By Nicola Wright
New year, new Heroes.
It’s 2021, and the first batch of AWS Heroes has been crowned. This brand new group of cloud stars is a truly international bunch and includes the first Heroes from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, and Colombia.
Antwerp, Belgium | Community Hero | @benbridts
An AWS professional since 2015, Ben is an AWS Technologist at Cloudar and an AWS Authorized Instructor. As well as giving AWS Classroom Trainings at The Campus, Ben is also a prolific blogger on all things AWS—though he has a particular soft spot for CloudFormation, Lambda, KMS, CloudFront, and Lambda@Edge—and an active member of GitHub. He co-organizes the Belgian AWS User-Group too and is a regular speaker of all kinds of tech events.
Vienna, Austria | Container Hero | @Njuchi_
Nana is a DevOps consultant and trainer, and the brains behind the YouTube channel Techworld with Nana, where she shares knowledge on various DevOps topics and helps make the cloud field more accessible to newcomers. Her commitment to helping people start careers in DevOps doesn’t end there though; last year, Nana created a training program for budding DevOps engineers that teaches students about the most popular tools and platforms, including Docker, Kubernetes, AWS, and Terraform.
Perth, Australia | Community Hero | @malekizainab
A full-stack developer, Senior DevOps Engineer, and a regular speaker at tech events, Zainab’s passion for opening doors to tech for people from all walks of life is evident. From hosting CoderDojo events for over 100 girls and starting a coding class for children from diverse backgrounds in 2020, to presenting at a WiTWA event encouraging 500 students to choose an IT career, Zainab is dedicated to supporting the next generation of cloud professionals.
Hiroshima, Japan | Data Hero | BigData JAWS-UG
Founder and President at cloud integrator OPTARC, Inc., Kenjiro is also hugely involved in the Japanese AWS community, running meetups and study groups for both the Hiroshima chapter and the Big Data chapter of Japan’s AWS user group network. In 2018, he received the AWS Samurai Award, acknowledging his outstanding contributions to JAWS-UG.
Kochi, India | Container Hero | @dijeeshpnair
Container Hero Dijeesh is Associate Director of Cloud Services at Network Redux LLC, where he and his team of DevOps Engineers help enterprises migrate and re-platform their workloads into containerized and cloud-native technologies. An AWS User Group Leader, Dijeesh has arranged many meetups, hackathons, and other knowledge-sharing events for the Kochi community, including the first-ever AWS Community Day: Kochi in 2019 and AWS Community Day India 2020.
Sofia, Bulgaria | Community Hero | @DanielRankov
A multi-certified AWS professional, Daniel is a Cloud and DevOps Manager at MentorMate. Here, he leads the Cloud Center of Excellence team and heads up the cloud and DevOps strategy. Co-organizer of the AWS Bulgaria User Group, he regularly speaks at tech events, and shares his know-how through training sessions and workshops.
Bengaluru, India | Serverless Hero | @srushithr
Srushith has been a serverless superfan since taking part in the AWS Chatbot Challenge, and is now Head of Engineering at KonfHub. He’s passionate about promoting serverless as the future of software development and has spoken on the topic at several tech events worldwide. Srushith recently launched the Tirupati AWS User Group, founded Bangalore’s first serverless-focused meetup group—which collectively have more than 6,000 members already—and started monthly webinar series Serverless Saturdays.
Yokohama, Japan | Community Hero | @typhon666_death
Having joined the Japanese AWS user group in 2013, Shun has been running three JAWS-UG chapters since 2016. In 2019, he chaired the JAWS DAYS 2019 organizer committee, and last year, Shun launched a brand new event and chaired JAWS SONIC 2020/MIDNIGHT JAWS 2020; a fully online 24-hour event that attracted nearly 1,500 registrations. His efforts as an AWS community organizer were recognized in 2018 and 2019 when he was given the AWS Samurai award.
Bogotá, Colombia| Data Hero | @czam01
Carlos is a Technical Manager at Globant LLC, a professor of Business and Information Technologies at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, the first Colombian APN Ambassador. he has previously shared his knowledge and passion for data and analytics, DevOps, and machine learning at re:Invent 2020 and 2019, and is also the co-founder of Clouding LA and co-organizer of AWS User Group Bogotá, Colombia. Ten-times AWS certified, Carlos has helped hundreds of other cloud pros earn their certification through his videos, online classes, and workshops.
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A brand new batch of AWS superstars have been added to the hallowed roster of AWS Heroes, and the final group of cloud pros to make the list in 2020 includes the first-ever DevTools Heroes.
The new category acknowledges the work of passionate advocates for AWS developers; those who are shaping and improving the cloud developer experience, and the tools available to the programming community.
The first troupe of DevTools Heroes includes bloggers, speakers, social media mavens, and community organizers, each one making a positive impact on the AWS space by sharing their knowledge and expertise of AWS DevTools like AWS Cloud Development Kit and AWS SDKs with others.
Sharing news of the additional category, Senior Developer Community Manager at AWS Ross Barich said: “The AWS Heroes program recognizes individuals from around the world who have extensive AWS knowledge and go above and beyond to share their expertise with others.
“The program continues to grow, to better recognize the most influential community leaders across a variety of technical disciplines.”
The DevTools category isn’t the only first to celebrate: this batch of Heroes also welcomes the inaugural members from Argentina, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia.
