Speakers’ Spotlight: Marie Kress and Klemen Koželj

Speakers’ Spotlight: Marie Kress and Klemen Koželj

Let us represent you this keynote tandem, made of two young enthusiasts, innovators and leaders, Marie and Klemen. In October, they will give a keynote speech and the topic is quite hot. Let’s hear what these two have to say. 🙂


Interviewer: Hi Marie, hi Klemen, welcome to Quest for Quality conference. Firstly, we would like to know who is Marie and who is Klemen.

Marie: Well, Marie is a cheerful and energetic person who loves to meet new people, spend quality time with her friends and a lot of other things reaching from dogs & basically all other animals over ice cream to spontaneous adventure trips as well as her fast-paced job in the IT world. I like to travel and am therefore very grateful to have a job which is allowing meto explore new places when attending conferences or meetings abroad. Coming from an economical background, I am constantly on a quest to gain new knowledge and experiences in the IT field and find more interesting business and use cases for new technologies, especially in the field of the future of urban transportation. Apart from work, I like to explore new places in my adopted home Ljubljana and the surrounding – and still sometimes I am surprised by all the beautiful places Slovenia has to offer.

Interviewer: How about you Klemen?

Klemen: A rebellious geek who listens to punk rock, loves clean code, readable documentation, working examples and cherish unconventional innovative thinking.
Mostly everything I do revolves around software, but when I need to escape from the IT zone you can find me in a local dojo where I train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Quest for Quality Speaker

Interviewer: We would like to know what is your personal definition of QA and testing in the light of today’s?

Marie: As I am not deeply involved in QA, I don’t have a specifically strong opinion, but I can say that much: in nowadays’ fast moving environment in IT with iterative development and shifting targets in projects, QA is essential for every successful project in my eyes. It’s crucial for building a stable foundation for every solution even in the MVP phase and lays the grounds for scaling in more mature phases.

Klemen: In my eyes, engineering consists of two units. The first is development and second one quality assurance, both of them are equal, tightly intertwined and can not exist without each other. If development is about planning, designing and building, QA is about ensuring customers satisfaction, damage prevention and in worst case damage control.

Interviewer: And how was the last 12 months for you? What worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?

Marie: The past year has been very eventful and interesting for me both in my professional and private life. I finished my studies in Germany and decided to keep living and working in Slovenia, where I am really passionate about all new challenges which are brought up to me at my job and allow me to grow with them. I was involved in several different projects throughout the year and recently took over the product ownership for a new project which is a great new opportunity for me. At the same time I organized and attended several interesting Meetups, Hackathons and other events which never fail to give me new inspiration.

Klemen: Busy! Time truly flies faster in a digital world and if you want to stay on the edge, you simply cannot “rest”. Working constantly with new technologies means a lot of learning and embracing “move fast, break things” mentality meaning that in every project there are certain challenges which we need to overcome.

Interviewer: Tell us where do you see yourself in the coming years? What are your career aspirations?

Marie: I see myself continuously digging deeper into the area of Mobility and Urban transportation and actively driving innovation in this sector with the help of all the new technologies available. I would like to foster the continuous advancement of our innovation activities within the Mobility and Travel Innovation Lab which I am a part of and seeing our projects grow and mature.

Klemen: Well, I was in core development team for our Mobility Platform, which is currently used in production as car sharing system in Ljubljana. Since I am living in Ljubljana, I find it truly satisfying to work on a project that brings positive change to the environment and everyday lives of my friends and other citizens. I think everyone should be searching for his or her own chance to help and make a positive impact, this should be inspirational enough.

Interviewer: Good plans guys! So, this leads us to our next question – what will you be talking about at Quest for Quality? You will hold a keynote speech.

Marie: We will be speaking about the ups and downs you can experience when working at the forefront of innovation in this fast-paced environment. Also, what are the key factors for steering innovation efforts into the bright Wonderland of innovation instead of realizing you’ve been wandering around in a Promiseland all the way, which won’t lead you to the aspired success.

Klemen: Exactly. We are really honored to introduce our view on a Comtrade Digital Services Innovation Lab, where we are building crazy patents and testing new technologies.

Interviewer: And what exactly inspired you to attend?

Marie: This year’s Quest for Quality topic is very much future oriented and focuses on Innovation and the next era of IT, which is very much in line with the topics I am dealing with on a daily basis. Therefore, I am looking forward to share my experiences and insights and hear the stories from all the other inspiring and interesting speakers and attendees.

Klemen: I visited first Q4Q conference as a guest, it was hosted in Ljubljana. I simply loved the event and that was the main driver. I’m delighted to participate this year as a speaker.

Interviewer: Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?

Marie: I like reading different startup newspapers and newsletters from the startup scene in Germany and international. I also love to attend Meetups whenever I travel to meet people from the local tech scene and see what is the most discussed topic or trend at the moment.

Klemen: I really like podcast from Jeff Meyerson called Software Engineering Daily; they are always covering relevant topics with interesting guests.  I am also reading engineering/technology blogs from Uber, Facebook, Netflix… and attending local Meetups.

Interviewer: How can people find out more about what you are working on?

Marie: The best way to reach out to me is over LinkedIn, you can connect or DM me, I’m not very active on Twitter.

Klemen: Honestly, I am quite lazy when it comes to using social media, but you can read our CDS blog.

Interviewer: For the end, anything else you would like to add?

Marie: I’m very much looking forward to the conference as I believe the topics are very relevant and interesting and I’m happy to be part of the event. Let’s see what the new Era of IT will really bring us in the end, we have to stay curious and open-minded.