We are thrilled to introduce our new Chief Technology Officer Stefano Tempesta.
Coming right from Melbourne in Australia, he is bringing strong technical expertise and creative solutions to design new products together at Connecting Software.
One of the only 160 of the world’s Microsoft Regional Directors; three times Microsoft MVP (Azure, AI and Business Applications – the only one in the world!); “Gold Disruptor” awarded by the Australian Computer Society; a trainer, a conference organizer and a famous speaker; a passionate traveler, and ‘a poor musician’ – in his own words, he is going to accomplish the team of Connecting Software like nobody else.
Originally from Italy, Stefano Tempesta appreciates the seaside life, so his first destination is our development hub on the island of Madeira. By the way, in Italian, ‘tempesta’ means storm, and this is how he is winning our attention – by storm.
Here is our Q&A session with the new CTO to introduce him to our partners and customers.
Why have you decided to join Connecting Software?
I am intrigued – for two main reasons. Firstly, I’ve found the combination of the technology fitting perfectly my skills and experience. I’ve always worked with the Microsoft stack. And I have been looking for an organization which builds products. I love building software. After speaking with the CEO Thomas Berndorfer, I saw we are on the same page. Connecting Software creates products that solve tangible problems for customers.
Thomas has an entrepreneurial mindset – but an open one. He is not limited to traditional applications in the modern workspace, like Office or Dynamics. I thought: amazing, together we can also build IoT and blockchain apps, innovate for Smart Cities, leverage AI technology.
Another reason is coming to Madeira where one of the offices is located. I am fascinated by islands. I grew up in an Italian village by the sea shore and I like this lifestyle. It is like living in a paradise.
What was your first impression of Connecting software?
Wow these guys make a lot of little products that do one thing but do it really well. It looks like a toolkit. You take different components and can build a house.
Dynamics to SharePoint Permissions Replicator solves the permissions problem. Document Extractor helps to cut costs and store documents more effectively. Perfect, problem solved. The blockchain Digital Seal – great, proves document authenticity which is needed now more than ever. The Connect Bridge integration platform – it is broader, can do many things.
As a customer, I have a menu to choose from. And instead of buying a big software that is extremely complicated to configure, and costs a lot of money (and maybe I will use only 20% of its capacity), I buy exactly what I need, pay very little, get the product which does the job and does it perfectly. This is what I loved. Modular services that work together as well as in isolation.
Any specific product in mind to build with Connecting Software?
Recently many people have been isolated working from home and communicating via apps. And they are too many to tackle: Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp, social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, line of business applications that communicate to you. A typical employee deals with 9 to 15 apps on a daily basis – all sending notifications, tasks to do. In addition to regular emails.
The challenge is how do you stay on the top of all this information and tasks.
Together with Connecting Software, we can create a communication hub which consolidates information from different apps, and AI helps to predict how you can optimize your tasks and create a schedule so that you can focus and allocate your time better than just responding to all events. It is a concept, I’ve developed a high-level architecture, and looking forward to launching it.
What will be happening to technology next 3-5 years?
Blockchain has been around for about 10 years as cryptocurrency, but now more software with practical daily application will start appearing.
Also, many talk about quantum computing, without much practical use though.
We will be getting more augmented or virtual reality.
But personally, I am dreaming of Smart Cities. Connected, technologically advanced but also more inclusive and safer. And our apps can help to form this future. For example, a digital identity based on blockchain technology.
How will you continue public events from Madeira?
During the lockdown months, I have been busier than ever. Typically, I would attend 10-12 conferences a year. But only in the last 3 months I have done 15 public speaking sessions, online. I welcome this opportunity.
Such conferences used to be only for ‘the elite’: those who could afford to travel and pay the participation fee. But now there is a lot of attention in the market to inclusion.
Recently, I organized a virtual event and invited a speaker via LinkedIn, a 14-year-old developer from Nigeria. He connected at 1 am his time to present a session about AI.
He would not be able to come to Melbourne and present his session in front of a large international audience. It is a huge opportunity for him, but also for us to see what is happening on that side of the world.
After corona, will the online format remain?
It will continue along with normal events. Meetings face to face are the best because you can’t do everything online – like have a dinner together or spend time in an informal surrounding. But many events will continue providing virtual experience for those who can’t participate.
Which certificate or award is most important for you?
It is not a certificate as such, but I think the fact that I am recognized as a good honest professional, nice to work with. They don’t give certificates for that. You need to win this reputation in every company and team every day.
I am also very proud to be a Microsoft Regional Director. There are only 160 of such people around the world and it is a very tough selection because you need to meet specific requirements – cross-platform expertise, community leadership, and commitment to business results.
I was proud to be recognized an ICT Professional of the Year by the Australian Computer Society. Not the title itself but the reason why they chose me. I collaborate with NGOs to organize events where we promote the adoption of better technologies. People who have never worked with computers start building their first apps with us. We also work with children and aboriginal people, by volunteering our time.
They also gave me the ‘Gold Disruptor’ award. I have always dreamt of being a disruptor in something! 🙂 All the certificates come naturally. It is a passion and not a burden. I do it because I like it.
As a person who was called by other professionals as a master of clean code – do you still write software?
Lately I have not been doing much production-ready code. But I love coding and have been doing it for many years. As I speak at a lot of conferences, I prepare demos by myself. For example, a chat bot or some cognitive services for face and voice recognition, an app for skin health analysis and recommendations. One of my favorite is Mario the Pizzaiolo, a pizza ordering bot.
My first programming language was Pascal at college, then C++, Java, C#, Python, and more recently Solidity for blockchain.
Speaking of languages – your LinkedIn profile says you speak Sindarin, the language of elves?
I am crazy about the Lord of the Rings. I went to see all places in New Zealand where the movie was shot, including Hobbiton. I even got a tattoo in Sindarin that reads like ‘My star from the East”, considering that my wife comes from Eastern Europe.
We usually travel a lot and enjoy new food, culture and languages.
I speak Italian, English with an Italian accent and Russian bad enough not to have too long conversations with my mother in law.
The profile also says you are a volunteer?
I am a scout leader. I was in the scouts a student back in Italy, and continued as adult in Melbourne. Together with “cubs”, 6-9-year old kids, we play games and do various activities which teach them to respect nature, each other, god or the country.
How do you find time for all of this?
It is about prioritizing what you enjoy and remove what doesn’t give you pleasure. For example, I don’t watch TV. I am not saying it is bad, I just enjoy other things more. Like spending time with my wife and two daughters, travelling together. There is no special secret. It is all about going after things you love the most. You will do it without any difficulty.
We do welcome Stefano Tempesta in our team! Together, we will be even faster and better in creating solutions for your convenience, productivity, compliance and time and money saving. So follow our news!