A Community Hero since 2019, Bhuvaneswari is Director Engineering Operations at Infor, and a specialist in Cloud Computing, DevOps, and Performance Testing. A 20-year veteran of the tech industry, she’s also a community leader of Bengaluru’s AWS User Group, a regular speaker at AWS industry events, and a guest lecturer at engineering colleges across India.
Washington DC, USA
An engineer at Stedi, Jared spends his days working with AWS CDK and other toolsets, crafting tools that make being an AWS developer easier and more enjoyable. Jared’s career has been steeped in serverless revolution, having previously worked as a senior architect and director of innovation at Trek10, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, and as Head of Developer Experience at Serverless, Inc. As well as co-hosting the Think FaaS Podcast, Jared also contributes to various blogs about emerging approaches and AWS services and is a regular speaker at tech events.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
A Technical Architect for Liberty IT in Belfast, Matt specializes in developing environments that empower teams to deliver business value fast using well-architected serverless-first solutions. Matt contributes to the AWS community by maintaining and advocating CDK Patterns. CDK Patterns is an open-source collection of serverless architecture patterns built using AWS CDK and aligned with the AWS Well Architected Framework. He’s also the founder of CDK Day; the first community-driven global conference for all things CDK which attracted more than a thousand people for its first-ever outing! He’s also a regular speaker at tech events and conferences, where he shares his expertise on CDK and Serverless.
Washington DC, USA
Co-founder and former CTO of Stelligent, Paul is also an author and has created many great works on development such as Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk, Continuous Compliance on AWS, Continuous Encryption on AWS, and Continuous Security on AWS. A passionate user of and advocate for AWS Developer Tools, Paul also hosted the DevOps on AWS Radio podcast for over three years.
Sebastian is an entrepreneurial Software Engineer whose current focus lies in Cloud Tooling, Infrastructure as Code, and the world of the Cloud Development Kit (CDK). He’s also a key contributor to the CDK for Terraform project; Sebastian’s work enables users to define infrastructure using TypeScript, Python, and Java. A pillar of the CDK community, Sebastian co-founded cdk.dev, a community-driven hub for all things CDK, and also produces a weekly newsletter that keeps tabs on the blossoming CDK ecosystem.
East Sussex, United Kingdom
Steve Gordon is a Pluralsight author, senior engineer, and 16-year veteran of the .NET world. Highly experienced with using AWS as a platform for running .NET microservices, Steve shares his know-how regularly via blogs, and though .NET South East, a Brighton-based meetup group which Steve also founded.
Thorsten Höger is CEO and cloud consultant at Taimos. He’s also a developer focused on optimizing development processes and using automation to create efficient deployment pipelines for all types of customers. An open-source software superfan, Thorsten maintains and contributes to many GitHub projects and maintains the Jenkins AWS Pipeline plugin. He’s also one of the top three non-AWS contributors to AWS CDK!
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Ahmed is an n AWS- and Kubernetes-certified Cloud Architect and mentor who’s been in the IT space for over a decade. As the leader of Riyadh’s AWS, Amazon SageMaker, and Kubernetes meetups, Ahmed has organized and delivered over 40 events.
Co-founder of Digico Solutions, Anas founded the AWS User Group Lebanon in 2018, growing the group to more than 1,000 members. A blogger and regular speaker at tech conferences, Anas also organized AWS Community Day MENA, which hosted 27 speakers over two days.
New York, USA
Chris is a fervent knowledge-sharer, using his YouTube channel to impart his expertise on how cloud services can be applied in game development. His primary focus is AWS Game Tech and Unreal Engine, honing in on the multiplayer and networking aspects of game development.
A tech entrepreneur and founder of AWS APN Partner Teracloud, Damian is also a community leader, co-organizer of AWS User Group Cordoba, and co-host of Twitch show #DeepFridays. He’s also a frequent speaker and has appeared at AWS Community Day Buenos Aires 2019, AWS re:Invent 2019, and AWS Community Day LATAM 2020.
A Principal Research Scientist at Australia’s government research agency (CSIRO), Denis is the creator of open-source products like VariantSpark, the first AWS Marketplace health product from a public sector organization. Denis is dedicated to facilitating the digital transformation of the health and life-science sector through open source technology, keynote presentations, and collaboration.
St. Catharines, Canada
Denis is the Founder and CEO of Apocalypse Studios, a video game industry veteran, and an evangelizes for using a cloud-first approach in game development. A long-time speaker at games conferences and AWS community groups, Denis is an advocate for building on Amazon Lumberyard and migrating game development pipelines to AWS.
Emrah is the VP of Products at Thundra and a local community organizer for AWS Community Day Turkey, ServerlessDays Istanbul, and bi-weekly meetups at Cloud and Serverless Turkey. A frequent blogger on all things serverless and cloud-native microservices, earlier this year, Emrah co-organized the quarterly held ServerlessDays Virtual to help grow and connect the global serverless community during the pandemic.
A Principal Consultant and Database Evangelist at AWS Select Partner dbi services, Franck is a database fanatic with two decades of experience in development, data modeling, infrastructure, and DBA tasks. A recognized expert in both Oracle and AWS databases, he’s also an AWS Academy educator for Powercoders, a blogger, a podcaster, and a regular contributor to talks and conferences in the data community.
Washington DC, USA
Hiro is the founder of AWS Newbies and Cloud Newbies and is dedicated to helping people with non-traditional technical backgrounds begin their AWS journeys. Herself a “career switcher,” Hiro has been empowering people to build their cloud careers by breaking down computing jargon and putting her degrees in Special Education to good use by creating AWS courses for beginners.
