Cloud Developer Advocate Cecil Phillip On How Open Source Is the Culture of Tech
Impact: It’s what drives Cecil Phillip. The Cloud Developer Advocate at Microsoft finds fulfillment in helping customers, companies and students, among others who cross his path to achieve their goals. It’s why his role at the well-known corporation is so important to him and his colleagues.
“We’re developers. We’re people in technology, we have a background in technology. Our job is to go out and make sure that you understand what’s available in terms of cloud computing; you understand some of the services that we can offer to you to make sure that your company is successful, make sure that your products are successful,” says Phillip, who joined Microsoft last summer. “Make sure you have the tools, the information, the know how to take whatever it is that you’re creating, whatever your solution and move it into the cloud. Let you know what the benefits are and how it is that we can help you be more proficient; how we can help you save money, and how we can help you increase your focus.”
Phillip and team are dedicated to helping you concentrate on your business or project while they handle the dirty work and the headaches. With each party doing what they know best, it yields the best results.
“There’s something inside of me, and I think there’s something inside of everybody on our team, that when you’re able to give that knowledge, to share that information you have with somebody,” he shares. “You see that light bulb go off in their head like, oh my God, you just solved this problem that I’ve been looking at for months and you just solved it for me in like five minutes, or you’re like hey, I didn’t know I could do that, that’s amazing. That for me is so much of the motivation to continue doing it.”
As a teacher, public speaker and content creator, Phillip has been helping aspiring to advance developers for years. But working at Microsoft has given him the resources to support many more, both locally in South Florida and beyond. Born in St John’s, Antigua, he understands the ways upbringing and culture can inform your decisions.
“I saw a different side of what was possible,” says Phillip on attending Florida Institute of Technology and living in the U.S.
Even down to applying and interviewing for a job, he’s noted a shift. He secured his current position via a tweet, which he jokingly responded to but, ultimately, led to a 15-minute conversation, a series of interviews, a flight to Redmond, Washington and his Cloud Developer Advocacy offer.
Within his Cloud Developer Advocacy role, Phillip is immersed in all-things cloud and, naturally, open source.
“With open source, it’s become so much easier for people to learn to share and to understand how technology works because it’s all there it’s just — there’s nothing hidden from you,” he said. “The veil has been removed from your face. You can see how everything works. You can experiment with it. You can play with it. You can share ideas like we never could’ve before.”
He credits open source with furthering technology, removing barriers for entry and enabling diversity of thought, ideas and people. The rapid exchange of ideas is only going to allow for further collaboration.
“If I have a product, and I’ve open-sourced my product, not only do I share this information and enable this group-to-learn type of environment, but also I’m going to have people from outside of my company contributing to this project,” Phillip said, underscoring his passion to drive impact. “I’m going to have them testing it, I’m going to have them running it on different environments that I might not have.”