AWS News Blog

Meet the newest AWS Heroes including the first DevTools Heroes!

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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.

Introducing AWS DevTools Heroes
Today we are introducing AWS DevTools Heroes: passionate advocates of the developer experience on AWS and the tools that enable that experience. DevTools Heroes excel at sharing their knowledge and building community through open source contributions, blogging, speaking, community organizing, and social media. Through their feedback, content, and contributions DevTools Heroes help shape the AWS developer experience and evolve the AWS DevTools, such as the AWS Cloud Development Kit, the AWS SDKs, and AWS Code suite of services.

The first cohort of AWS DevTools Heroes include:

Bhuvaneswari Subramani – Bengaluru, India

DevTools Hero Bhuvaneswari Subramani is Director Engineering Operations at Infor. With two decades of IT experience, specializing in Cloud Computing, DevOps, and Performance Testing, she is one of the community leaders of AWS User Group Bengaluru. She is also an active speaker at AWS community events and industry conferences, and delivers guest lectures on Cloud Computing for staff and students at engineering colleges across India. Her workshops, presentations, and blogs on AWS Developer Tools always stand out.

Jared Short – Washington DC, USA

DevTools Hero Jared Short is an engineer at Stedi, where they are using AWS native tooling and serverless services to build a global network for exchanging B2B transactions in a standard format. Jared’s work includes early contributions to the Serverless Framework. These days, his focus is working with AWS CDK and other toolsets to create intuitive and joyful developer experiences for teams on AWS.

Matt Coulter – Belfast, Northern Ireland

DevTools Hero Matt Coulter is a Technical Architect for Liberty IT, focused on creating the right environment for empowered teams to rapidly deliver business value in a well-architected, sustainable, and serverless-first way. Matt has been creating this environment by building CDK Patterns, an open source collection of serverless architecture patterns built using AWS CDK that reference the AWS Well Architected Framework. Matt also created CDK Day, which was the first community driven, global conference focused on everything CDK (AWS CDK, CDK for Terraform, CDK for Kubernetes, and others).

Paul Duvall – Washington DC, USA

DevTools Hero Paul Duvall is co-founder and former CTO of Stelligent. He is principal author of “Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk,” and is also the author of many other publications including “Continuous Compliance on AWS,” “Continuous Encryption on AWS,” and “Continuous Security on AWS.” Paul hosted the DevOps on AWS Radio podcast for over three years and has been an enthusiastic user and advocate of AWS Developer Tools since their respective releases.

Sebastian Korfmann – Hamburg, Germany

DevTools Hero Sebastian Korfmann is an entrepreneurial Software Engineer with a current focus on Cloud Tooling, Infrastructure as Code, and the Cloud Development Kit (CDK) ecosystem in particular. He is a core contributor to the CDK for Terraform project, which enables users to define infrastructure using TypeScript, Python, and Java while leveraging the hundreds of providers and thousands of module definitions provided by Terraform and the Terraform ecosystem. With, Sebastian co-founded a community-driven hub for all things CDK, and he runs a weekly newsletter covering the growing CDK ecosystem.

Steve Gordon – East Sussex, United Kingdom

DevTools Hero Steve Gordon is a Pluralsight author and senior engineer who is passionate about community and all things .NET related, having worked with .NET for over 16 years. Steve has used AWS extensively for five years as a platform for running .NET microservices. He blogs regularly about running .NET on AWS, including deep dives into how the .NET SDK works, building cloud-native services, and how to deploy .NET containers to Amazon ECS. Steve founded .NET South East, a .NET Meetup group based in Brighton.

Thorsten Höger – Stuttgart, Germany

DevTools Hero Thorsten Höger is CEO and cloud consultant at Taimos, where he is advising customers on how to use AWS. Being a developer, he focuses on improving development processes and automating everything to build efficient deployment pipelines for customers of all sizes. As a supporter of open-source software, Thorsten is maintaining or contributing to several projects on GitHub, like test frameworks for AWS Lambda, Amazon Alexa, or developer tools for AWS. He is also the maintainer of the Jenkins AWS Pipeline plugin and one of the top three non-AWS contributors to AWS CDK.





Meet the rest of the new AWS Heroes
There is more good news! We are thrilled to introduce the remaining new AWS Heroes in this cohort, including the first Heroes from Argentina, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia:

Ahmed Samir – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Community Hero Ahmed Samir is a Cloud Architect and mentor with more than 12 years of experience in IT. He is the leader of three Arabic Meetups in Riyadh: AWS, Amazon SageMaker, and Kubernetes, where he has organized and delivered over 40 Meetup events. Ahmed frequently shares knowledge and evangelizes AWS in Arabic through his social media accounts. He also holds AWS and Kubernetes certifications.

