KJR Collective Catch Ups: Mark Velasquez

The Collective

7 November 2018

A couple of times a month, we like to get to know members of the KJR Collective a little better. Today we catch up with Mark Velasquez.

Years in the industry: 17 years, Mark managed to score a job just one week out from Graduation!

Years at KJR: Just over 2.5 years

Based in: Melbourne

Currently working with: Telstra Wholesale for the last two months, prior to that, on projects at Victorian Electoral Commission.

What Mark loves most about his job…

It’s the variety. Both the projects and people Mark has been exposed to since joining the KJR Collective has kept him interested, even as he approaches the three-year ‘mark’! From changing teams to moving to completely new clients the opportunity to jump around every few months keeps him on his toes. As a testing specialist, being an explorer is all part of the job. From learning the product to prodding the product within an inch of its life to ensure every single bug is identified – “it would be weird if you didn’t find a bug. That’s why I have a job!”

How Mark got into this industry…

After completing his Bachelor of Science and Mathematics at Dela Salle University in Manilla, Mark started out in production support listening for beeps, ready to respond with his coding skills. A few years passed, and opportunity knocked for a project in the UK. Ever the explorer, Mark thought “I might as well try it.” Without any experience in system integration testing, off he went to the UK to learn on the fly – “ever since then, I’ve been testing.” And the move to Australia? Mark was head-hunted, of course, via a former managers recommendation.

What Mark thinks about the future of tech…

A man of the people, Mark is keenly following the impact technology is having, and will have on the way we collaborate in business. Stemming from first-hand experience of the power of face-to-face relationships and collaboration, Mark asks if the future will “remove the need to meet in person because the technologies, like virtual reality, is making the event so realistic?” What implications might this have for teams not bound by city limits, let alone by a single continent? While Mark is confident a virtual reality meeting won’t completely imitate the benefits of teams meeting in person at least once, he is excited about the power of technology and human connection going “hand-in-hand.”

He also does other things…

Family-time is never far away for Mark. In fact, his talented wife, Dawn works just down the hall from him at Telstra Wholesale – for KJR! This tech-savvy couple share two young children (5 and 4!) who occupy (almost) all of Mark’s time when he’s not testing. But when he gets an hour, his other loves are gaming “reading about, playing and watching” and hitting the streets of Melbourne on a street photography excursion. He’s also part of the KJR Melbourne’s Dungeons and Dragons meetup and a particular fan of when it “gets a little boozy.”

Mark’s final word of advice…

Balance your work and life. When you take work home it diverts your attention. Finish what you need to finish at work. Then give your full attention to family or friends. And other passions – invest in time for that.

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