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Follow The Builders: 21 hands-on Azure builders to follow in 2021

ACG Technical Editors Team
ACG Technical Editors Team

Leading up to the first-ever ACG Community Summit, we’re recognizing some fine people in the cloud whose public examples inspire us to build better, more inclusive cloud applications.

The folks listed below have had a massive influence on the community through their work, but social media “reach” was not a primary consideration for this list. Rather, we sought active technical contributors to the cloud community.

Previously, we focused on the top AWS builders you should follow. This week, we’re looking at Microsoft Azure builders. Get ready to smash those like, subscribe, and follow buttons — here are 21 hands-on Azure builders you should be following in 2021.

Lena Hall

Twitter: @lenadroid

Lena Hall is a Director of Engineering at Microsoft working on Azure, where she focuses on large-scale distributed systems and modern architectures. She has a decade of experience in solution architecture and software engineering and leads strategy for product improvement efforts across Big Data services at Microsoft. She’s written about cloud data sharing patterns for A Cloud Guru.

Besides Twitter, you can keep up with her on LinkedIn and GitHub.

Adi Polak 

Twitter: @AdiPolak 

Adi Polak is Sr. Software Engineer and Developer Advocate in the Azure Engineering organization at Microsoft. She focuses on distributed systems, Big Data analysis, and machine learning pipelines. She’s also a mentor and volunteer working with underrepresented tech communities. 

She’s written about real-time analytics for A Cloud Guru, and she blogs about data, ML, and open source at blog.adipolak.com.

Troy Hunt 

Twitter: @TroyHunt

The creator of haveibeenpwned.com, Troy Hunt is an Australian Microsoft Regional Director and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Developer Security. He’s talked with A Cloud Guru about being a security engineer, CloudFlare, and if cloud security too easy to screw up.

You can follow his blog at troyhunt.com.

David O’Brien 

Twitter: @David_OBrien

David O’Brien Is a Melbourne-based Microsoft Azure MVP interested in all things cloud security, automation, and architecture. He’s also the CTO and co-founder of contextual cloud security service ARGOS.

Check out David’s blog at cloud-right.com.

Has AlTaiar

Twitter: @hasaltaiar

Has AlTaiar is an Australia-based developer and a consultant specializing in Data, IoT, and AI. He’s a Microsoft Azure MVP, speaker, author, and board member on the Global AI committee.

See what Has is sharing on Twitter and his Microsoft MVP page.

Sonia Cuff 

Twitter: @SoniaCuff

Sonia Cuff is a Senior Cloud Advocate for Microsoft. She’s a writer, speaker, blogger, podcaster, presenter, and trainer, with more than 20 years of experience in tech and a champion of IT ops and IT pros everywhere.

She’s written about Active Directory vs Active AD for ACG, she blogs at soniacuff.com, and shares technical posts with her Microsoft team at ITOpsTalk.com

Alvaro Videla

Twitter: @old_sound

Alvaro Videla is a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate at Microsoft. He is the coauthor of RabbitMQ in Action and has written for the Association for Computing Machinery. He’s also written for ACG, sharing posts about intro to databases on Azure, running serverless PHP on Azure, and developing serverless apps with GitHub Codespaces.

Keep up with Alvaro at alvaro-videla.com and github.com/videlalvaro.

Christian Nwamba 

Twitter: @CodeBeast

Christian Nwamba is a Software Developer and Senior Developer Advocate at Microsoft. He codes, writes, teaches, speaks, and organizes developer events. He’s helped build and grow communities like forLoop Africa, Angular Nigeria, Concatenate Conference, Me.io, and Frontstack.io. He’s written about how to create, debug, and deploy a serverless API with VS Code for ACG.

Follow the latest from Christian at codebeast.dev.

Simona Cotin 

Twitter: @Simona_Cotin

Simona Cotin is a Principal Cloud Advocate Lead at Microsoft with a passion for teaching and JavaScript in the cloud. She mentors at communities like Women Who Code, ngGirls, and codebar.

Follow Simona on GitHub and Twitter.

Nitya Narasimhan

Twitter: @nitya + @SketchTheDocs

As a visual storyteller, Nitya Narasimhan makes complex concepts digestible and more retainable with her illustrations. She’s a Senior Cloud Advocate on the Developer Relations team at Microsoft and created a visual introduction to Azure Fundamentals for ACG.

Keep up with Nitya’s work on Twitter and sketchthedocs.dev/visual-azure.