Santa Catarina, Brazil
CEO of Game Business Accelerator Academy and co-founder of Game Developers SC, Juliano is a key figure in the AWS Game Tech community. He organizes the AWS Game Tech Lumberyard User Group in Florianópolis, Brazil, and also guest lectures at over 90 educational institutions across Brazil, where he teaches students about cloud computing and AWS Game Tech services.
Machine Learning Hero
A DevOps Engineer Danggeun Market, Jungyoul is also a leader of the AWS DeepRacer Group and was a finalist in the AWS DeepRacer League at AWS Summit Seoul and AWS re:Invent 2019. Despite having no previous ML experience, Jungyoul used AWS DeepRacer to learn techniques and was soon sharing his expertise with the AWS DeepRacer Community through User Groups, meetups, and blog posts.
Machine Learning Hero
Juv is an AI automation engineer at UBS, the AWS DeepRacer League Singapore Summit 2019 champion, and a re:Invent Championship Cup 2019 finalist. Heavily involved in sharing knowledge in the DeepRacer and ML community, Juv is a writer for both Towards Data Science and Towards AI platforms and the lead organizer for the 2020 AWS DeepRacer Beginner Challenge global virtual community race.
Johannesburg, South Africa
A three-time AWS certified Senior Software Engineer at Entelect, Lukonde is passionate about sharing knowledge on containerization and serverless technologies through speaking at meetups and tech conferences, as well as authoring technical articles on Medium. He’s also an advocate for open source, and regularly contributes to projects on GitHub.
Magdalena is Director of Strategy and Expansion at LCloud Ltd, and has worked with AWS technology since 2013. A co-organizer of AWS UG Warsaw meetups, she also orchestrates events to help people prepare for AWS Cloud Practitioner Certifications. In 2019 Magdalena participated in the AWS re:Invent Community Leader “We Power Tech” Diversity Grant in Las Vegas.
Boasting over 15 years of IT experience and numerous certifications in AWS, VMware, and Oracle, Nick is a fervent evangelist for data management solutions on AWS. Nick shares his data knowledge through blogging, hosting webinars, and presenting at conferences.
A seven-time AWS certified Principal Cloud Architect at Funambol, Renato has been working with AWS technologies since 2011. Renato can often be found speaking at international events like DevOps Pro Europe, DevOpsConf Russia, All Day DevOps, Codemotion, and Percona Live. He also shares his know-how through technical writing; Renato is an editor at InfoQ and writes about database-related topics like Amazon RDS Proxy, Amazon RDS, and Amazon Aurora on his blog.
An AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Senior Frontend Engineer at OLX Group, and egghead.io instructor, Tomasz is dedicated to sharing what he’s learned with others. The author of multiple courses on serverless technologies—including Build an App with the AWS Cloud Development Kit and Learn AWS Lambda from Scratch—he’s also an active blogger and contributor to The Practical Dev community.
It’s that time of year again! August means a new quarter and sees a new batch of AWS professionals bestowed with the title of AWS Hero.
Senior Developer Community Manager at AWS Ross Barich commended the new Heroes on their exceptional work in his announcement, stating that these AWS stars “have an incredible impact within technical communities worldwide and their efforts are greatly appreciated.”
The latest update has added Heroes across the Community, Container, Machine Learning, Data, and Serverless categories.
The newest group of AWS stars to be acknowledged for their tireless advocacy and dedication to sharing their AWS know-how to help others include the first-ever Heroes from Greece and Portugal.
Let’s get to know them a little better!
Copenhagen, Denmark | Serverless Hero | @AngelaTimofte
A Data Platform Manager at Trustpilot with a background in legacy migrations and helping businesses take advantage of cloud technologies like serverless apps and event-driven architecture, Angela is fervent about leading by example and empowering others to build their own tech skills. As part of this drive to coach others, Angela is a co-organizer of the Copenhagen AWS User Group, and regularly imparts her serverless wisdom at events like AWS Summits, AWS Community Days, and ServerlessDays.
— Angela Timofte (@AngelaTimofte) August 20, 2020
Tel Aviv, Israel | Community Hero | youtube.com/IsraelClouds
Community Hero Avi is Senior Cloud Engineer at AWS Partner DoIT International, where he focusses on infrastructure, serverless, and security solutions. Both in his work life and in his spare time, Avi loves to help people solve challenging problems, and is an active member of many online AWS forums. He also uses his multi-certified cloud brain to help others offline too, and regularly speaks at tech meetups and conferences.
Tokyo, Japan | Community Hero | @tcsh
A true AWS Community Hero, Hirokazu has been a pillar of Japan’s AWS scene for many years. In 2014, he founded the Japan AWS User Group CLI chapter, and has hosted 165 events to date, reaching more than 4,000 people. Alongside organizing six additional JAWS-UG chapters, Hirokazu also successfully kept his user group going under challenging circumstances this year, taking the meetup from in-person to online and attracting more than 1,100 attendees across 12 events so far!
Sydney, Australia | Community Hero | @iann0036
Ian is Cloud Lead at Kablamo, and the creator of the “Former2” and “Console Recorder for AWS” projects, helping developers author Infrastructure as Code templates from existing resources. A passionate open-source enthusiast, Ian shares his expertise in automation and tooling at events, on podcasts, and on his AWS blog.
