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Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst announced this year’s Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year during his opening keynote at Red Hat Summit.  I wanted to share more about this program, our winner and this year’s runner-up.


What is a Red Hat Certified Professional?

A Red Hat Certified Professional is someone who has earned one or more of the two dozen or so Red Hat certifications offered by Red Hat.  Red Hat Certified Professionals are much sought after by industry, and for good reason: all Red Hat certification exams are 100% performance-based.  When someone says they are Red Hat Certified or have it on their resume, hiring managers and recruiters can have confidence that the individual has the skills and knowledge recommended by Red Hat.  IDC recently interviewed organizations across multiple industries with employees who have earned Red Hat certifications to learn about the impact these people have on team and operational efficiencies. IDC found that these companies realize significant productivity gains and improved operational efficiencies—including greater productivity in the number of servers managed, faster problem resolution, and less downtime. IDC learned that while training itself is important, certification provided additional benefits by ensuring people had acquired the skills needed to use Red Hat technologies effectively.  Furthermore, IDC found that certified employees ramp up faster, stay longer, and perform better on the job.


What does it take to become the Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year?

Over the years Red Hat has recognized Red Hat Certified Professionals who demonstrate ingenuity, hard work, and expertise using Red Hat technologies. To win the award a Red Hat Certified Professional must have a Red Hat certification that is current.   IT professionals can nominate themselves for the award or can be nominated by someone else. We accept detailed submissions from nominees and others about important projects and their contributions.


Why do we offer this award?

We offer this award every year to generate awareness and interest in the certification program so that organizations can see the benefits that Red Hat Certified Professionals provide.  Open Source is a community approach to technology and in order for it to work we must share our ideas, failures and successes. We can learn from the stories our Red Hat Certified Professionals have to share.  As the Red Hat Certification program marketing manager I find it rewarding and inspiring to learn first hand how Red Hat’s technology, training and certification are impacting organizations and their customers worldwide.  By highlighting the success of exceptional IT professionals, we hope that others are similarly inspired.


Neha Sandhu: 2018 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year

The winner, Neha Sandhu, has led initiatives to introduce new technologies and processes at Spark New Zealand Ltd., the largest telco in New Zealand. She has taken advantage of a Red Hat Learning Subscription to build the knowledge necessary to spur Spark’s transition to DevOps and agile methodologies. Neha used her Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) and Red Hat Certified Systems Administrator (RHCSA) skills to build a Spark Innovation Lab on Red Hat technologies, helping the company reduce application release cycles and bring new products to launch quicker and easier. As the first woman to win this award, Neha shares, “Technology is just one language and everyone speaks the same language, be it men or women.”  


"Neha is the model of what today’s -- and tomorrow’s -- IT professional should be: always curious, always learning, always expanding skills and knowledge, always creating value by applying and sharing that knowledge." according to Randy Russell, director of Red Hat Certification.


Watch the video to hear her story.


Pranesh Medilall - 2018 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year First Runner Up

Pranesh Medilall is a Red Hat Certified Engineer. He works for rhipe, a Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider Distributor. In the last year alone, Pranesh has collaborated with 10 key partners to deliver innovative projects using Red Hat technologies. The projects span from Open Source migrations to Red Hat environments, CloudForms and JBoss successful implementations, Systems Management with Red Hat Satellite and CloudForms from POC to adoption. Pranesh uses his Red Hat Learning Subscription to gain unlimited access to courses on Red Hat technologies. He uses Red Hat Certification to demonstrate to customers his proven knowledge and expertise. He helps his customers get the most out of their Red Hat technologies. Pranesh shares with us, “Red Hat certifications are among the top and the most respected credentials in the IT sector. The certification will define your path to a successful career with deserved recognition. Red Hat certifications will put you in a strong position as you will have the necessary skills and attributes to prove your value to your colleagues, customers or prospective employer like it has for me.”


Randy Russell comments, “Pranesh brings a rare combination of technical skills, communication and business acumen to his work at rhipe.  He has been instrumental in enabling our partner channel to deliver cloud solutions to customers.”


Watch the video to hear his story.


Would you like to be the next Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year?

We will begin our search the fall of 2018. Visit this page to learn when the contest opens and to view the stories shared by our winners over the years. I am looking forward to meeting our next winner.

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