Growing up in Colorado, Sebastian Tedesco pursued his education at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he earned his Bachelors of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature. While in school, Sebastian received a Certificate in Design Technologies from the College of Engineering and Applied Science. This introduction sparked his curiosity in software development. A few years down the line, Sebastian attended a coding boot camp and later applied to MK Decision (MK). After joining MK as a Time For Experience “TFE” intern, Sebastian learned more about MK's digital account opening and loan origination platform and FinTech industry and was hired as a Quality Assurance Engineer.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Huntington Beach, CA. When I was six, I moved to Boulder, Colorado. During my childhood, I spent a lot of time in the Rocky Mountains hiking and camping. I appreciate an opportunity to disconnect and be in nature.
Growing up, who had the most influence on you?
Besides my family, my greatest influences have been my high school basketball coach and cross country coach. They set a great example of how you should live your life personally and professionally. My basketball coach told me, 'brush your teeth like a champion.' Since then, I have taken that approach to do everything like a champion.
How long have you lived in San Diego? How do you like it?
A couple of years ago, I moved to Laguna Beach with my girlfriend before moving to San Diego for work. I really enjoy it; San Diego feels like a small city but has so much to do. There is a good mix of cultures here. It reminds me of a cross between Boulder and Barcelona, where my girlfriend is from.
What do you like to do on the weekends?
I have been enjoying exploring San Diego on my Vespa. I usually go somewhere I can exercise, like the harbor or a trail, where I like to run and hike. I also enjoy playing ultimate frisbee and spending time at the beach.
What made you pursue software engineering?
I always had an interest in technology. I love the technical and creative side required to problem solve. Logic and technology come naturally to me.
Why did you want to join an innovative FinTech Startup?
Smaller companies like MK are very agile. You can first hand experience the growth in the company and can play more than just one role. Depending on the needs of the company, I can step in and fulfill new responsibilities.
How did you know MK was a right fit for you?
From the time I applied to connecting with Har Rai on LinkedIn, I could tell MK’s values were truly ingrained in their company culture and not just listed on their website. They care about your personal growth and professional development. I also have a background in software startups and the FinTech industry, so I felt MK was a natural fit.
When did you start with MK?
In July of 2020, I started as a TFE and was hired full-time as a Quality Assurance Engineer. While I was completing my User Interface Engineer internship, I worked with one of the QA engineers. He taught me how to write test scripts. I developed a knack for it and enjoy it.
What are some of your responsibilities as a Quality Assurance Engineer?
In this role, I perform end-to-end testing of MK’s technology. This involves running automated and manual testing and writing automated test scripts. Test scripts allow an engineer to test the software without having to perform a task manually. I write code once to test every piece of the software, then I can use it multiple times. By running the code, everything is automatically tested on its own.
How would you describe your job to a child?
When you go to a website, I am the person who makes sure it works properly and is not broken.
What changes have you seen within the company?
Since starting, I have seen MK experience a lot of growth. We have become more project-focused rather than department-focused. This transition has allowed us to be more efficient in delivering customers to market faster.
Has your role changed at all since you started?
I am writing more test scripts and am creating a quality assurance testing strategy. With the help of my teammate, Arzang, I am also writing code for backend development. We have worked together on facts for MK’s rules-based Decisioning engine. In this effort, I created a fact-getter that finds a fact in the database and returns the correct value.
What is your favorite memory with the MK team?
My favorite memory was the picnic at Balboa Park when I was still an intern. It was the first in-person activity at the beginning of the pandemic. As the new intern, it was the first time I got to meet the team; everyone was so friendly and welcoming.
What is your proudest moment at MK Decision?
My proudest moment was when I finished writing the indirect loans (ILOS) test script for the user interface. With the click of a button, I could test unsecured and secured indirect loans.
Describe MK in one word.
What is the most important thing you have learned here at MK?
There is always more to learn than possible in a single day. Take things one step at a time and do your best. Learning new things can be overwhelming at times, especially in software development. It is important to learn everything from database to user experience, especially as a QA engineer. In this role, you are testing everything. You need to have the patience to develop a deep understanding of it all, but take it in bite-sized pieces.
Do you have any advice for people who want to be a Quality Assurance Engineer at MK Decision?
As a QA engineer, you need to build strong technical skills for writing code in MK’s languages, develop a deep understanding of our technology, and practice attention to detail in everything you do.