I’ve somehow snuck into a group of people way smarter than me, but I’ll take it! Thanks to everyone that’s supported me on my journey so far. ☁️🎉 https://t.co/Ia8DBdAJEl
— Ian Mckay (@iann0036) August 20, 2020
Milan, Italy | Container Hero | @jnardiello
CEO and Founder at SIGHUP, Jacopo is an automation-obsessed, machine-taming, Kubernetes super-fan. He’s also an ambassador for the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and regular speaker at events both worldwide and in his local Italian cloud community, where he runs the Kubernetes & Cloud Native Milano meetup.
Just literally got back from holiday with a blasting news 🚀🚀🚀
— Jacopo Nardiello 🇪🇺🇮🇹 (@jnardiello) August 20, 2020
Paris, France | Community Hero | @JeremieRodon
Jérémie has as many AWS certifications as cats have lives. An AWS Cloud Architect at AWS Premier Consulting Partner Devoteam Revolve, he’s an open-source fan and is passionate about automation and scripting. He’s spoken and written about subjects like AWS KMS and quantum, as well as contributing to the development of multi-threaded Python applications and a One Time Password tool that streamlines multiple OTP management when working with multiple AWS Accounts.
Bangkok, Thailand |Community Hero | medium.com/aws-user-groupBlog
As a Product Manager and Assistant Managing Director at Dailitech, Tak works with development teams to create products using AWS; something she is massively passionate about. The only thing Tak loves more than coding on AWS is helping others understand and utilize cloud technology. A leader of the 8,000-member strong AWS User Group Thailand since 2014, she’s committed to finding fun and innovative ways to explain AWS services to both tech professionals and cloud novices alike. Tak is a leader of the AWS Asian Women’s Association.
Athens, Greece | Machine Learning Hero | @siaterliskonsta
In his role as Head of Data Engineering Orfium, Konstantinos focusses on the adoption of AWS services, developing machine learning-powered data services, and implementing new data infrastructure. He’s also the co-organizer of AWS User Group Greece, and blogs about data science and AWS for TheLastDev.
I am honored to be a part of the #AWS ML Hero team! Congratulations to all new members!
— Siaterlis Kostas (@siaterliskonsta) August 20, 2020
Taichung City, Taiwan | Container Hero | @k2r2bai
By day, Kyle is a Site Reliability Engineer at MaiCoin, where he specializes in optimizing the performance and security of containerized apps. But he’s also a dedicated open-source project author, passionate about cloud-native infrastructure. An active member of the Cloud Native Taiwan User Group since 2017, Kyle is now a co-organizer, and regularly delivers talks at events like AWS re:Invent re:Cap Taipei, AWS Summit Taipei, AWS Developer Year-end Meetup Taipei, and AWS Taiwan User Group.
Shanghai, China | Community Hero | @danielglh
One of China’s OG AWS users, Linghui is VP of Engineering at SaaS startup Strikingly, Inc. He lead on evolving their architecture on AWS, which helped Strikingly fast-track its development. Linghui has a wealth of experience with all kinds of AWS products; this knowledge has helped build the company’s ability to deliver its services. He spoke about this success at AWS re:Invent 2018 and has twice presented at AWS Summit Beijing.
Milan, Italy | Serverless Hero | @bianchiluca
Serverless Hero Luca is CTO at AWS ISV Neosperience, where he has taken a serverless-first approach to developing cloud solutions. Luca has worked with AWS for a decade, and in that time he’s built a whole host of products that support apps in the big data, IoT, and machine learning spaces. A passionate and always helpful member of the serverless community, Luca authors blogs on Medium on the subject, as well as appearing regularly at user groups and events. He’s also the co-founder of Serverless Meetup Italy and co-organizer of ServerlessDays Milano and ServerlessDays Italy.
It’s a great honor to have been appointed AWS Serverless Hero today. I’ll have the privilege to join a group of skilled professionals and work with them to empower people building the next wave of cloud-native applications.https://t.co/GbMtM26ASN
— Luca Bianchi – #AWS Serverless Hero (@bianchiluca) August 20, 2020
Lyon, France | Serverless Hero | @matthieunapoli
Matthieu is a Software Engineer who’s dedicated to making serverless technology available to everyone. As part of his commitment to democratizing serverless, he spends a lot of time maintaining open-source projects like Bref, a framework which helps users develop serverless PHP apps on AWS. Matthieu also shares his knowledge through his monthly serverless newsletter, speaks at conferences, creates online courses, and trains teams on the benefits of using serverless.
I’m an AWS serverless hero 🎉https://t.co/XHTh1P5n5O Not sure if I get a cape but I can work in underwear now right?
In all seriousness, I’m really happy! It also feels good for https://t.co/XGDaJ4UNmJ and its growing community!
Serverless PHP is here and it’s real 💪
— Matthieu Napoli (@matthieunapoli) August 20, 2020
Brisbane, Australia | Machine Learning Hero | @mikegchambers
Mike is an independent trainer who spends his time helping others get to grips with AWS and machine learning. One of the first AWS certified professionals in the world, Mike has disseminated his cloud know-how to more than a quarter of a million students! A prominent advocate for AWS machine learning services, Mike shares his passion for the subject at user groups, AWS Meetups, and events around the world, and creates educational social media content that often features Lego and/or robots. What’s not to like?
Raleigh-Durham, USA | Machine Learning Hero | noahgift.com
Noah is the founder of Pragmatic A.I. Labs, a globetrotting university lecturer, an accomplished technical author, and a Machine Learning evangelist. As well as lecturing on cloud computing at top universities, he also designs graduate machine learning, MLOps, A.I., and data science courses, as well as providing consultation on machine learning and cloud architecture for AWS. His many books include Pragmatic AI, Python for DevOps, and Cloud Computing for Data Analysis.
