Meet Bob Schroeck



Bob Schroeck | FastTrack Employee Spotlight

Bob Schroeck

Kofax Developer

Meet Bob – a stellar Kofax Developer and FastTrack Team Member!  Robert (Bob for short) joined the company back in 2012 as a Quality Assurance Analyst. Before long, he was recruited to play an integral part on our ever-growing development team which is where he’s been ever since. Bob, in his own words, is an “insatiable reader”. He regularly has a paperback in his hands or pocket no matter where he goes. Also an avid writer and board game fanatic, Bob often can be found head down around a table wordsmithing or playing his favorite games with his wife and friends. Read on to learn all about Bob!

What is your current position with FastTrack?

I’m currently a Kofax Developer, which I have been for just about four years now.

What is your typical workday like?

I don’t think I actually have a typical day, but there are a few things that are not uncommon for me: Adding or expanding the document types that Kofax recognizes, creating sample templates to create documents with which to train Kofax, revising/refining the standalone auxiliary programs we’ve written to add specialized functionality to our document handling, or adding new features to the Kofax workflow. And of course there’s chasing down user troubles and fixing them.

Do you work with any specific customers?

The Kofax team isn’t directly carrier-facing. We tend to think of the Client Administrative Services (CAS) team as our customers.

Tell us about your career path with FastTrack? Have you held any other position(s) within the company?

I first joined the company back in 2012 and my initial duties involved doing QA on job opening-data submitted to the company by various firms for display on the website. Almost immediately, though, I was recruited to help with development team (which was just two other people in those days). I ended up transitioning into a full-time FastTrack developer, where I stayed until early 2015. After a short leave, I returned to FastTrack in late 2016. I went right back to being a developer, only this time in a team that was two or three times the size it had been before and in a completely different office. I stayed in that role until 2019, when I was offered the chance to try my hand at Kofax development, and I’ve been doing that ever since.

How has FastTrack helped your personal and professional development?

Quite substantially. I’m a self-taught programmer who ended up an IT career more or less accidentally, and I’ll be the first to admit that resulted in some holes in my skill set. But practically everything I did in my first few years with the company involved something new and exciting for me to learn and master. And of course the transition to Kofax involved an entire new domain to learn. And it hasn’t stopped; as I write this I’m hip-deep in a training course for a new Kofax project. There’s always something more to learn!

What is something you love about working for FastTrack?

It may sound trite, but my FastTrack coworkers are more like a group of friends to me than my coworkers at any of my other jobs over the decades have ever been. Some of it has to do with the way FastTrack was a small web startup when I first joined it, I’m sure (with an informal “we’re all hanging together” atmosphere). But even now that the company has multiplied in size many times over those early days, it still has a distinct lack of fossilized stratification. The fact that I’m on a first-name basis with everyone up to the CEO makes this probably the best place I’ve worked in over the past forty years.

Do you have any accomplishments within the organization you’re particularly proud of?

There are a couple things. First, back in 2014 or so, there was a request from a carrier we were working with to generate documents that were to be sent to claimants with all their information pre-stamped on them. I suggested doing this in a carrier-neutral way, in case we ever needed it for another carrier, and quickly whipped up an implementation that was okayed and became a part of FastTrack. Fast-forward a couple years and my document stamping system was now a major selling point for the FT Life Waiver product. When I was introduced to everyone who had been hired while I was elsewhere, I got a lot of “Wow, that was your work? Cool!” comments. To this day, the document stamping system remains a key part of FastTrack, and I’ve recently seen a demonstration of what is arguably the “second generation” document stamping system that directly builds on things I created almost ten years ago.

More recently, the work I’ve done to implement Kofax document processing. We took a small Kofax project and turned it into a tightly-coded, efficient system that allows us to implement a new form type in just a couple days, as opposed to the 200 hours we were quoted by others who have worked with the same product. In the process we went from handling just two form types to well over one hundred. 💫

What is your favorite book, movie, or show?

Oh, it’s hard to pick just one. I’ve been a fan of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files novels for a decade or so now, but it’s far from the only book series I follow obsessively. On YouTube I follow Adam Savage’s Tested, GrayStillPlays, The Spiffing Brit, and The Lockpicking Lawyer (among others). My wife and I are devoted fans of RWBY from RoosterTeeth, and have been since the first trailers came out in 2013. Where movies are concerned, it’s hard not to be a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and its TV properties as well). I’ve also looked to anime for interesting and innovative properties since around 1990, and there have been more favorites there than I can even begin listing, although of late we’ve been following Princess Principal (imagine a Cold War spy drama only set in a circa 1900 steampunk England divided like Berlin in the 1960s). And my musical tastes are all over the map (my personal MP3 collection—3600 tracks at last count—spans everything from Mozart to Metallica).

