Rui Carmo

Rui Carmo


I am a senior technology leader and strategic thinker who manages people, processes and technology as one — and, at heart, a deeply technical person with strategy, marketing and business development experience, acquired over two decades of cutting-edge work in the telco/internet industry doing just about everything from network planning to mass-market product development.

As part of what I do I get to hack on stuff that ranges from secure IoT hardware to large-scale, cloud-based data processing using Spark/Hadoop, but my current passions are split between the evolution of telco VNFs to public cloud and the more generic realms of data science, machine learning and service orchestration, which are rather popular topics these days thanks to the AI renaissance and shift towards containers.

I've been blogging about technology in general (but mostly about Macs) at Tao of Mac since 2002, and in case you care about such things, my Myers-Briggs personality type is ENTP.


First and foremost, I'm the father of two kids who also seem to have the knack.

But whenever I have time to myself I use it to pursue a number of hobbies — some of which are inevitably tied to my work...


Even though I'm not really supposed to, I still code a fair bit and have an embarrassingly large amount of GitHub repos.

My favorite stacks are built atop Clojure, Python and Go (which is slowly giving way to Rust as old C/C++ codebases are rebuilt), but those are just personal preferences — I was a full-stack dev before the term was coined, and love learning new stuff regularly.


I have a passion for photography that is only kept in check by time and storage constrains, and carry a camera whenever I can — even if it's “only” the one in my phone.

Carrying a DSLR is not something I do often, but I manage to keep Flickr and Instagram regularly updated with interesting shots.


I have an electronics background, so I have a little menagerie of microcontrollers and ARM development boards around. Even clusters of them, plus assorted digital electronics projects.

Like a number of like-minded people, I wish technology was a little more tangible and applicable to everyday endeavors, so I got into 3D printing as a hobby.


During the COVID pandemic I decided to spend some time doing electronic music due to my having had piano lessons in childhood and my love of synthesizers.

Although I don't have anything substantial to show for it other than a bunch of new toys (all related to retro synths), I created some podcast intros and other things, which are up on SoundCloud.


I read voraciously, partly as a way to take my mind off work and for the extra edge that comes with constantly learning new things.

As a result, I have an ease with words that serves me well in everyday life and enjoy writing about a variety of topics, including technology. That opened up a few opportunities, and I'm mulling writing a book of my own some day.


I live in Lisbon, Portugal — and love it here.

Lisbon is popular in tech circles these days due to massive events like the Web Summit, but there is a lot more to it than just events - the weather is excellent, the food simply glorious, and it has become a thriving, modern city with a unique blend of centuries-old architectural wisdom and modern living.

Despite regular bouts of economic crisis there is a lot of activity in the technology sector and plenty of knowledgeable people.

Many big international players have set up tech hubs in the region, but most importantly there are dozens of high-profile startups that foster an exciting technology community that is still small enough for mostly everyone to know each other.

I like to travel, but so far I haven't found anyplace better to live in.


What I do during business hours is a key part of my life and shapes many of my interests, so it's worth putting up an overview of what I've achieved so far.

And yes, there's plenty more detail on my LinkedIn profile.

I'm currently at Microsoft, working as Principal Architect in Azure for Operators.

As part of the Global Innovation, Solution Architecture and Design team, I own the professional services realated to first-party and third-party solutions for for Tier 1 carriers worldwide — a role that affords me unique insight into strategy, business development and internal product/engineering roadmaps and still keeps the engineer in me very much alive.

This comes after two years in Microsoft Consulting (now called Industry Solutions), where I was Chief Architect for Telco Solutions in the EMEA region and led the telco consulting practice, leveraging both my background and my experience as Principal Technical Delivery Manager/Program Architect in both telco and financial services.

The whole thing came about as part of a renewed focus on the telco industry that stems from Microsoft's Azure for Operators initiative and the acquisitions of both Metaswitch and Affirmed.

Before that I spent a few years at the Portuguese subsidiary's Customer Success Unit, where I focused on helping partners and customers leverage Azure services and Open Source technology (doing just about everything from scaling Docker containers to designing and building large-scale data processing and machine learning solutions). During those years I spent a lot of my time dealing with advanced analytics and major digital transformation projects like EDP's transition to public cloud (which was one I particularly enjoyed taking a lead role in).

Over all of this time I gradually gravitated to the AI renaissance side of things, but yet, somehow, still managed to be deeply involved in things like Building The Future, Pixels Camp and Um Sobre Zero, which afford me the opportunity to keep doing community outreach, public speaking and discussing the impact of technology in modern days.

As an outcome of my involvement in Pixels Camp, I began collaborating with Bright Pixel Capital (originally SONAE IM, one of the main backers of Pixels Camp) by performing technical due diligence and investment advisory in order to expand its investment portfolio in cybersecurity and adjacent fields.

This affords me the opportunity to stay constantly up to date and step outside my comfort zone, which I enjoy immensely.

I worked for five years at SAPO, originally part of MEO (formerly Portugal Telecom, now acquired and rebranded by Altice), Portugal's major fixed and mobile broadband operator, as an engineering director leading projects in cloud services, business development and technology procurement after a stint managing the Big Data team and keeping tabs on our internal DevOps tooling and processes.

SAPO was, at the time, the largest Portuguese internet portal, a major digital advertising business (controlling up to 80% of the local digital advertising market at its peak) and a technology and innovation factory that supplied MEO with world-class solutions for a number of consumer offerings ranging from mobile apps to IPTV services.

By the time I left (in late 2015) it was widely recognised as having the best internet technology team in Portugal, and heavily supportive of Open Source and major technology events like Codebits (now Pixels Camp) and the Lisbon Maker Faire, which I was proud to help organise.

I spent over a decade at Vodafone, where I took part in a number of online projects (the Netcétera/Vizzavi portal, e-commerce and online gaming), several ISP initiatives (dial-up, corporate ADSL, Wi-Fi services, mobile broadband and consumer DSL) doing project management, security assessments and network planning.

As product and program manager, I tackled many smartphone launches (including the iPhone 3G and several Android, Blackberry and Nokia flagship devices) and managed a wealth of services ranging from LBS and M2M to triple-play for both consumers and SOHO/SME, before leaving in 2010 after the pan-european launch of Vodafone 360, for which I was the local lead.

During this time, I also took a post-grad management course at Portuguese Catholic University as part of an internal leadership advancement program.

INESC Technology logo Accenture logo IP Global logo

After graduating from college I did technology consulting, sold networking equipment (including some of the very first Ethernet switches), and even did a brief stint as a consultant at Andersen, but quickly decided that the internet business was what made me tick.

I soon joined the engineering team at IP Global, one of the first major national dial-up ISPs, leaving in 1999 for Telecel (later to became Vodafone Portugal).

I enrolled at IST (Portugal's most prestigious engineering, science and technology university) in 1989 as part of the first set of students to undergo a five year (MSC-equivalent) engineering degree in Information Systems and Computer Engineering, worked part-time in IST-adjacent startups to pay for tuition and graduated in 1994, majoring in Computational Systems (focusing on digital electronics and telecommunications).


You can follow me on GitHub, Hacker News, LinkedIn, Flickr, SoundCloud, Goodreads, Instagram, Medium, Twitter and Mastodon.

Or you can check out my blog.

I also have a set of industry certifications (old Credly list) that I keep adding to.

Finally, you can e-mail me directly at rui at carmo dot io.