Certified Professional of the Year
Since 2006, Red Hat has recognized Red Hat® Certified Professionals who demonstrate ingenuity, hard work, and expertise. The winner of the award is recognized each year at Red Hat Summit, the premier open source technology event.
Submissions are closed for 2023
Thank you to those who submitted nominations!
The winner will be announced at Red Hat Summit 2023.
About the award
Red Hat certifications help system administrators, application developers, and IT architects advance their careers, as the past winners of our Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year award have proven.
Celebrating Red Hat certified professionals
During the open nomination period, Red Hat Certified Professionals (RHCPs) may fill out an application in order to apply on their own behalf, or they may be nominated for the award by a customer, team member, employer, or Red Hat employee. If nominated, the RHCP will be asked to fill out a questionnaire. The award is presented to the RHCP nominee with the most outstanding submission.
How does the Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year Award work?
What are we looking for in a submission? Our judges want to see specifics about how Red Hat technology impacted efficiency and innovation while having a tangible effect on business outcomes. Your submission should reflect your personality and character, as well as include examples of how Red Hat–certified skills have helped you or your nominee:
- Succeed in your or their current job using Red Hat solutions.
- Enhance your or their company's or customers' IT environments using Red Hat solutions.
- Improve your or their company's or customers' system performance.
- Increase your or their company's or customers' system security using Red Hat solutions.
- Deliver results to your or their organization using Red Hat solutions.
What does the winner receive?
The Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year winner may receive:
- Recognition during Red Hat Summit 2023
- Video spotlight in a Red Hat success story video
- Award: Receive a Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year trophy and Red Hat fedora
- Red Hat press coverage with a featured mention in the Red Hat Certified Professional Award press release
- Promotion features on the Red Hat website, social media, blog, and in the Red Hat Training and Certification newsletter
- Digital Badge: Receive a Red Hat Certified Professional of the year digital badge that can be shared on social media, or embeded in your resume. Sharing Red Hat-issued digital badges is the appropriate way to display Red Hat Digital Credentialing Program-supported achievements on social media, on the web and in other digital settings
- Special certification logo use: Receive a Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year logo that can be used on business cards
- 1-year subscription to Red Hat Learning Subscription (Premium) (value: $8,000)
- Additional speaking opportunities
- Additional prizes may be awarded at the judges' discretion.
- September 14, 2022: Award submission period begins
- November 30, 2022: Submission period ends
- 2023: Winner will be announced as part of Red Hat Summit 2023
Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year Award judges:
Senior Director, Global Learning Services Sales and Delivery, Red Hat
Randolph R. Russell, Red Hat Certified Architect
Director of certification, Red Hat
Meet this year's winner
Congratulations to Neil D’Souza, a Senior Site Reliability Engineer at ServiceNow. He holds 8 Red Hat certifications, including Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) in Infrastructure.
2022 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year
Through Neil’s studies using Red Hat Learning Subscription, he was able to achieve his RHCA certification within a single year. Neil gained valuable skills in automation using Red Hat Ansible® Automation Platform and stayed on the cusp of evolving technologies like Red Hat OpenShift®, becoming a champion of Red Hat products. Neil is dedicated to creating highly reliable software systems, using technology to solve day-to-day problems, and pursuing lifelong learning in order to make a positive impact in his organization and around the world.
We congratulate and recognize all Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year Award recipients over the years. We would like to share some of the great work these professionals are doing that earned them this designation.
2021: Christian Sandrini
2021 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year: Christian Sandrini
The winner, Christian Sandrini, holds 12 Red Hat certifications—including Red Hat Certified Architect in Infrastructure Level V. As a Senior Solutions Architect, he has led cultural change initiatives by introducing Red Hat® Ansible® Automation Platform and implementing Red Hat OpenShift®. In pursuit of continuous improvement, Christian works closely with our training, certification, consulting, and technical account management teams to learn about Red Hat technologies that can streamline processes and transform how his teams approach work.
2020: Fabrice Harbulot
2020 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year: Fabrice Harbulot
The winner, Fabrice Harbulot, holds 14 different Red Hat certifications, including Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA®) in Infrastructure Level VII. He is most proud of the RHCA credential, which represents Red Hat’s highest level of certification. "Becoming a Red Hat Certified Architect was the defining moment in my career," he said. Fabrice has developed skills and experience in cloud, DevOps, security, and high-availability systems. He has put that knowledge to work as a senior Linux systems engineer and technical leader with IBM, as well as a Linux administrator for Steria and Canal+ Group.
2019: Jason Hiatt
2019 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year: Jason Hiatt
The winner, Jason Hiatt, has been an evangelist for Red Hat technologies for a number of teams at OneMain Financial, where he is lead infrastructure developer. He has earned both Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE®) and Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA®) credentials, using a Red Hat Learning Subscription to continually expand his skill set. As both developer and administrator, Jason focuses on ensuring that applications can be written and launched quickly and easily. He molds existing technologies into offerings that are specifically geared toward helping partners and customers achieve success.
