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.NET and AWS Pioneer Mike Culver Passes Away

Mike Culver, who served a number of strategic roles with Amazon Web Services from the inception of the company's launch of its popular public cloud, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer this week. He was 63. Culver, who before joining AWS was also a technical evangelist at Microsoft in the early days of the .NET Framework rollout, was deeply respected in Redmond and throughout the world.

In his roles at AWS, Culver trained insiders at the emerging cloud industry in how to build and deploy apps in EC2 and scaling them on the company's Simple Storage Service (S3). "Mike was well known within the AWS community," wrote AWS evangelist Jeff Barr, who had shared an office with Culver years back. "He joined my team in the spring of 2006 and went to work right away. Using his business training and experience as a starting point, he decided to make sure that his audiences understood that the cloud was as much about business value as it was about mere bits and bytes."

Culver spoke at many AWS and industry events including Visual Studio Live. I met Culver at Visual Studio Live in 2008 where he gave a session on how to scale ASP.NET applications with cloud-based content delivery. At the time Culver was head of developer relations at AWS. Keep in mind, this was before Microsoft officially announced Azure and AWS S3 was brand new. I was quite impressed by his presentation and sat down with him. Though that was the only time we met, we became friends on Facebook and occasionally commented on one another's posts. I'm quite saddened that he lost his battle both for him, his wife, grown children, siblings and many colleagues who clearly had deep admiration and respect for him.

When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013, Culver was quite candid about his treatment but kept an upbeat yet realistic worldview about his battle. Pancreatic cancer is among the deadliest of cancers. I lost my father nearly a decade ago to it. Culver was accepted a few weeks ago to partake in a trial in a new therapy to battle the disease, though in the end, the disease was too far advanced. Culver entered hospice last week. RIP Michael.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 01/21/2015 at 2:30 PM


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