Berlin, Germany | Machine Learning Hero | @elesinOlalekan
Olalekan is aData Platform Tech Lead at HRS Group, where he works to deliver AWS data solutions. A born engineer, he loves solving problems, especially using tools like AWS SageMaker. He also shares his knowledge with the world through regular talks and blog posts—he even coined a new term: CD4AutoML, short for Continuous Delivery for AutoML!
Sydney, Australia | Serverless Hero | @petehanssens
Peter is a Founder and Solutions Architect at Cloud Shuttle, and a huge part of the Sydney serverless community. Over the past three years, he’s helped to develop data engineering societies in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, as part of his drive to help those in the cloud space learn from each other and develop their careers. Peter also organized Australia’s first-ever ServerlessDays in 2019, and later ran AWS Serverless Community Day ANZ, ServerlessDays ANZ, and DataEngBytes.
It’s a real honor and privilege to be welcomed into the #AWS #Heroes program – it wouldn’t have happened without the awesome support of @web_goddess Kim Bonilla and @sbarski so thank you so much for being great leaders and community advocates – you are my heroes! https://t.co/Bn6zruQMwH
— Peter Hanssens (@petehanssens) August 20, 2020
Beijing, China | Container Hero | github.com/malphi
Ruofei is a Principal Software Engineer for FreeWheel Inc. In this role, he’s responsible for developing cloud-native applications using AWS container services like Amazon EKS and AWS App Mesh. He’s also an author, having published Istio in Practice in 2019, and is a lecturer for China’s biggest IT knowledge-sharing platform. He enthusiastically advocates for mesh technologies in the tech community, and is a committee member of the largest service mesh community in China, and regularly shares his best practices via blog posts.
London, UK | Serverless Hero | @sheenbrisals
Of this new batch of Heroes, Serverless Hero Sheen might be able to lay claim to having the coolest job as a Senior Engineering Manager at The LEGO Group. Having started his engineering career almost 30 years ago, Sheen has built a wealth of knowledge that he loves to keep up-to-date and share with others. As part of his role at The LEGO Group, Sheen also guides and coaches fellow engineers and helps with career development. He’s also a major player in the global serverless community, and can often be spotted delivering talks at events, or sharing serverless tips and adoption strategies through his Medium blog.
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Chennai, India | Data Hero | @Sridevijms21
Sridevi is a Data Hero and developer with more than 16 years of IT experience. As a Spark and AWS certified Senior Cloud Architect at Agilisium Consulting, she focuses on delivering big data and analytics solutions to help customers do more with their data. She’s also an active part of Chennai’s AWS community, co-organizing User Groups, hosting and delivering Developer Days and Meetups, and speaking at a huge range of events on all things AWS Analytics. Sridevi is a huge advocate for diversity and inclusion, and is passionate about empowering female technologists to build successful careers in AWS. In recognition of this critical work, she was selected to receive an AWS re:Invent Community Leader Diversity Grant in 2019.
Lisbon, Portugal | Data Hero | @StephaneMaarek
Stéphane is a 9x AWS Certified Solutions Architect and Developer Associate who is dedicated to helping others learn AWS skills through his extensive online courses. (Eagled-eyed blog readers might recognize him from our AWS training resources post!) His 31 AWS courses are among the bestselling on Udemy; he’s helped hundreds of thousands of budding AWS users and professionals land their own AWS certifications and expand their cloud knowledge. As well as being an evangelist for AWS learning and development, Stéphane is also passionate about Apache Kafka, and recently joined forces with AWS to deliver a comprehensive course on Amazon MSK.
Boston, USA | Serverless Hero | @tmclaughbos
Cloud infrastructure and operations engineer. Blogger. Author. Cat dad. Tom is all of these things. He’s also an early tech adopter and serverless specialist who has recently been focussing on mentoring teams new to AWS, and helping them to get to grips with all the opportunities and benefits the platform can bring. Check out his excellent thread about his AWS Hero journey 👇🏻
I’m really honored by this. And I think it’s a great time to talk about how I got here.
Some folks may have noticed I disappeared from the tech world for a period. This is about what happened and how I recovered.
Going to talk about mental health. 🧵https://t.co/WoaVjZRlFk
— Tom McLaughlin (@tmclaughbos) August 21, 2020
A new round of outstanding AWS professionals has been added to the hallowed roster of AWS Heroes.
AWS unveiled its latest picks this week, bestowing 25 new cloud superstars with the AWS Hero title, including the first-ever Heroes from France and South Africa.
The AWS Hero program seeks to recognize AWS professionals and enthusiasts who share knowledge, support their communities, and go above and beyond to help others in the AWS space.
Heroes are added to the roll every quarter, with additional categories being added all the time to better reflect the specialisms emerging within the ecosystem. In the May 2020 update, new Heroes have been named across all AWS Hero categories, including Community, Container, Machine Learning, Data, Serverless, and IoT.
Ross Barich, Senior Developer Community Manager at AWS, made the announcement on the AWS blog, citing the work that AWS Heroes have done during this challenging past quarter to help their communities.
“Communities are now more important than ever,” said Barich. “Members of local communities look to their leaders to provide guidance and mentorship on how to build AWS skills, solve technical problems, and grow their careers.
