Meet the Winners – Rob Koch

Our Meet the Winners series sees us speak with the lucky handful that collected one of trophies at the 2022 Digital Revolution Awards. Rob Koch walked away with the Outstanding Contribution to the AWS Ecosystem award. As founder of Deaf in the Cloud, Rob created a group that offers support and networking for deaf and signers that work in tech, as well as a way to share best practice. As an AWS Hero, he’s also a regular blogger and speaker at events.

How did you enjoy your Digital Revolution Awards experience?

I was truly honored to be named a winner and hope that I can use that accolade to highlight the need to upskill our cloud expertise to prepare us all for the upcoming modernization of our data and infrastructure platforms. The trend of being on-premise is over and especially with the impact of climate change, we all need to start consolidating infrastructure into the cloud to make it easier to meet our global sustainability goals.

Were there any other winners or nominees who really stood out to you?

I am impressed with Anurag Kale, a fellow AWS community hero, for sharing his passion for the cloud and sharing tips and tricks to be a successful technologist. I’m also in awe of my fellow nominees Carlos and Bhuvaneswari for their contributions to the community and hope they’ll be future winners.

What advice would you have for anyone hoping to be recognized in next year’s awards?

Continue doing what you’ve been doing and eventually recognition will be trickled down. I’m always reminded of the story of a butterfly fluttering its wings causing ripple effects elsewhere exponentially. It may not be obvious that you’re making inroads in educating users however every little bit helps!

How important do you think it is that we celebrate success in the cloud? What impact does it have on the tech community?

We need to celebrate successes in the cloud as the industry is trending towards hosting their infrastructure on the cloud since there’s more scalability, resilience, and arguably more security in addition to being more ecologically sustainable. Many times I’ve seen large spend on annual licenses/subscriptions for server-based software and getting the servers and networks upgraded. With your infrastructure on the cloud, you would only spend what you need, although there are some aspects of it that can cost a considerable amount of money. If costs start to become a problem, then I see that as an opportunity to refactor your application to cut costs while retaining the same or improved speed to work.

Is there anyone you forgot to thank in your acceptance speech that you’d like to acknowledge here?

I would like to thank the AWS Developer Community Team for their continued support for all of us AWS Heroes. They’ve been nothing but an amazing team to work with to make sure we’re up to speed with what’s coming out of AWS and gathering feedback from us. I also wanted to thank Deaf Kids Code for giving me an opportunity to create a database-related course in American Sign Language for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Finally, where will you display your trophy?

Since it’ll be too heavy to wear as a necklace, it’ll likely be on a wall behind me so I can show it off during Zoom calls.

Follow the Digital Revolution Awards on Twitter for the latest news and updates.

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