Product Engineering Lead


Software Engineer

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Autumn Fjeld

Product Engineering Lead

Hello World

Current Role

Product Engineering Lead at Automattic.

I'm a team lead working on the theme experience at I wrangle design, dev, analytics, stakeholders, and user outreach.



Feet in Sydney, Australia | Heart in the USA

Legal Mobility

American citizen | Australian citizen

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Experience at Automattic

Code Wrangler - Team Lead - Dot Connector Sydney, Australia & USA · July 2020 - Present

  • I'm lead of a team working on the theme and onboarding experience of My team and I impact millions of WordPress users. See our work in our onboarding at
  • I'm particularly proud of my emphasis on product analysis and user outreach, areas which Automattic does not have dedicated roles. I make sure my team is focused on understanding how the UI we ship is functioning in the wild and how our customers perceive useability and value.
  • Automattic is a very flat organization and we have great freedom to define our roles and impact. I gave myself the title Dot Connector. I excel at bringing disciplines together, putting knowledge and experience in the right place, and making sure my team always knows the value and the why of their good work.


Full-stack Product Engineer Sydney, Australia · Jan 2018 - Present

  • ustwo is a digital design agency with offices around the globe. Below are the client projects I worked on.
  • Qantas: worked on the Card Companion App. Tech stack: AWS, Elastic search, GraphQL, React.
  • Create with Google: part of the founding product team that launched Create with Google suite of products. Responsible for the website and YouTube Mockup Tool. A project with intense deadlines during which, I wore many hats: sole full-stack dev on the Mockup Tool, dev lead on CMSification & improvement of the website, stakeholder management, on-boarding new ustwobies in agile process and QA.
    Website Stack: GAE, python/jinja/webapp.
    MockupTool stack: GAE, python/webapp, Angular6.
  • Cochlear: worked on "CoPilot", a pilot app designed to make use of hearing implant data to assist recipients in maximizing functionality of their implants for optimal hearing. In charge of python back-end, data crunching, and shepherding through AWS security architecture per Cochlear and regulatory standards.
  • BlueCats: sole engineer responsible for all technical decisions: tech stack, build pipeline, and hosting. Site built in Angular7, hosted on Netlify, with Contentful CMS.
  • Lumi: turning language into light: an internal ustwo project using Philips Hue Lights, a Google Home, and node.js controller, I built a Google voice driven web app that changed the lighting to reflect a person's mood. Read my blog post.

Freelance & Personal Projects

Lifelong learner San Francisco,CA · Then - Always

  • Built this site starting with a pre-designed html/css template, a great learning experience in design and layout. Hosted on WordPress, served up from AWS S3, with AWS Microservices for the contact form.
  • Built a site for a Computational Materials research group at the University of California Riverside utilizing AWS tools: a multi-part site hosted on S3 with Microservices to handle dynamic content. Technical goals for this project included maximizing use of flexbox, using npm for all build steps, creating a scripting process to parse bibtex journal listings into interactive html content. Github repo.
  • Design education via Coursera's Graphic Design Specialization created by California Institute of the Arts.

Talentbin by Monster

Software Engineer San Francisco, CA · Apr 2016 - Nov 2018

  • Full-stack software engineer, with front-end emphasis, building and maintaining enterprise recruiting web application. Tech stack: Java, PHP, Javascript (Backbone, Ractive).
  • Architect new code patterns with modern frameworks to replace, or coexist with, legacy code.
  • Building chrome extension app that is a mini-version of our main site which pulls data from social network sites to match profiles in our database.
  • Helping a growing team migrate from start-up culture to a well-defined agile-scrum work process. Creating documentation, proactively recommend improvements in communication and tools (git, slack, zapier, etc.).
  • Run team lunch & learn sessions, motivating team to share technical learnings and challenges.
  • Ruthless about getting team members to document their work in our git wiki!
  • Supervised two computer science interns, guiding them through the complexities of a large codebase and teaching them in first experiences in front-end web development.


Software Engineer Orinda, CA · Apr 2014 - Apr 2016

  • Designed and implemented front-end components of mobile consumer app and two enterprise sites in AngularJS framework. Worked closely with President to design UI/UX.
  • Collaborated with founding CTO to architect components, maintain build processes (grunt, gulp, git, unix scripts), choose frameworks, modules, and pushed to keep a clean, maintainable code base.
  • Refactored many parts of chaotic, legacy codebase to maintainability and sanity (SASS, Angular best practices).
  • Solved load time problems for large list of images, via ImageMagick script to produce uniform images, at the right balance of size and quality for optimal page performance. Continually strove for pixel perfect UI/UX.
  • Managed collaborations between lead developer and non-technical president, supervised two junior engineers and an assistant to develop her technical graphic design skills.

