Dean Cefola brings over 25 years of IT experience to his role as a Principal Cloud Engineer for Azure at Microsoft. Beyond his work at Microsoft, he is heavily involved in The Azure Academy, serving as owner, presenter, trainer, and consultant.

Cefola's career path in IT has been extensive. He began at the helpdesk, progressing to client and device administration using industry tools like SMS and System Center Configuration Manager. His experience expanded into datacenter operations, where he honed his skills in server administration and later transitioned to VMware administration. This foray into virtualization sparked his interest in automation, leading him to explore PowerShell and System Center Orchestrator.

The diverse skillset Cefola acquired laid a strong foundation for his future endeavors. He leveraged his knowledge to build private cloud environments, ultimately culminating in his current role at Microsoft, where he focuses on Azure cloud solutions.

The Azure Academy serves as Cefola's way of giving back to the IT community. Early in his career, learning resources were limited primarily to books and expensive training courses. With the internet still in its early stages and platforms

like YouTube non-existent, learning options were restricted. As someone who preferred a more hands-on learning approach, Cefola found traditional methods like reading to be less than ideal. Additionally, the high cost of formal training, often not covered by employers, presented a financial hurdle.

The Azure Academy was established with the goal of providing a solution to the learning difficulties Cefola himself encountered. The platform offers engaging, entertaining, and educational videos designed to empower individuals with the necessary skills to excel in the cloud computing domain.




Anthony de Lagarde has 26 years of experience in designing and engineering enterprise applications, deployed both on-premises and in the public cloud. His professional experience covers both Open Source and Microsoft technologies, with a current primary focus on the Azure platform. Anthony has worked across various industries, including Financial Services, Healthcare, State and Local Government, and Federal Government. He has led numerous engineering projects, bringing new global capabilities onto the Azure Platform.

Currently, Anthony works as a Principal Engineer within Azure CXP, where he helps customers with their onboarding process by leading them through design and deployment sessions for their enterprise solutions. He works as a bridge between the field and various Azure Product Engineering teams, providing direct feedback to improve Microsoft Cloud platform capabilities.