What does it take to be the Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year?
Posted on
April 24, 2017
What are the characteristics of a top Red Hat Certified Professional?

Since 2006, Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, has recognized Red Hat Certified Professionals (RHCP) who demonstrate ingenuity, hard work, and expertise. The winner of this year's award will be announced at Red Hat Summit, the premier open source technology event to be held in Boston, Mass., May 2-4.

Created in 2006, the award was originally a way to recognize an outstanding Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) at the company's annual summit. "For IT professionals, attention on the job is often a sign that something has gone wrong," said Randolph R. Russell, director of certification, Red Hat. "When things are going right no one thinks about system administrators."

"They think about them when the website is down, the mission-critical application is unavailable, or people are filing into the hallways because they cannot access their e-mail. RHCE of the Year was an opportunity to celebrate these unsung heroes — not just the award winners themselves, but the worldwide community of RHCEs."

In 2012, in recognition of expanding product lines and certification portfolios, the company adjusted the award to become the Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year (RHCP).

The award is open to all RHCPs. Individuals can nominate themselves, or be nominated by a customer, team member, employer or Red Hat associate. Judges carefully review each submission and select the winner based on how well the nominee show how their Red Hat-certified skills have helped them:

  • Succeed in their current job using Red Hat solutions
  • Enhance their company's or customers' IT environments using Red Hat solutions
  • Improve their company's or customers' system performance
  • Increase their company's or customers' system security using Red Hat solutions
  • Deliver results to their organization or customers using Red Hat solutions

While each RHCP winner has their own set of IT strengths, according to Russell, they are all "problem-solvers and pioneers, tackling big needs and challenges in their organizations." They also exhibit a willingness to assist colleagues. "We find that they are often mentors to others, sharing their skills and knowledge freely. They understand how technology ultimately must serve underlying business needs and requirements," said Russell.

In addition to a strong background working with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, past winners have also been proficient in one or more additional Red Hat technologies, such as JBoss Enterprise Application Server, Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Ansible Tower.

Being named the Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year is an impressive professional accomplishment, and a never-to-be-forgotten experience.

In a Red Hat blog post, Sean Millichamp, described how he felt to be named the 2012 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year and to attend the summit. "The whole experience is fantastic, both personally and professionally. If you've never been to the Red Hat Summit, getting the opportunity to go for free is worth it — it's a great conference! Being RHCP of the Year might help you convince your boss you really are deserving of that next promotion or help your resume stand out next time you are in the job market. Best of all, it's a great way to meet some amazing folks in Red Hat's Training and Certification program and others throughout Red Hat."

In addition to a stylish red fedora, the Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year winner receives a host of career enhancing perks, including:

  • One complimentary pass to the Red Hat Summit, including airfare and three nights of hotel accommodations
  • Recognition at the Red Hat Summit reception for Red Hat Certified Professionals
  • A featured mention in the Red Hat Certified Professional Award press release
  • Promotion of their story on the Red Hat website, blog, and the Red Hat Training and Certification newsletter
  • Recognition in a Red Hat success story video
  • A RHCP of the Year logo to use on business cards or social media profiles

Award winners aren't the only ones benefiting. Red Hat believes strongly in supporting their people and recognizing their accomplishments. Just being nominated is a significant achievement. Each nomination is impressive and helps the company stay abreast of the creative ways in which their tech is being utilized. "We get insight into how Red Hat technologies are being used and benefiting our customers," said Russell. "It gives us a way to showcase the certification program and the difference skilled and proven IT professionals can make."

About the Author

Calvin Harper is a former associate editor of Certification Magazine and a veteran of the publishing industry.

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