Meet the Innovators: Tiffany Southard 

Today, we’re excited to introduce you to Tiffany Southard, Senior Software Development Manager at Octo, who plays a pivotal role in propelling us and our clients forward.

Tiffany, it’s a pleasure to have you with us. Could you tell us about your role at Octo and the clients you support?

I’ve been with Octo for nearly three years. I’m part of the National Security and Civilian  Business Unit, and my primary client is the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). My work revolves around collaborating with the client to develop and support mission-critical applications that are robust and scalable and that can adapt swiftly to the ever-evolving landscape.

Innovation is a term that gets thrown around a lot. How would you define it?

Innovation, to me, is all about bringing advancement or breakthroughs in tools, systems, and processes. It’s about delivering solutions that are more efficient, provide greater value, and are sustainable and scalable by having teams and solutions utilize resources, knowledge, and experience. This empowers the teams to use technologies they didn’t previously have easy access to, for a number of reasons, and experiment with different solutions to deliver the product with the most value and sustainability.

Your job seems integral in assisting customers to jump the technology curve. How do you go about it?

Our focus has been on assisting TSA in their modernization journey. We’re transitioning them away from an outdated, monolithic architecture to a more flexible, resilient microservices framework hosted in the cloud. Using this microservices approach, we can take each functional aspect of an application and experiment with different technologies to find the best fit.We can easily and quickly do proof-of-concepts to evaluate proposed solutions and their efficiency. This helps us to build an application that can evolve and grow as both the business and technology changes because we can update individual components of an application to leverage new technology that’s a better solution.

You must have faced numerous challenges in your projects. Could you share one with us and your approach to it?

One of the most significant challenges I’ve spearheaded is the EAGLE project, which involved replacing a legacy TSA application with a technology stack that was entirely new to our team. We harnessed the existing skill sets of our team members while also fostering an environment of learning and growth. We worked closely with our product owners to deeply understand the client’s needs and employed an agile methodology, breaking down the requirements into manageable iterations. This allowed us to progressively craft and deliver functional and tangible application.

For those just starting their journey in this industry, what guidance would you offer?

Never be afraid to ask questions. The realm of technology is in a constant state of change and evolution, and we are all constantly learning new ways to deliver solutions to the client.


Tiffany Southard’s journey at Octo is a shining example of how innovation can drive change, especially in sectors as critical as transportation security. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just embarking on your career, Octo offers an environment where innovation is not just encouraged but celebrated. To learn more about opportunities to innovate and make an impact, explore our Careers page! Veterans, start here.