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Clifford De Wit

Chief Innovation Officer – CSE Lead Africa at Microsoft

Profile

As the head of the developer experience (DX) team and the Chief Innovation Officer at Microsoft South Africa, Clifford is following his passion for computing, and the profound impact it can have on people’s lives.

Clifford’s career began as an Electrical Engineer in 1996, graduating from WITS university. However, his passion for computing led him into financial services, where he worked in a team that launched one of world’s first online banking solutions in 1998 with Nedbank.

After joining Microsoft in 2000, Clifford spent time helping large customers to architect, design and build business solutions on the Microsoft platform. Solid work here saw him leading the development consulting team from 2005 to 2007.

In 2009 Clifford took on the role of running one of the 7 segments within Microsoft South Africa, the Development and Platform group. In 2014 he took over the running the Developer Experience team owning all developer and innovation portfolios in the Microsoft SA.

In addition to his commercial work Clifford has established a project under the support of the Jobs fund to support and build the software start up ecosystem in South Africa. The project has over 2800 members and has created approximately 300 Jobs to date.

Clifford sits on the advisory board of several universities including Rhodes, WITS and Johannesburg Center for Software Engineering where he helps shape the future software talent and industry.

He spends his time with customers, partners, students, software vendors, developers, and the government where he often talks about the industry trends, the value of software and its ability to enable and create an economy through innovation and disruption. His group focuses on helping technical audiences and decision makers succeed with Microsoft and other services, on devices and cloud platforms.

 On a personal note, Clifford is married to an amazing woman who is also in the software industry. He has a little boy of ten years old and a little girl of six who provides him with a very welcome perspective on life.

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