“Traditionally this AWS knowledge and community support is shared in many ways including via social media, blogs, open source projects, or by presenting at events or Meetups. More recently leaders are working to keep communities connected and supporting each other during challenging times.”
Let’s meet the brand new group of AWS Heroes.
Raleigh, USA | Community Hero | @PhilAbdoulaye
The founder of AWS consultancy ITaaSNow and a specialist in helping businesses leverage the cloud, Philippe works to guide companies through the transformation of their IT infrastructure using AWS. He’s even developed new architecture frameworks to speed up AWS infrastructure design and implementation. An accomplished speaker, Philippe is also the author of seven books and more than 100 articles on AWS, DevOps, and digital transformation.
Pune, India | Machine Learning Hero | @Jayesh_Ahire1
Jayesh is a Machine Learner researcher and developer, and a hugely active member of the AWS community. The leader of no less than four tech user groups, he’s a regular speaker at conferences and meet-ups and has written countless blogs and books on neural networks, reinforcement learning, blockchain, and simulation.
Glad to be the part of @awscloud community! It will surely be more fun with new AWS Machine Learning Hero tag! 😊
Thanks @RashmiNbr , @_sumand , @rohini_gaonkar and #awsugindia family for support! @AwsPune @AWSUserGroups https://t.co/F4JuwntiAa
— Jayesh Ahire @ 🏡👨💻 (@Jayesh_Ahire1) May 27, 2020
Chennai, India | Community Hero | @bs_partha
An AWS user since 2013, Partha is a Cloud Solution Architect at 8K Miles and a holder of both the AWS Certified Solution Architect Professional and Certified Security Specialty certifications. Two years ago, he founded AWS User Group Chennai, which has since grown to almost 3,000 active members, and organizes many other user groups and meet-ups both on and offline.
I’m greatly honored and excited to be recognised by @awscloud as an AWS Community Hero!!
Thank you @RashmiNbr @_sumand @danilop @adhorn @madhushekar23 @rossbarich @rohini_gaonkar for your support!!#awsugindia #AWSCommunity @awsugchn https://t.co/W8Jgc1VtAI
— Parthasarathi B (@bs_partha) May 27, 2020
Denver, USA | Data Hero | @mattbonig
Specializing in boosting productivity and improving the software lifecycle with serverless, Matthew is a consultant at Defiance Digital. An expert in DynamoDB, AWS Cloud Development Kit, AWS API Gateway, and AWS Lambda, Matthew is a regular face at data and tech events and led several official DynamoDB builder’s sessions at last year’s re:Invent.
About a year in the making with some setbacks along the way, but very happy to say I’m now an AWS Data Hero. Lots of great people doing wonderful things for the AWS community. Glad to be here.https://t.co/fQMapwase0
— Matthew Bonig (@mattbonig) May 27, 2020
Johannesburg, South Africa | Community Hero | @Vel12171
Meet Africa’s first-ever female AWS Hero. A two-time certified AWS Cloud Engineer, Veliswa works with developer teams to create cloud migration strategies and architecture designs for businesses in the Financial Services sector. A member of the Indoni Developers, a platform for African women working in tech, Veliswa is passionate about supporting those who are taking their first steps into the world of AWS. She regularly shares her knowledge and experiences through her work as a mentor, blogger, and speaker at events such as the first-ever AWS Community Day Cape Town.
‘Still taking this in. What an incredible honor! First woman in Africa to be named AWS Hero! Thank you @rossbarich @awscloud #awscommunity . Big congrats to the other heroes named here as well , especially my homie @der_rehan 😊 https://t.co/vH3JAZHRg7
— Veliswa_Boya🇿🇦 (@Vel12171) May 27, 2020
Toronto, Canada | Community Hero | @andrewbrown
As the co-founder of ExamPro, Andrew Brown works to help budding AWS professionals pass their certification exams with flying colors. Committed to making cloud knowledge accessible, he publishes free and ad-free training video courses on freeCodeCamp and also mentors people looking to kick start their careers in the cloud space. A top author for DEV, Andrew is also a regular at AWS Toronto User Group events.
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Seoul, Korea | Serverless Hero | novemberde.github.io
The leader of the AWSKRUG Serverless Group and a Software Engineer, Kyuhyun is a serverless specialist who enjoys using tools like AWS Lambda and AWS Glue to build real-time services and data pipelines. He’s appeared at several tech conferences and regularly leads talks and hands-on labs at local user groups.
Berkeley Heights, USA | Data Hero | linkedin.com
An expert in all things data-related, Elliott is dedicated to helping businesses turn raw data into powerful insights. Utilizing the AWS platform, he’s built almost a dozen cloud-based data solutions for companies of all shapes and sizes. His work at Equinox Fitness, which saw him create a complete data infrastructure on AWS, has become an impressive case study and has appeared on both AWS and Equinox’s blogs and wash the subject of presentations at re:Invent.
Kolkata, India | Container Hero | @techie_sandy
Sandip is a Senior Cloud Solutions Architect and DevOps Engineer at Gryphon Online Safety, among others, where he focuses on creating innovative solutions using AWS. An experienced container pro, Sandip specializes in developing and optimizing containerized solutions using AWS containerization tools like ECS, EKS, and Fargate. A fountain of knowledge and resource for the container community, he blogs about AWS, Docker, Kubernetes, programming and more, as well as creating video tutorials on YouTube to help others get to grips with containerization.
