What does it mean to be the first Microsoft Cloud Developer Advocate in Israel?
Today I’m excited to announce to my friends and the community that I’ll be starting as Microsoft’s first Cloud Developer Advocate in Israel. This position offers a unique opportunity to advocate on behalf of the thriving Israeli Tech ecosystems. I’m looking forward to engaging with the Israeli Tech, Start Up and AI communities.
What is Cloud Developer Advocacy?
Cloud Developer Advocacy is about enabling developers to be heard and successful on the cloud. My goal is to engage the Israel Tech Community with balanced technical breadth and depth through code and content.
As outlined brilliantly by Jeremy Likness a CDA’s three focus areas are:
- Community — you’ll see me both offline (whether it’s conferences, meetups, and user groups) and online (from forums to open source projects and social media outlets) meeting and collaborating with you here in Israel.
- Content — we believe in the power of quality documentation. We listen to you and then directly contribute your feedback to making our documentation as empowering as possible.We also author blog posts, write articles, create videos, contribute to and create our own open source projects based on your needs.
- Engineering — at the end of the day, we are all engineers. We connect with developers in the field, foster strong relationships with teams at Microsoft, and work together to improve the experience of building solutions in the cloud.
I’ll support you by doing things like:
- Developing open source code to unblock you and provide inspiration.
- Writing blog posts and articles about topics I believe will help you accomplish more.
- Ensuring you have the best possible documentation available.
- Learning from you at user groups and conferences.
- Sharing learnings and updates with you at meetups and conferences.
- Connecting with you over social media @pythiccoder.
- Taking your feedback back to the correct product teams who can make a difference.
- Listening and growing, every day.
For those I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, I’m originally from the Washington D.C area and hold dual degrees in History and Computer Science. I am an avid AI enthusiast with a passion for history and engaging with new technologies. My areas of expertise are production AI/ML, Python, Open Source and Web.
For the past two years, I have worked in Israel as an open source engineer, partnering directly with Israeli Start-Ups, to solve real world problems with game changing technologies that were then documented, open sourced, and shared with the global developer community.
Some projects I’ve worked on since making Aliyah include but are not limited to:
- Microsoft VoTT, that has enabled top companies in retail, financial, ecological and other industries to deploy production object detection solutions.
- The ULIS Library that enables chat-bots to understand Hebrew.
- Smart conversational framework for robots in the assisted living space. Developed in Israel and scaled impact with developers as far as China.
- Realtime ML model to detect sensor anomalies in waste water treatment centers. Deployed in production in Canada.
- Key vault service to protect API secrets for genomic data.
- Official Open Source Python API for Eventhubs EPH.
Before making Aliyah, I worked in New York City with Microsoft’s top NYC accounts, developing consumer cloud & client solutions, mentoring students at Hackathons, and interacting with the New York Israeli Tech community.
Prior to joining Microsoft, I worked with the Inova Hospital System to build machine learning classifiers that detect references to new treatments in medical literature, with a healthcare Start Up, Secure Exchange Solutions, to automate HIPPA compliant emails, with Ben Gurion University’s Deutsch Telkom Research labs on the CEDRA II threat simulator, and at the National Institutes of Health to automate code for protein structure simulations.
I’m excited to take this experience and apply it to my work with the local Israeli ecosystem to hear out your needs and deliver better code, documentation and content.
Despite a population roughly the size of the state of New Jersey, Israel hosts over 6,000 Israeli startups 1,800 in Tel Aviv alone (~30 per square km!!!!). Almost 1 out of every 400 Tel-Avians works for a Start-Up of some kind.
In the 27 years since Microsoft opened its original R&D operation in Haifa in 1991, Microsoft has expanded it’s investment in Israel with over 5 offices (in Tel Aviv, Herzelyia, Haifa, Rannana & Nazareth). From NT, Kinect, the Surface Pen, Windows Threat Defender and Cortana; to Kusto, Application Insights, PowerBI, Video Indexer, Excel Online and beyond, Microsoft Israel is a integral part of the company, as is our relationship with the ecosystem.
In addition to it’s staggering quantity of Start-Ups Israel boasts over:
- 15~ Unicorns
- 100+ Accelerators
- 300+ Venture Capitals
- 50 + Entrepreneurship Programs
- 350 Multinational R&D Centers
- 700 + Tech Meet Ups
Israel offers an unique and unmatched developer ecosystem with global impact. It is my goal that developers get heard and unblocked technically, so that they are empowered to be successful on the cloud.
P.S If you read this and think wow, I wish I could do that #We’reHiring. Also be sure to check out my newest story on 8 mins to Production Machine Learning!