Anas Khattar – Beirut, Lebanon

Community Hero Anas Khattar is co-founder of Digico Solutions. He founded the AWS User Group Lebanon in 2018 and coordinates monthly meetups and workshops on a variety of cloud topics, which helped grow the group to more than 1,000 AWSome members. He also regularly speaks at tech conferences and authors tech blogs on Dev Community, sharing his AWS experiences and best practices. In close collaboration with the regional AWS community leaders and builders, Anas organized AWS Community Day MENA, which started in September 2020 with 12 User Groups from 10 countries, and hosted 27 speakers over 2 days.

Chris Gong – New York, USA

Community Hero Chris Gong is constantly exploring the different ways that cloud services can be applied in game development. Passionate about sharing his knowledge with the world, he routinely creates tutorials and educational videos on his YouTube channel, Flopperam, where the primary focus has been AWS Game Tech and Unreal Engine, specifically the multiplayer and networking aspects of game development. Although Amazon GameLift has been his biggest interest, Chris has plans to cover the usage of other AWS services in game development while exploring how they can be integrated with other game engines besides Unreal Engine.

Damian Olguin – Cordoba, Argentina

Community Hero Damian Olguin is a tech entrepreneur and one of the founders of Teracloud, an AWS APN Partner. As a community leader, he promotes knowledge-sharing experiences in user communities within LATAM. He is co-organizer of AWS User Group Cordoba and co-host of #DeepFridays, a Twitch streaming show that promotes AI/ML technology adoption by playing with DeepRacer, DeepLens, and DeepComposer. Damian is a public speaker who has spoken at AWS Community Day Buenos Aires 2019, AWS re:Invent 2019, and AWS Community Day LATAM 2020.

Denis Bauer – Sydney, Australia

Data Hero Denis Bauer is a Principal Research Scientist at Australia’s government research agency (CSIRO). Her open source products include VariantSpark, the Machine Learning tool for analysing ultra-high dimensional data, which was the first AWS Marketplace health product from a public sector organization. Denis is passionate about facilitating the digital transformation of the health and life-science sector by building a strong community of practice through open source technology, keynote presentations, and inclusive interdisciplinary collaborations. For example, the collaboration with her organization’s visionary Scientific Computing and Cloud Platforms experts as well as AWS Data Hero Lynn Langit has enabled the creation of cloud-based bioinformatics solutions used by 10,000 researchers annually.

Denis Dyack – St. Catharines, Canada

Community Hero Denis Dyack, a video game industry veteran of more than 30 years, is the Founder and CEO of Apocalypse Studios. His studio evangelizes using a cloud-first approach in game development and partners with AWS Game Tech to move the medium of the games industry forward. In his years of experience speaking at games conferences and within AWS communities, Denis has been an advocate for building on Amazon Lumberyard and more recently in moving over game development pipelines to AWS.

Emrah Şamdan – Ankara, Turkey

Serverless Hero Emrah Şamdan is the VP of Products at Thundra. In order to expand the serverless community globally in a pandemic, he co-organized the quarterly held ServerlessDays Virtual. He’s also a local community organizer for AWS Community Day Turkey, ServerlessDays Istanbul, and bi-weekly meetups at Cloud and Serverless Turkey. He’s currently part of the core organizer team of global ServerlessDays and is continuously looking for ways to expand the community. He frequently writes about serverless and cloud-native microservices on Medium and on the Thundra blog.

Franck Pachot – Lausanne, Switzerland

Data Hero Franck Pachot is the Principal Consultant and Database Evangelist at dbi services (an AWS Select Partner) and is passionate about all databases. With over 20 years of experience in development, data modeling, infrastructure, and all DBA tasks, Franck is a recognized database expert across Oracle and AWS. Franck is also an AWS Academy educator for Powercoders, and holds AWS Certified Database Specialty and Oracle Certified Master certifications. Franck contributes to technical communities, educating customers on AWS Databases through his blog, Twitter, and podcast in French. He is active in the Data community, and enjoys talking and meeting other data enthusiasts at conferences.

Hiroko Nishimura – Washington DC, USA

Community Hero Hiroko Nishimura (Hiro) is the founder of AWS Newbies and Cloud Newbies, which help people with non-traditional technical backgrounds begin their explorations into the AWS Cloud. As a “career switcher” herself, she has been community building since 2018 to help others deconstruct Cloud Computing jargon so they, too, can begin a career in the Cloud. Finally putting her degrees in Special Education to good use, Hiro teaches “Introduction to AWS for Non-Engineers” courses at LinkedIn Learning, and introductory coding lessons at egghead.

Juliano Cristian – Santa Catarina, Brazil

Community Hero Juliano Cristian is CEO of Game Business Accelerator Academy and co-founder of Game Developers SC which participates in the AWS APN program. He organizes the AWS Game Tech Lumberyard User Group in Florianópolis, Brazil, holding Meetups, Practical Labs, Game Jams, and Workshops. He also conducts many lectures at universities, speaking with more than 90 educational institutions across Brazil, introducing students to cloud computing and AWS Game Tech services. Whenever he can, Juliano also participates in other AWS User Groups in Brazil and Latin America, working to build an increasingly motivated and productive community.

