Last week, as part of being part of the Alibaba Cloud MVP family, I had the opportunity to enjoy a phone interview with James Fitzgerald, a passionate of cloud computing San Franciscan who currently works as Global Cloud Training Specialist at Alibaba’s HQ in Hangzhou, totally a cloud “evangelist” as is said nowadays. After the chat, he wrote his impressions and I couldn’t be more happy with the words he wrote about me. I now come here to reproduce them:
Alberto Roura is truly an international man. He is a Spaniard living in Australia working closely with the ever-growing cloud industry. His path from Spain to Australia lead him to dive into the IT world and his curiosity of the tech industry and his family ties with China brought him to Alibaba. His drive to be a key opinion leader in the cloud industry stems from his interest of the subject and his passion to share with others. Alberto exemplifies the type of people that move this industry forward: an educator, a social gatherer, a content creator, and a voice people are attracted to listen to and learn from.
Alberto originally studied an electronics engineering degree in Spain where he began to learn the basics of computer science including the C programming language and Linux operating system. He became engrossed in the way machines work and the language needed for humans to communicate with them. Much like learning a foreign language, humans learning machine language is a difficult yet fascinating task. Outside of human to machine communication, Alberto also became interested in how machines talk to each other and compose networks of information. Quick data flow with input from users was the future in his eyes and he moved to Australia to continue his path in computer education.
His job in Australia pushed him to learn more about software development and web application building. At this time, he first came into contact with cloud computing and it immediately struck a chord with him. All the interest in networking and coding came to a head with the power of cloud computing. Now, all of the promises of internet communication and massive scale networking could come true with cloud services and studying how the cloud worked became one of his main focuses.
Before finding Alibaba Cloud he spent time using Amazon Web Services and Digital Ocean but found their product lines not to be suitable for what he was trying to learn. After knowing about the success of Alibaba, Alberto found Alibaba Cloud. He had been familiar with the scale and scope of Taobao as well as other business units and, as someone who considers business from a networking angle, recognised that Alibaba’s internal cloud usage must be very strong. In 2017, he found that Alibaba Cloud was offering its services outside of the company, so he made an account and started digging around.
As he began to learn about cloud computing, he became a blogger on TechShare. His blogging served two purposes for him: forced him to learn more about the products he was talking about and fulfil the desire to share his passion with others interested in Cloud. His articles focused on the conveniences that Cloud brought its users in comparison to the old models of computing. Alibaba Cloud services were user-friendly in a way that users did not need a rigorous IT background to use. Operating was quick and cheap; if a user wanted to start a project they could set up an instance instantly and create a database for quick analysis or create servers for storage and operations. The amount of possibilities seemed endless as these services were provided at a low cost and worked so quickly; Alberto was excited.
Being noticed by our internal staff, Alberto was contacted in regard to becoming an Alibaba Cloud MVP and he enthusiastically applied. He completed 7 Clouder courses and got certified winning an award for his participation. Alberto particularly likes the Clouder courses because they are concise but incredibly useful for learning a specific use of Cloud. He also began working on his Alibaba Cloud Associate certificate, and even more than before, began contributing on Alibaba Cloud on different platforms including GitHub. His contributions focused on improving the services of Alibaba Cloud, fixing bugs, and improving the user experience in general.
Becoming an MVP correlated nicely with his job in Brisbane. His job included to work with some public institutions. Looking to provide Alibaba Cloud solutions for them, he had encountered some difficulties as public bureaus hesitate to pass off sensitive information to large private companies. But as Alberto sees it, everyone will need to be using cloud services at some point, trust will need to be established between the organisations that need to store and analyse data and the ones that provide those services. Much like putting your money in a bank, you need trust, but it’s certainly safer than stuffing your savings under a mattress.
Alberto also hosts Cloud gatherings locally in Brisbane. Although Brisbane is not a big city, he is able to get more than 10 people at his meetings and eagerly speaks on and educates his fellow fans on the developments of Alibaba Cloud products. Online, Alberto runs his own website (albertoroura.com) where he writes not only about his journey through Cloud but his other interests including photography and aviation.
Alberto is an spirited fan of Alibaba Cloud and wants to show the fun side of learning about Cloud services. He recognises that many tech giants of the west, most notably Google, found their success by making internet usage enjoyable and hopes to share those feelings with all the potential users he comes in contact with. He will be making a trip to China in the next year to witness firsthand the machine that runs the Alibaba universe.