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Meet Preston Price: The Fast Interview

Preston Price, software engineer at Fast

Name: Preston Price

Role: Software Engineer

Team: Partner Integrations

What do you do at Fast?

I make it possible for online retailers to easily integrate with Fast Checkout, whether you are on a supported platform or have your own custom e-commerce backend. I also add features to help Fast checkout be more robust.

Describe your typical day at Fast.

Usually the morning consists of a couple meetings. Sometimes I’m helping a seller onboard Fast, sometimes I’m collaborating with teams to deliver a feature. The afternoon is generally kept for deep focus time. This might mean designing out a new feature, debugging issues within our system, or developing integrations with new platforms.

What led you to engineering?

I was always that kid in high school that people asked whenever they had an issue with their computer. When I went to college, I chose Computer Science since I liked computers. I didn’t really know what to expect, but ended up really enjoying the problem-solving aspect of it.

Where were you before Fast?

At Capital One for almost four years. One project I worked on was building a feature engine used to compute features for credit card applications, which decided whether to accept or decline the application. I also helped build Capital One’s financial ledger.

Why did you say yes to Fast?

I wanted to work somewhere that gave engineers a lot of ownership over what they build and it seemed like Fast was the perfect place for that. From day one, I was given ownership over several projects.

Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a kid?

Wildomar, California. We liked to pronounce it Wild Omar. I was always pretty outgoing and a little weird. It seemed like everyone at my school was friends with everyone, but my closest friends all seemed to be baseball players. I did try out for baseball but did not make the team so maybe I wanted to live vicariously through them. I can’t say I was the best student, but somehow was always able to pull out good grades on tests.

What are Fast engineers doing that stands out?

Everything? It is wild thinking about what this team has built in just over a year. The most impressive thing is how everyone across teams comes together to solve an issue. Every engineer takes ownership of their services and will do whatever it takes to help the company.

Our blameless culture should be the norm for engineering organizations. It is nice to be able to handle incidents without everyone feeling the need to point the finger. 

How is your desk set up?

A wide screen monitor and a laptop stand – it’s minimal. I prefer a trackpad over a traditional mouse. And lots of empty cans of caffeinated beverages and sparkling waters.

Proudest moment as an engineer?

When our team launched our first Fast seller using our custom integration API.

Favorite thing about being an engineer?

It’s a stereotypical answer, but the problem solving. It feels good to take a problem all the way through from a proposed solution through production. 

Morning person or night owl?

Morning person. If it’s past 9 p.m. and I’m watching TV, there’s a 99% chance I will fall asleep. Also, my son will jump on me if I don’t wake up with him at 6 a.m., so that might have something to do with it.

What’s something you regularly do, but know you shouldn't?

Consume copious amounts of caffeine. 

Your non-negotiables for life?

Do what makes you happy.

One thing about you that has been and will always be true?

I’ve always had interest in a lot of different hobbies and honestly probably always will. 

What advice would you the engineer today give the you first starting out?

Embrace the change if you want to be successful. 

Where can we follow you?

LinkedIn, Twitter

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