and historical aviation data display on prototyping HMIs.

Since then, I was able to rotate between different work streams to research on other areas such as Data lake and data engineering, as well as being able to contribute to a bigger project, such as providing regional situational awareness of aviation data.

What is the primary mission or objectives for a software engineer at the AIR Lab?

One of the primary objectives is to build software systems using cutting-edge technology so that we can provide innovative and effective solutions in the ATM space. Of course there are some other aspects of the job to be effective as a software engineer! These includes having a keen sense of awareness and being able to break down things logically. We also have to practice our communication skills to be able to articulate and express our intentions and technical designs to other engineers and stakeholders from non-technical domains.

In your experience as a software engineer, what key insights or advice would you offer to those considering this profession?

Be willing to try new things and embrace failure! Open-mindedness and collaboration are key to growth as a software engineer and as a team player. It is not only about writing elegant and efficient code, but it is also about enjoying the process and solving problems together, because we are able to achieve so much more collectively as a group than if we do it as an individual.

What are the recent trends or developments impacting your industry?

Recent trends in software development? Think of it like this: AI is getting chatty, servers are on a diet plan called 'serverless', and your code might soon have a better social life than you do! It's a wild tech world out there! Hang on, is this really written by me, or did I ask our chatty best friend ChatGPT?

Can you talk about a project or achievement that you are particularly proud of in your career?

Last year I had the opportunity to be with a wonderful squad to implement a Datalake platform. In the span of 8 months, we were able to work on some really fun areas and tech stacks surrounding the realm of data engineering (Flink, Spark, Iceberg, to name a few!) and established a resilient Datalake that enabled a variety of use cases.


##AI #ATM #Innovation #Singapore #software