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10 Questions - Q&A with Bertold Kolics

An exclusive interview with Verosint’s Principal Quality Engineer, Bertold Kolics
Written by
Verosint Team
Published on
November 8, 2023

Tell us a little about your background and its relevance to your work here at Verosint.

I spent most of my career working in software teams of various sizes. I had the opportunity to work in different roles in IT & DevOps, sales engineering, testing, and development. This experience gives me a unique perspective. Familiarity with the identity and access management space at Verosint also helps me to get a better understanding of this adjacent but still related space that our company is catering to. My telco-grade security and telco-scale application development experience in the past also prepared me to meet the needs of our customers.

What kind of leadership do you bring to the team?

I am a true believer in transformative leadership, and I am striving to practice it as well. Transformative leadership goes beyond the scope of servant leadership as it adds a layer of influencing, transforming, changing, and adapting, which are all critical in today’s business environment to be successful.

I am the only one at the company tagged with “Quality” in my job title. I hope it stays this way if I am successful in my role. As a follower of modern testing principles, I believe that the time for dedicated testing teams is gone; quality engineers as gatekeepers must become a thing of the past.

Why did you decide to join Verosint?

I had many reasons! I like working at startups as I can see the immediate impact of the work, and I get to be there at the inception of a new product. I also enjoy wearing different hats if needed. Steve - our CEO - also had the track record for building a great team at a previous startup. Steve bringing in Kristen as our VP of Engineering solidified my conviction that Verosint is the best fit for me. I got to experience her leadership and management style in prior roles. Kristen truly exemplifies the transformative leader I aspire to become.

How do you approach building and leveraging relationships with key stakeholders?

Verosint is a remote-first company, so building relationships is slightly different than in other companies. I rarely miss in-person meetings with my co-workers, as we do not have regular “water cooler” moments. I put a lot of effort into building trust with all around me. Transparency, honesty, and integrity are core to my values. One of my former managers recapped this very well. He said: “Bertold, I like discussing challenges with you because you do not have a hidden agenda.” As Stephen Covey said, I believe in seeking first to understand and then to be understood.

What is your superpower that will help you succeed at helping our team put an end to account fraud?

I learned from the Five Languages of Love book that mine is service. Service is what transcends into my work life and drives me, too. With the goal of eradicating account fraud, we have a purpose that is easy to rally around. In addition to serving the greater good, my natural curiosity also helps me.

I truly believe that I can only succeed in my role if I understand not only the technical but also the business domain. This is why I take time to keep up with the trends and learn by regularly reading newsletters, listening to relevant podcasts, and participating in industry events. I can empathize very well with end users and prospects and try to bring that perspective to the team. At the end of the day - no matter what I say - customers are the true judge of quality.

What’s your favorite feature of the Verosint platform?

There is a lot to pick from. The most amazing transformation lately has been the work on our Event Explorer. The interface is beautifully designed and implemented and packs a ton of features. The explorer enables customers to dig into their data enriched with our signals and labels to find suspicious activities easily. I am also amazed by the team’s work on making our platform scalable, performant, and able to handle large amounts of events. Seeing this from the inside, I know how much design, preparation, and hard work go into making this happen seamlessly.

What makes Verosint’s engineering team different/better/unique from other teams you’ve worked with in the past?

Verosint is the first company that is remote first. It comes with its own challenges, but frankly it is more interesting this way and more efficient, too. From my co-workers, I get to learn about the wonders of life from all over the country. Open and frank communication is engrained in the company’s culture - egos are checked at the door, hippos (highest paid person’s opinion) are nowhere to be found. Social events help us gel together, we communicate frequently, and I feel that by now we understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses very well. We keep ourselves accountable for what we deliver. Frankly, this is not a given and was not my experience in other teams in the past.

Have you ever been the victim of fraud?

Yes. We often forget that we can easily fall victim to fraud, not because we don’t know better, but because we may be in a particular frame of mind when a scam occurs. One of my favorite podcasts - Hidden Brain - has an excellent episode on this.

Even though I can spot a fake email from miles away, once I did not check the content of an email confirming payment for an item that I sold, I was distracted. I was balancing multiple things at the time and skipped doing what I would typically do.

Share about your family or hobbies.

I am really proud of both of my children, I am beyond grateful seeing them grow up, seeing their own unique and positive personality, watching them accomplish wonderful things. Their mom truly found the magic formula.

My passion for zero waste practices applies both to my work as well as to volunteering in the City of Austin’s Zero Waste Block Leader program. In this program, participants help educate their community about reusing, recycling, composting to help the City achieve its zero waste goal.

I love running, too - this year I signed up again for the Austin Distance Challenge. In this event, participants commit to completing six races in six months in increasing distances leading up to the Austin Marathon.

Where do you live, and what’s your favorite part about your area?

I have been an Austinite - with a few months exception - for 22 years. Sunshine is something I crave every day and this area has plenty! Obviously, I do not mind too hot weather, either. Austin is also very special to me because it has a great cultural as well as professional scene. Few people know, for example, that Austin’s Classical Guitar Society is the largest in the nation.

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Verosint Team

Verosint, a leading provider of account fraud detection and prevention, helps digital businesses answer the question of “who’s there?” using signal-based identity assurance. By combining verified open source intelligence, identity graphing techniques and risk signal orchestration, Verosint stops account fraud before it starts. With real-time account fraud detection and proactive, persistent fraud discovery, online businesses can deliver trusted convenience to customers, minimize risk and reduce fraud management costs. To learn more, visit