Glaucia Lemos 

Twitter: @glaucia_lemos86

Glaucia Lemos is a Brazil-based Cloud Advocate in JavaScript/Node & TypeScript at Microsoft. She’s an active contributor to open-source projects on GitHub and Node.js Foundation and React Community, where she makes contributions and translations into Portuguese. She’s written about how to create CRUD applications with Azure Functions and MongoDB for ACG.

For more from Glaucia, follow her blog and YouTube channel.

Jasmine Greenaway

Twitter: @paladique 

Jasmine Greenaway is an NYC-based developer and Cloud Advocate at Microsoft. With words and code, she uses Azure to illustrate the awesome things developers can do with the cloud. She teaches the basics of web development as an adjunct lecturer in NYC, and she’s written about 5 services .NET pros who are new to Azure should try for ACG.

Keep up with Jasmine on GitHub, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Scott Hanselman 

Twitter: @shanselman 

One of the world’s most loved (and followed) developers, Scott Hanselman is a teacher, speaker, coder, and blogger. He’s a podcaster behind the Hanselminutes podcast and This Developer’s Life and an active YouTuber. He’s chatted with ACG about migrating 17 years of infrastructure to Azure and the impact of open-source

Get up to speed on all the awesomeness Scott’s putting out at hanselman.com.

Brent Ozar

Twitter: @BrentO 

Brent Ozar is a Microsoft Certified Master, teacher, and a SQL Server wizard dedicated to making SQL Server faster and more reliable. He’s a prolific blogger and YouTuber, and he’s talked with us about the future of SQL Server.

Keep up with Brent’s work at brentozar.com.

April Speight

Twitter: @vogueandcode

April Speight is a Senior Cloud Advocate on the Spatial Computing technology team at Microsoft. She’s the author of Bite-Size Python: An Introduction to Python Programming and finds passion in helping others learn and transition into a career in the tech industry.

Learn more about April at vogueandcode.com. She’s also on YouTube and GitHub.

Marc Duiker 

Twitter: @marcduiker

Marc Duiker is a Microsoft Azure MVP, a pixel artist, and a Lead Consultant at Xpirit with a focus on serverless and event-driven architectures. He’s highly involved in the developer community and a regular speaker at meetups and conferences related to the Azure cloud & serverless technologies.

Keep up with Marc’s blog or his latest activity on his Microsoft MVP page.

Jennelle Crothers 

Twitter: @jkc137 

Jennelle Crothers is a Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Systems Engineer with a passion for computer networking and server administration. Through her roles at Microsoft, she’s focused on sharing what’s new with Microsoft technologies and helping customers use the cloud successfully.

Follow Jennell’s blog, techbunny.com.

Steve Faulkner 

Twitter: @southpolesteve

Steve Faulkner is Principal Engineering Manager for Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB, an open-source developer, former startup founder, and one-time South Pole physics researcher. He’s been featured on the ACG blog talking about serverless

Besides Twitter, you can connect with Steve on GitHub and LinkedIn.

Jeff Hollan

Twitter: @jeffhollan  

Jeff Holan is Director of Product for Azure Apps. He’s a familiar face around ACG, talking with us about Azure Functions, the state of Azure serverless, and building cloud-native apps on Azure.

Check out what’s up with Jeff at hollan.io.

Linda Nichols

Twitter: @lynnaloo 

Linda Nichols is a cloud-native and serverless specialist with a passion for community engagement and open-source. She’s an organizer and co-founder of Norfolk.js, has spoken at Serverlessconf, and is a board member and co-founder of RevolutionVA, the non-profit with a hand in RevolutionConf, HRDevFest, and NodeBots Day Norfolk

Linda is on GitHub at https://github.com/lynnaloo.

Lars Klint 

Twitter: @LarsKlint

ACG’s resident Azure Geek Extraordinaire, Lars Klint is an author, trainer, Microsoft MVP, and community leader churning out some of the most delightful content in cloud. He hosts Azure Community Live and ACG’s Azure This Week, and he’s the creator of llamacam.com.au. Lars is also behind our AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals course and is a regular contributor to the A Cloud Guru blog and YouTube channel, where he covers everything from picking your Azure certification path to how to become a cloud architect.

Keep up with the latest in all things Lars at larsklint.com.


There are hundreds of years of engineering experience represented in the above list. And every one of these people has demonstrated a commitment to further that experience while sharing it publicly. That’s an extraordinary opportunity, and we recommend you take advantage of it today. Follow the builders!

Next time, we’ll share our list of the top DevOps builders. In the meantime, what other outstanding Azure builders do you follow? Tag them on Twitter so others can find them too!

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