Phil Estes

Phil Estes

Principal Software Engineer

Amazon Web Services, Inc (AWS)


Phil is a Principal Engineer for Amazon Web Services (AWS), focused on core container technologies that power AWS container offerings like Fargate, EKS, and ECS.

Phil is currently an active contributor and maintainer for the CNCF containerd runtime project, and participates in the Open Container Initiative (OCI) as the member of the Technical Oversight Board (TOB). Phil has also been a long-time core contributor and maintainer on the Docker/Moby engine project where he contributed key features like user namespace support and multi-platform image capabilities.

Phil enjoys helping others understand and apply container and cloud native concepts and speaks worldwide at industry conferences and meetups, and is a member of the CNCF Ambassadors program. He maintains a blog on container topics at and you can find him on Twitter/X tweeting away as @estesp.

  • Container Runtimes
  • Cloud Computing
  • Open Source Software
  • Masters of Science in Software Engineering, 1998

    University of Texas

  • Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering, 1994

    Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech)


Software Development

Go, Open Source, Container Runtimes, Cloud Native


Blog posts, articles, conference presentations


Conferences, meetups, customer interactions


Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Principal Engineer
January 2021 – Present Virginia
Leading core container runtime technology upstream work in containerd and standards within the Open Container Initiative on behalf of AWS. Provide leadership and guidance for container standards and implementations contribution and consumption across many AWS services, including Amazon ECS, AWS Fargate, Amazon ECR and Amazon EKS.
IBM Cloud
Distinguished Engineer
August 1994 – January 2021 Virginia
Spent 26 years at IBM, working on everything from the JVM to Linux OS packaging to open source. Began working on container runtime technology in 2014, initially as a contributor and maintainer for the Docker engine and helped launch and maintain the CNCF containerd runtime project. From 2016 onwards was also involved in the Open Container Initiative and ended up as chair of the OCI Technical Oversight Board.


A personal Golang project used to measure and compare container runtime performance of common offerings, from CRI implementations to Docker, containerd, and runc. Used and contributed to by several vendors utilizing the project.
Manifest Tool
A personal Golang project used to create multi-platform capable images in Docker v2-compliant registries. Used by many projects to offer multi-architecture platform support for their containerized software.
A stable and performant core container runtime for the cloud. A graduated maturity project within the CNCF used by Docker, Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry, and many other projects. Phil is a core contributor and maintainer in this open source project.
An open source local developer command-line tool for container developers on macOS and Windows.


Feel free to contact me via the following form or use the links below.