It's that time of the year again, the time when we all decide which individuals have done the best at being awesome in various realms of endeavor and expertise. Sports Illustrated has a Sportsperson of the Year. (This year it's basketballer LeBron James; last year it was tennis champ Serena Williams.) Time magazine has a Person of the Year. (Last year's honoree was German chancellor Angela Merkel; the smart money this year is probably on incoming POTUS Donald J. Trump.)
Red Hat Certification has a Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year. Last year it was Felipe Ceballos of Colombian IT services firm SEAQ Servicios. This year it's TBD. And if you have a Red Hat certification and you're awesome, then TBD might just be a placeholder for Y-O-U. Why not, right? Just having a Red Hat certification in the first place probably means that you possess an unusual degree of IT fortitude. And your professional colleagues are probably as likely to nominate you as any other RHCP of their acquaintance.
In 2016 (what's left of it), however, you don't have to just wait around and hope to get lucky. Because while you certainly could be nice to everyone, flaunt your certification a bit, and hope to be catch lightning in a bottle, there is a more direct path to gaining select recognition as the Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year for 2017. Sure, the esteem of your peers is great and all, but why take chances? If you want to be the Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year, then start acting like it!
Write yourself in.
That's right. The nomination process is also an application process. So if you're worried at all that you might be flying just a bit too far under the radar, then you can take the metaphorical bull of becoming the Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year by the horns. If you're awesome and you know it, then take a few minutes to jot down your credentials (or someone else's) and submit them to Red Hat Certification. There's plenty of time: The window to receive nominations opened on Dec. 1 and doesn't close until Feb. 17.
The winner will receive free travel to Red Hat Summit 2017 in Boston, May 2-4, and in addition to being a special guest attendee with be personally honored by Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst. Not only that, but just for sharing your story and tossing your name in the Red Hat (See what we did there?), you'll receive a $25 gift card to the Red Hat Certified Professional Online Store. Pretty sweet deal, right? That's $25 worth of free Red Hat Certification swag just for telling someone else why you're awesome.
So what makes for a winning application? Red Hat has supplied a few guidelines, including the always-sobering injunction to, you know, tell the truth and all. (They can check whether or not you actually have a Red Hat certification, you know.) In addition to providing the usual self-identifying data (name, employer, place of residence), be sure that your entry includes the following:
How have you used Red Hat Certification to impact business outcomes? Provide details about how your certification has benefited others. How have you put your certified skills and knowledge of Red Hat products to good use?
Details, details, details. A good story is more than just a couple of brief declarative sentences. Take the time to flesh out your exploits.
You don't have to be a wordsmith. If you aren't comfortable writing something out, then film yourself, or make a video that documents some of what you've done. You aren't limited to the typewritten word.
Make 'em laugh. Or at least show some personality. Red Hat press materials indicate that style points will be awarded, so don't just blah-bitty-blah some colorless facts and leave it at that.
Where is Red Hat in this story? Be sure to identify the ways in the which the company and its products relate to your accomplishments.
So if you think that you might already be a winner, then hop to it with the nomination process. Reminder: Submissions will be accepted through Feb. 17,