2018: Neha Sandhu
2018 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year: Neha Sandhu
The winner, Neha Sandhu, has led initiatives to introduce new technologies and processes at Spark New Zealand Ltd., the largest telco in New Zealand. As our first female winner, 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.
2017: Orhan Biyiklioğlu
2017 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year: Orhan Bıyıklıoğlu
The winner, Mr. Bıyıklıoğlu (RHCE®), (RHCSA®) has been working as a systems administrators at Turkcell for the last 10 years. Turkcell is one of the largest telecom operators in Europe. Orhan was responsible for introducing Red Hat technologies within Turkcell. He attributes his success to the skills gained through Red Hat training and certification. Turkcell achieved cost savings in servers, space, power, and cooling. The success of his projects changed the image of Linux® in Turkcell. They have been migrating almost all of their workloads from UNIX to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. He more recently deployed Red Hat OpenStack® Platform and had the chance to present their success at OpenStack Summit Europe 2016.
2016: Felipe Ceballos
2016 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year: Felipe Ceballos
Mr. Ceballos has worked with Linux technology since 2014 and is a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) with Red Hat certifications in virtualization, clustering, OpenStack, and Satellite. He mastered several Red Hat products and, as a result, has created and deployed scalable, high-availability solutions in numerous customers’ environments. He is in the process of becoming a Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA). He is currently the technology leader at SEAQ Servicios, a leading company focused on deploying open source solutions in Colombia and throughout Latin America
2015: Carl Thompson
2015 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year: Carl Thompson
The Red Hat Certification program is pleased to announce that Carl Thompson, principal architect at Rackspace, has been named the 2015 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year. The award honors a Red Hat Certified Professional who demonstrates ingenuity, hard work, and expertise. The award was presented to Thompson in June in Boston at Red Hat Summit 2015.
Carl was recognized for his thought leadership, problem-solving skills, and innovation—traits that enabled him to use his status as a Red Hat Certified Architect to design a unique Red Hat Satellite infrastructure at Rackspace. Red Hat Satellite provides an easy-to-use system management platform that helps Rackspace keep their Red Hat systems running efficiently and securely. Rackspace manages more than 40,000 globally distributed Red Hat Enterprise Linux® systems. Thompson devised a Red Hat Satellite environment that makes it easier to manage this extensive array with minimal downtime.
In addition, Thompson wrote a complete remote procedure call API to the Red Hat Network portal. Portal access enables Rackspace support engineers to useRed Hat Satellite more flexibly and automate tasks such as new server registration, patch deployment, and rolling point upgrades. This has reduced the time it takes to deliver servers to customers.
For the last 16 years, the Red Hat Certification program has had a single, important goal of building and validating skills through a program with rigorous, hands-on, performance-based testing. Our certifications help system administrators, application developers, and IT architects advance their careers. Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE), and all the programs that followed, establish benchmarks for what an IT professional should know when using Red Hat technology.
2014: Jorge Juarez Acevedo
2014 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year: Jorge Juarez Acevedo
Mr. Acevedo conducted several key projects as the IT manager at Banco Azteca in Mexico. Banco Azteca operates in Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, El Salvador, and Brazil and it is one of the largest banks in Mexico in terms of coverage, with more than 6.8 million savings accounts. Mr. Acevedo uses his Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE), Red Hat Certified Virtualization Administrator (RHCVA), and Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist (RHCDS) certification skills to make better use of Red Hat solutions and add more value to Banco Azteca's business.
Mr. Acevedo was first introduced to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 years ago while seeking platform standardization for multiple existing platforms. The main challenge was to migrate from different UNIX operating systems to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, bringing tangible benefits to the day to day operation. Additionally, he migrated the disparate application server technologies to Red Hat JBoss® Enterprise Application Platform. Another successful project was the migration of their authentication platform to Red Hat Directory Server.
2013: Rafael Guimaraes
2013 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year: Rafael Guimaraes
Mr. Guimaraes conducted several key projects at Petrobras - Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. that required his Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) and Red Hat JBoss Certified Application Administrator (RHCJA) skills. The projects enhanced IT services that significantly reduced the time spent installing new Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems. He combined his RHCE skills with PHP programming to develop an environment that provides collaborative remote 3-D Linux sessions. Additionally, Rafael shared with the Red Hat certification and curriculum teams how he applied his JBoss Certified Application Administrator skills to create a secure, optimized, and efficient JBoss installation.
Winning the Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year means a lot to me because it recognizes all of the effort I've put in. It inspires me to work hard and take more Red Hat Certification exams, especially in OpenShift.