Honored and super excited to announce that I become AWS Container Hero 😃https://t.co/MTXNBeuPDc#aws #container #awscontainerhero #amazonwebservices #cloud #docker #Kubernetes pic.twitter.com/DPxVBDXv73
— Sandip Das (@techie_sandy) May 28, 2020
San Jose, USA | Machine Learning Hero | ryfeus.io
As a Machine Learning Engineer at Instrumental, Rustem specializes in developing smart analytical models for the manufacturing sector. He’s authored a number of online courses on deep learning and is the creator of many popular Github repositories on using AWS for deep learning apps.
Osaka, Japan | Community Hero | @hiro_baila
Currently Customer Marketing Manager at DigitalCube, Hiromi is a pillar of Japan’s AWS community. As well as helping run the Japanese AWS User Group, she’s also been instrumental in the formation of a women’s AWS group, and in supporting regional community groups. Last year, she created AWS Asian Women’s Association which hosts events and online meetups across Asia, and was the recipient of the 2019 AWS re:Invent Community Leader Diversity Grant.
I woke up with big news from the morning. Selected as AWS Community Hero🎉 I really appreciate it. I want to say thank you to everyone. I would like to take further action not to be ashamed of this. #AWSCommunity @AWSUserGroups @awscloud https://t.co/rak0HFa6T5
— Hiromi Ito💫🌎Go to Jamstack@Shifter Headless (@hiro_baila) May 27, 2020
Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Community Hero | @zamirajaupaj
As a Solution Architect at Mobiquity, Zamira helps businesses implement complex AWS solutions, including containers, serverless, and data analytics, and gets them started on the road to digital transformation. She’s also the founder of AWS Meetup Albania and the co-organizer of AWS Meetup Netherlands, as well as a technical author and regular speaker at global tech events.
Seoul, Korea | Machine Learning Hero | @gogamza
Heewon Jeon is an Applied Scientist at SK Telecom, and an active member of the Distributed Machine Learning Community, through which he contributes to GluonNLP and develops NLP open source projects in his spare time. He’s worked on machine learning projects in partnership with AWS internal teams, and is also an author, contributing many articles on model training and distribution for the AWS Korea blog.
Seoul, Korea | Community Hero | linkedin.com
As Manager of Megazone Cloud’s Commercial Technology Center Solutions Architect team, Hyunmin Kim has spent the past three years working with businesses to create new experiences using AWS. A leading member of the Gangnam tech community, he helps organize and presents at the AWSKRUG Gangnam and the AWSKRUG Container Groups.
Lyon, France | Container Hero | @pascal_martin
Container expert Pascal is a DevOps Lead at Bedrock, where his work has seen him move an entire video streaming platform to AWS using Kubernetes containers. Pascal is passionate about sharing knowledge and regularly writes about his experiences on his blog. He’s also hosted talks on resiliency, cloud, and containerization at many tech conferences across Europe.
Tokyo, Japan | IoT Hero | @ma2shita
An expert on all things IoT, Kohei is a leader in the space; as Technology Evangelist at SORACOM, he produces and delivers over 140 seminars and training sessions across Japan every year. His videos, blogs, and books on IoT technology are widely referenced in the IoT community, and he’s also an active participant in the Japan AWS User Group.
Istanbul, Turkey | Serverless Hero | @serkan_ozal
Serkan is the CTO and founder of serverless-centric security and monitoring solution Thundra. A regular blogger and speaker, he often publishes his work as open source tools and libraries to help others, and can also be found moderating at serverless workshops.
— Serkan Özal (@serkan_ozal) May 27, 2020
Orange County, USA | Data Hero | @JayPalaniappan
Jayaraman is Head of Cloud Practice at Agilisium, where he focuses on building data analytics solutions for customers using AWS big data services. He’s well known for conducting webinars, immersion days, and community days to spread the word about the benefits of AWS data tools both internally at Agilisium and independently.
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São Paulo, Brazil | Community Hero | @mfpalladino
A six-time AWS certified professional, Marcelo is a Senior Software Engineer at Hi Platform and specializes in using his two decades IT experience to deliver cloud-based systems for customers. As a regular speaker and co-organizer of the AWS User Group São Paulo and AWS Community Day Brazil, Marcelo is dedicated to positively impacting his community by sharing his cloud knowledge.
Newport, USA | Container Hero | linkedin.com
In his role as Director of Cloud Platform architecture at Fidelity Investments, Rajarajan works toward the development of next-gen model cloud-native platforms on AmazonEKS to help enterprises run their mission-critical workloads. A previous speaker at KubeCon, he’s also a GitHub enthusiast and has been pivotal in helping get various open-source projects up to production standard.
Copenhagen, Denmark | Machine Learning Hero | cosminsanda.com
Cosmin is passionate about combining data engineering with data science to create scalable, resilient data tools. With his tutorials, best practices, and step-by-step guides to delivering working applications, Cosmin is dedicated to sharing valuable experience and information with the machine learning community. He also runs the Copenhagen Apache MXNet and provides support to others seeking to do more with data.
Hangzhou, China | Community Hero | @Bruce51938973
As the Hybrid Cloud Team Leader of NetEase Games, Bruce utilizes AWS network services such as VPC, Direct Connect, and Global Accelerator to deliver a complex hybrid network architecture that serves the company’s global gaming services. Committed to sharing his experiences helping his company innovate faster, Bruce has participated in events like re:Invent and AWS Game Tech Days.