Bob Schroeck | FastTrack Employee Spotlight

Do you have any hobbies or special interests?

I’m a writer on the side. In fact, for several decades, I was a freelance writer for a game company in Texas. While you can still find some of my books on Amazon and elsewhere, it’s been nearly twenty years since my last published book. I was working on another ten years ago but various issues forced me to abandon it, and real-world developments since then have made picking it back up and trying again to finish it unlikely at best. In the mean time, I’ve been writing fairly specialized fiction to entertain friends and fans online, and I’ve been part of several team=writing projects which have turned out quite a lot of original material.

I’m into tabletop games, both roleplaying and board games. Most recently I’ve been getting my wife and friends into games I’ve backed on Kickstarter, like Spirit Island, Stars of Akarios, and Legends of Sleepy Hollow. We’ve also been playing in a Shadowrun campaign run by a friend, a currently moribund Villains & Vigilantes (superhero roleplaying) campaign, and a Dungeons & Dragons world I’ve been running on and off since 1982. We also play much less complicated games like Exploding Kittens and Cards Against Humanity.

Since 2004, I’ve been a City of Heroes player (online superhero game), but I’ve found myself drifting away from it in the last year or so.

I also enjoy cooking, often various foreign cuisines. I do Japanese/Chinese/Thai/fusion, Italian, and some French, and dabble in anything else that catches my eye (even British food).

What type of activities are you most likely to be up to on the weekends?

Oh, I don’t think I can point to anything as typical. About the only consistent feature of my weekends is—since the beginning of the pandemic—we’ve done all our weekly shopping on Saturday.

What is your favorite vacation destination?

I can’t say I have a particular favorite. We own a timeshare in Florida, but we’re more likely to exchange our week out for a resort elsewhere than go there. In the 30+ years we’ve owned it, I think we’ve only gone to our home resort three times. We also rent a beach house on LBI every year, but that’s less because it’s a favorite and more because it’s a family tradition; one of the few times a year that the far-flung members all get together.

What’s something you loved doing as a kid? Do you still do it now?

I was, and still am, an insatiable reader. For decades I didn’t go anywhere without a paperback in my hand or pocket. These days it’s a Kindle.

Have you ever had an encounter with anyone famous?

In my senior year of college I was in the Princeton Triangle Club with Brooke Shields. Nice girl, we had a few conversations and once shared a piece of carrot cake, but I was a writer for the club’s annual show and she was a performer, and our circles didn’t often intersect.

Speaking of intersecting circles, Michelle Obama—or Michelle Robinson as she was back then—was in an adjacent social circle to mine at Princeton. We had a few friends in common but we really didn’t know each other more than to just say “hi”.

In my freshman year, I took a trip up to Yale for a weekend to visit a high school friend of mine who was going there. In my literal last seconds on the campus I wasn’t looking where I was going and walked into someone. Turned out to be Jodie Foster.

I met author Larry Niven at a party at a science fiction convention back in the 1990s. We ended up in a corner in a long conversation about the research for and mythological underpinnings of the novel Inferno which he’d cowritten with Jerry Pournelle, and we were at it for an hour or more.

Oh, and in 2018 my wife and I briefly met “Weird Al” Yankovic after one of his concerts. Not much more to say than that: Hands shook, expression of admiration and thanks, and not more than that.


Connect with Bob on LinkedIn

About FastTrack

FastTrack – a Kamine Technology Group (KTG) division – is a full-service intelligent technology solutions provider in the Life & Disability insurance vertical. Leading the way for more than 10+ years, FastTrack boasts a growing client portfolio consisting of a large ratio of top-tier insurers in both the Group and Individual marketplace in the USA and Canada. Our made-for-insurance intelligent technology, enhanced by decades of on-the-job insurance industry expertise and AI, digitizes & automates up to 90% of the claims journey, from claim intake to adjudication, resulting in lightning-fast claim outcomes that typically improve Claim Handle Time by 30%-40%. FastTrack helps insurers free up valuable human resources to focus on mission-critical tasks, such as improving the customer experience and making informed claim decisions. Furthermore, FastTrack’s suite of technology solutions and services empowers insurers to triage claims, understand risk management options, reduce manual administration, save on interest expenses, create straight-through processing opportunities, leverage comprehensive data via online Claimant, Beneficiaries, Employers, Agents/Brokers portals, and create digital claimant profiles to achieve informed, consistent, repeatable, defensible, and objective claim decisions.


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