Hack Reactor

Student San Francisco · Jan 2014 - Apr 2014

  • Part of a team contracted to develop prototype for commercial app. Designed back-end schema in Firebase, chosen for simple login authentication, direct database reference binding.
  • Built app in AngularJS architecture, ported to mobile with Cordova and styled with Ionic. Enforced strict modularity in AngularJS controllers and services to create efficient team workflow.
  • Built a d3.js interactive force directed graph as an AngularJS directive, allowing users to click on a url-node to create an expansive node map of Wikipedia articles. Wikiviz

NUMECA International

Engineer & Consultant San Francisco · Nov 2010 - Apr 2012

  • Provided consulting support to engineers at Boeing, Honeywell, etc. on using NUMECA’s computational fluid dynamics software tools, delivering solutions in meshing, solver setup, and post-processing.
  • Improved fluid dynamics and meshing software as an integral part of the feedback loop for identifying and troubleshooting software bugs, user-friendliness, and scientific accuracy issues.
  • Created and delivered technical training webinars twice a month to NUMECA’s user base.

Freelance Editor for Scientific Manuscripts

English Editor Global · 2010 - 2014

  • Edited scientific manuscripts for non-native English speakers leading to publication in high profile scientific journals, including work for American Journal Experts, a global editing service for scientists.
  • Built Joomla site (in my pre-web dev days) to advertise my services. Brought in business by advertising on Austrian websites.

University of Leoben, Austria

Post Doctoral Researcher Leoben, Austria · Jun 2006 - Nov 2010

  • Created a computational model of a large casting process to simulate flow and heat transfer phenomena for an Austrian steel making company.
  • Expanded functionality of commercial simulation software with user defined functions in C and data processing scripts in scheme. Used Matlab extensively for data analysis. Tested feasibility of open source simulation framework, OpenFOAM.
  • Defined experimental investigations for industry partner to get input and validation data for simulations.


Software Engineering Immersive

Hack Reactor ·San Francisco, CA, USA

After years pursuing an academic engineering career, in which programming was a tool for computation and analysis, I pivoted to jump start my dream career: programing for visual pleasure, aka web development!

Ph.D. & M.S. Materials Science and Engineering

University of California at Berkeley ·CA, USA

In my Ph.D. reseach I studied bubbles! Yes bubbles! I worked on an aluminum purification project, where chlorine gas is bubbled through molten aluminum to remove impurities. This research took me to a research position at an Austrian university, where I worked for four years before returning to Berkeley.

B.S. in Chemical Engineering

Arizona State University ·Tempe, AZ, USA

Chemistry was my first educational passion and Chemical Engineering fulfilled that love for a few years as I worked at Dow Chemical, but soon grad school was calling my name and I went to Berkeley to pursue studies in Material Science.


Fun Facts


I've lived on four continents: Africa, Europe, N. America, and Australia. And have traveled to all except Antarctica. Nothing is more thrilling than stepping into a new place on earth, eating tasty unfamiliar delicacies, smiling at new people, immersing in new cultures. Traveling and checking out the world is a must for me! Some groovy explorations: Thailand, Bali, Auckland, Cuba, Baja California, Republic of Georgia, Portugal, Colombia, San Francisco, CA, Washington, D.C.


I was a post-doctoral researcher at a university in Austria for four years, in my computational fluid dynamics phase of life. While there I was determined to become fluent in German and started weekly German-learning conversational group for us foreigners living in Leoben, Austria. I still work to improve my German skills via social groups and classes at a local community college.


Occasional creator of colorful clothes, jewelry, bags (when I have time to dust off my sewing machine). I thrive on color. The combination of tech and creativity is why I fit so well in web development and design--and why I left Materials Science for WebDev. Current projects include painting the house I bought in 2020 every fun color possible!


I was a math tutor volunteer in a San Francisco middle-school, helping kids who are struggling with math meet state education requirements. I've been a volunteer in many different roles over the years. Past volunteer experiences: tutor for Women Who Code, high school prep classes for underprivileged kids. I wish I did more of this.


I received a trophy for reading 100 books in first grade--thank you Mom! Now I generally divide my reading time between novels, skill improvement books, and The New Yorker. Some of my favorite recent reads: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, Mating, Lessons from the Edge: A Memoir, The Short and Tragic LIfe of Robert Peace, Creativity, Inc., Beautiful Ruins, Where'd You Go Bernadette.

Bucket List

Learn spanish fluently. Learn to play a musical instrument. Become a fashion designer (this one might have to wait til in my next life). Do something meaningful to get more girls into STEM fields. Visit all 50 US states & Puerto Rico. Become a foreign diplomat (this life is tooooo short!).


My WordPress Blogs

I may not be the best blogger (though I'd love to get in the habit of regular writing), but I am definitely a good dogfooder! Embracing the customer experience via my many WordPress sites.

My blog of babble  

My DOS resume blog  

My Automattic blog