Washington D.C., USA | Data Hero | linkedin.com
A specialist in data warehousing and analytics, Amy is a Data Engineering Manager at Fannie Mae. She has previously delivered sessions on data warehousing at re:Invent and AWS Public Sector Summit, and is passionate about exploring new developments in technology. An advocate for women in tech, Amy also regularly presents at local meet-ups for Women in Technology to help encourage more female professionals to get into the big data space.
Pretoria, South Africa | Community Hero | @der_rehan
A three-time AWS certified Developer, Architect and all-round AWS enthusiast, Rehan specializes in serverless solutions, and is passionate about architecting big data and microservices. A keen blogger and regular go-to for help on the AWS slack channels, Rehan is always ready and willing to share his knowledge with others in the AWS space.
Never would have guessed it, must be doing something right? Honored to be part of the AWS Heroes group! https://t.co/2Fkb8h9IAV
— Rehan van der Merwe (@der_rehan) May 27, 2020
Munich, Germany | IoT Hero | linkedin.com
Artem is a Staff Application Engineer at Infineon’s Digital Security Solutions division, where he evangelizes open source software and shares his zeal for embedded security and IoT. He primarily concentrates on FreeRTOS and hardware security usage in FreeRTOS and with AWS IoT, and is devoted to ensuring security best practices are accessible to everyone.
Last month, AWS announced a brand new category in their AWS Hero program—IoT Heroes.
Since 2014, the AWS Heroes program has been highlighting and celebrating the work of passionate AWS experts and evangelists across the world, who use their knowledge to support the development of others in the AWS community.
Over the past few years, AWS has added new sub-groups to its AWS Heroes program to better reflect the mounting number of specialisms found in the cloud space.
In February 2020, AWS revealed the first-ever IoT Heroes, who joined a rapidly growing stable of Community Heroes, Container Heroes, Data Heroes, Machine Learning Heroes, and Serverless Heroes.
The IoT Hero category was created to recognize the input of leading IoT technologists “who passionately drive the growth and success of the embedded, cloud, and analytics community.”
The IoT Heroes were chosen by AWS for their dedication to helping IoT enthusiasts of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels develop innovative IoT solutions, either through creating and sharing open-source code, writing technical content, or contributing to user groups and conferences.
Let’s meet these fantastic pioneers of the IoT world.
Portland, OR | Website
An electronic hobbyist who loves nothing more than sharing his enthusiasm with other IoT aficionados, Stephen is well-known for democratizing IoT and embedded systems, working to make the technology understandable and accessible to people of all skill levels. His time as an IoT Engineer has seen Stephen tackling the development of tech such as microcontroller units and field-programmable gate arrays. Today, he mostly focuses on AWS IoT and device-to-cloud integration projects.
Stephen is a prolific knowledge-sharer, authoring community IoT projects and creating and publishing online learning content and tutorials on platforms like YouTube, Udemy, and Hackster.io. His learning materials are essential reading for professional developers, those looking to use AWS IoT to create business solutions and for budding, entry-level IoT enthusiasts.
As if that wasn’t enough, Stephen is also the founder of the Digital Design meetup group, which hosts regular meetings to deliver hands-on IoT training in Portland. Keep your eyes peeled for Stephen’s new course, Serverless IoT on AWS, which is due for release later this month!
Bali | LinkedIn
Independent Embedded Software Developer Hein is a talented software developer specializing in embedded applications. He also has a knack for developing web-connected audio devices. This IoT wizard has more than 17 years’ experience in the field and is lauded for his contributions to the FreeRTOS community.
A fervent super-committer to the FreeRTOS project, Hein’s been using his wealth of technical know-how to help create solutions and share them with others for the past eight years, driving adoption and supporting the work of embedded developers in the process. Earlier in his career, Hein trained in cognitive science and AI before discovering his passion for embedded development. He got his start in the field of IoT working with Microprocessor Units and writing medical applications on Linux. He was later introduced to the world of MCUs on FreeRTOS.
Phildephia, PA | @doncoleman
As Chief Innovation Officer at Philadelphia’s Chariot Solutions, Don builds software on the foundations of AWS services. Not only does Don work to reinvent existing technology and pave the way for the products of tomorrow, but he also uses his experience with IoT projects to share his expertise and help others employ AWS to solve their IoT challenges.
Don is a regular speaker at tech events and user groups, spreading his knowledge about technology like NFC, Bluetooth Low Energy, and LoRaWAN. An author and instructor, as well as an accomplished speaker, Don teaches IoT skills to graduates as part of NYU’s ITP program in Brooklyn and has co-written a number of books, including Beginning NFC and Make: Bluetooth.
Perth, Australia | @nathangloverAUS
Based in Perth, Western Australia, Nathan is a DevOps Consultant at Mechanical Rock. Throughout his time in the IoT space, Nathan has also worked as a Hardware Systems Designer and Embedded Developer, helping developers to get ideas to market faster by improving testing and deployment processes.
Nathan is a Cloud Native architecture nut, and regularly shares details of his successes and his lessons learned with fellow enthusiasts on his blog. Committed to removing obstacles to learning by showcasing practical examples of what can be done with cloud services, Nathan has published several online courses to help budding cloud pros get to grips with Amazon Alexa Skills and AWS IoT.
Nathan’s passion for all things cutting-edge tech is near-boundless: when he’s not writing about IoT or teaching others, he can be found building IoT-enabled toasters, developing embedded systems vehicle tracking, competing in online security events, and acting as Technical Director for his local animal shelter where he’s utilized AWS tools to improve form processing systems.
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