Cornelia Davis - Cloud Computing Expert & CTO #88


As the Chief Technology Officer at Weaveworks, Cornelia Davis is responsible for the company’s technology strategy so as to aid enterprises who are transforming their business through the leverage of cloud computing platforms.

Cornelia cut her teeth in the space of modern application platforms at Pivotal where she was on the teams that brought Pivotal Cloud Foundry (Pivotal’s PaaS), various data products and Pivotal Container Service (Pivotal’s Kubernetes service) to market.  She is the author of the book Cloud Native Patterns: Designing Change-tolerant Software.

An industry veteran with almost three decades of experience in image processing, scientific visualization, distributed systems and web application architectures, and cloud-native platforms, Cornelia holds the B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from California State University, Northridge and further studied theory of computing and programming languages at Indiana University.

When not doing those things you can find her on the yoga mat or in the kitchen.

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A note from Grant

A teacher at heart, today’s guest brings 25 years of engineering and engineering leadership practices to our show today.  Having worked at places like EMC and Pivotal Labs in roles ranging from Solutions Architect to Cloud Engineer to Director to VP of Technology, Cornelia Davis is now the Chief Technology Officer at Weaveworks, a company bringing GitOps, don’t worry we’ll explain that in a moment, to Kubernetes and the Cloud.  In addition to her day job, Cornelia is the author of Cloud Native Patterns from Manning Publications.

Speaking of Manning and Cornelia’s book, we are doing a giveaway of five free ebook copies of Cloud Native Patterns to the first five listeners who email us at [email protected].  As always, listeners of the show can use our permanent 40% discount code for all Manning books by using the code poddevmen20 at checkout.  Please visit for more details!


“Those were the algorithms we were building in 1990 and are now running on this phone, this supercomputer you have in your pocket. We were building those algorithms when I started my career.”

“I’m a change junkie. I need change all the time. That is why it’s so brilliant that I landed in a career like I did. it’s always changing!”

“I would say 80% of my motivation of writing this book is just being able to take what I had been teaching to individual customers and be able to teach that to a broader set of people.”

“What I’m really talking about is redundancy of interaction because redundancy is a big part of what you do in the cloud. You have multiple instances of your running programs so if one of them goes down you still have another one and the load balancer will just shift over to that.”

—Cornelia Davis

Key Milestones

  1. Cornelia Davis not only went down the comp sci path, but she pretty much went all in. She chose to pursue a PhD in the field, but eventually deciding to stop at the ABD – all but dissertation level.  Why pursue the PhD and why leave ABD?
  2. What was Cornelia’s mindset and approach to her career after leaving the PhD program?
  3. Cornelia was at EMC and Pivotal for almost 20 years, two companies with a shared history.  How does she look back at those years?
  4. What inspired Cornelia to make the change from engineering to engineering leadership during that time?
  5. What was the biggest challenge Cornelia faced in going through the transition from individual contributor to manager and then VP?
  6. Cornelia has been in leadership roles at big and small companies, how does she think about building successful teams and strong engineering cultures?
  7. The path of cloud computing and why it is so exciting to be a part of
  8. Cornelia’s book is called Cloud Native Patterns and it’s from Manning Publications.  What is it about and who is the audience?
  9. Why did Cornelia decide to write a book?
  10. What is Cloud Native and GitOps?

Additional Resources

Cornelia’s book ‘Cloud Native Patterns’ -

Connect with Cornelia Davis

Connect with Grant Ingersoll