Ken Thompson

Ken Thompson
☁ DevOps Expert & Enabler | Azure Product Marketing Manager (OSS DevOps) @ Microsoft ☁
Greater Seattle Area | Information Technology and Services

Playing computer games like Transport Tycoon when I was younger actually taught me a number of fundamental business lessons:

• Being first to market and having a dominant market share, doesn't immunise you from nimble and disruptive competitors
• It’s important to understand the links and interactions between the components that define your business system as a whole (a.k.a. Design Thinking)
• By decoupling components in your system, you can de-risk the impact of change to each component, which can enable innovation. You can then handle managing greater complexity through standardisation (and potentially automation)
• Ultimately cash flow is King, so be smart about where you invest in your value chain to achieve the most efficient returns
With a graphic design degree to my name and all the business know-how I needed (joking!), I started my career with two successful start-up businesses. These businesses solidified those lessons with real experiences; especially about cash flow!

A natural talent and enjoyment of quickly learning new technologies, drew me into the I.T. industry, where I cut my teeth in IT Support, quickly progressing to Senior Systems Engineer and Architect roles.

Since then, I worked as a Manager at Accenture, where I was known for my technical, team and delivery leadership skills, managing and delivering complex IS solutions up to $55m in value.

I now have a Masters in Technology (Business Systems) and combined with my experience, I specialise in helping customers apply open source technology to achieve tangible business benefits.

I'm also interested in open source applications as a hobbyist, having built an automated sprinkler system and arcade machine with open source software and hardware.
Sharing knowledge is pillar of open source, so please reach out if you want to talk business, technology, open source, or retro games! :-)

P.S. An open source clone of Transport Tycoon is available online!:

Senior Azure Product Marketing Manager (OSS DevOps) (2017 - Present)
Public Company, 10001+, Computer Software

Focussed on Open Source Software and DevOps on Azure, I'm responsible for creating and executing end-to-end strategies to increase adoption and usage of Azure's premier cloud-based services. I work with communities and partners to better integrate solutions on Azure that involve OSS DevOps projects such as (but not limited to) Ansible, Chef, Docker, Eclipse, Gitlab, Jenkins, Packer, Spinnaker, Terraform, etc.

I'm passionate about helping OSS Devs and Ops use the tools that they know and love on Azure, to ultimately help their businesses succeed in their markets by:
- Decreasing the time between idea inception and production deployment
- Increasing feedback loops between Dev and Ops teams as well as their end customers
- Increasing the security & resiliency of their services
- Providing them the ability to innovate and experiment at speed

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