Jungyoul Yu – Seoul, Korea

Machine Learning Hero Jungyoul Yu works at Danggeun Market as a DevOps Engineer, and is a leader of the AWS DeepRacer Group, part of the AWS Korea User Group. He was one of the AWS DeepRacer League finalists in AWS Summit Seoul and AWS re:Invent 2019. Starting off with zero ML experience, Jungyoul used AWS DeepRacer to learn ML techniques and began sharing his learnings both in the AWS DeepRacer Community, with User Groups, at AWS Community Day, and at various meetups. He has also shared many blog posts and sample code such as DeepRacer Reward Function Simulator, Rank Notifier, and Auto submit bot.

Juv Chan – Singapore

Machine Learning Hero Juv Chan is an AI automation engineer at UBS. He is the AWS DeepRacer League Singapore Summit 2019 champion and a re:Invent Championship Cup 2019 finalist. He is the lead organizer for the AWS DeepRacer Beginner Challenge global virtual community race in 2020. Juv is also involved in sharing his DeepRacer and Machine Learning knowledge with the AWS Machine Learning community at both global and regional scale. Juv is a contributing writer for both Towards Data Science and Towards AI platforms, where he blogs about AWS AI/ML and cloud relevant topics.

Lukonde Mwila – Johannesburg, South Africa

Container Hero Lukonde Mwila is a Senior Software Engineer at Entelect. He has a passion for sharing knowledge through speaking engagements such as meetups and tech conferences, as well as writing technical articles. His talk at DockerCon 2020 on deploying multi-container applications to AWS was one of the top rated and most viewed sessions of the event. He is 3x AWS certified and is an advocate for containerization and serverless technologies. Lukonde enjoys sharing experiences of building out AWS infrastructure on Medium and sharing open source projects on GitHub for the developer community to easily consume, replicate, and improve for their own benefit.

Magdalena Zawada – Rybnik, Poland

Community Hero Magdalena Zawada is Director of Strategy and Expansion at LCloud Ltd. She has been working in IT for 11 years and started her adventure with AWS technology in 2013 as CEO of Hostersi Ltd. Magdalena willingly shares her knowledge and experience with the community, co-organizing AWS UG Warsaw meetings. She also organizes a series of events to support preparation for obtaining AWS Cloud Practitioner Certifications. Magdalena belongs to numerous industry organizations, including FinOps Foundation and ISSA Information Systems Security Association Poland, and in 2019 she was a participant of the AWS re:Invent Community Leader “We Power Tech” Diversity Grant in Las Vegas.

Nick Walter – Lincoln, USA

Data Hero Nick Walter has over 15 years of experience with enterprise IT solutions, including expertise and certifications in AWS, VMware, and Oracle. A passionate evangelist for data management solutions on AWS, Nick can often be found blogging, hosting webinars, or presenting at conferences regarding the latest trends in business critical database technologies. Recently, Nick has focused on helping clients find cost effective ways to handle both the technical and licensing challenges of migrating application stacks backed by commercial database engines, such as Oracle or MS SQL Server, into AWS.

Renato Losio – Berlin, Germany

Data Hero Renato Losio is the Principal Cloud Architect at Funambol, a provider of white label cloud services. He has been working with AWS technologies since 2011, and holds 7 AWS certifications (including the Database Specialty). Renato enjoys speaking at international events, including DevOps Pro Europe, DevOpsConf Russia, All Day DevOps, Codemotion, and Percona Live. Passionate about knowledge sharing, Renato is an editor at InfoQ and writes about different cloud-related topics on his blog, Through his various platforms, he has covered different topics across AWS Databases, such as Amazon RDS Proxy, Amazon RDS, and Amazon Aurora.

Tomasz Lakomy – Poznan, Poland

Community Hero Tomasz Lakomy is a Senior Frontend Engineer at OLX Group, and an instructor. Over the last two years, he’s been diving into the world of AWS and sharing what he’s learned with others. After passing the AWS Certified Solutions Architect: Associate exam in 2019 he has recorded multiple courses on serverless technologies, including “Build an App with the AWS Cloud Development Kit” and “Learn AWS Lambda from Scratch.” In addition, he’s active on his Twitter, blog (, as well as The Practical Dev community, where he posts articles on career advice, testing and – of course – AWS.




If you’d like to learn more about the new Heroes, or connect with a Hero near you, please visit the AWS Hero website.


Ross Barich

Ross Barich

In his role as Head of AWS Community, Ross and his team focus on scaling community-led activities and initiatives around the world—including the AWS Heroes and AWS Community Builders programs, AWS Community Day global events, and AWS User Groups.