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AWS Hero Denis Astahov Brings Commitment to Community and OpsGuru Customers
Denis Astahov is a Solutions Architect by day and a YouTube content creator by night. Both are full-time jobs. Having the drive to take his skills in two directions at once is more than heroic. It’s what keeps Denis motivated, connected to the cloud developer community, and at the top of his game at OpsGuru, a cloud consulting company in Vancouver, Canada.
Denis has shown an extraordinary commitment to developing his own IT, cloud, and DevOps expertise and helping others learn it simply, efficiently, and effectively. In 2021, he was rewarded for those efforts and named an AWS Community Hero.
ADV-IT, a YouTube Channel that Supports IT Skills
When Denis tried to build an Android app in 2014, he headed to YouTube for assistance. It helped. “I thought I could try to teach people something in the same way,” says Denis. “Short videos and information presented in an easy and simple way so even a non-technical person can understand it.”
Denis pursued the idea in late 2016, with videos in Russian, his native language (originally from Crimea, he spent 19 years in Israel before finding work in Canada). At about the same time Denis launched the channel, he started learning AWS. “It was the best decision in my life,” he recalls.
Knowing firsthand that AWS was a great choice for career advancement, Denis was inspired to share that career advice with his growing subscriber base. “I’d started my first job in Canada and gained some experience, so I started teaching people about AWS; they’re constantly introducing new features and new services. It’s a never-ending learning process.”
ADV-IT’s largest playlist of 130 videos is dedicated to AWS topics and Denis expects it to grow. A perennial student himself, Denis has more than 12 cloud certifications, 9 of which are from AWS including his two most recent: AWS Certified SAP on AWS and AWS Certified Machine Learning—today’s leading-edge, must-have subject.
Denis’s Bachelor’s Degree in Education helps him translate AWS topics for his YouTube viewership and for OpsGuru clients. “When you’re confident in the topic, it's easy to present it to audiences because you really know what you're talking about.”
With Hero Work Comes Hero Perks
Denis was thrilled to receive an email of congratulations in 2021 announcing he’d been named an AWS Community Hero. One of five heroes named in August of that year, he remains one of only five heroes in all of Canada.
AWS Heroes are nominated internally by AWS employees. Rather than having a fixed set of requirements, candidates must demonstrate a substantial impact on the AWS community. They should go above and beyond in helping people build, create, and innovate on AWS.
That’s exactly what Denis does in maintaining his channel. “One video can sometimes take ten hours to create – recording, editing, reviewing.” says Denis, “And you need to reply to a lot of comments. It’s another full-time job.”
Those efforts don’t go unrewarded. Heroes are invited to special sessions by AWS top brass, with the opportunity to meet and talk. At the 2022 AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, Denis met Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels. He rubbed shoulders with Amazon luminaries again this year at the 2023 Americas AWS Heroes Summit in Seattle, attending sessions by Amazon’s principal engineers and snapping selfies with Chief Evangelist Jeff Bar and Senior VP and Distinguished Engineer James Hamilton.
A Shining Star for OpsGuruOpsGuru is incredibly proud to have an AWS-elite expert on its staff. With invites to insider events, Denis has early access to updates and announcements from AWS. Being part of the development process, getting an insider look at what the company is working on and where it’s taking product development, is an invaluable perk. Customers can be confident knowing OpsGuru has the bleeding edge of information about the latest AWS services. AWS Heroes are also valued for the feedback they provide and OpsGuru customers benefit from that direct line of communication when their input is heard and acted upon.
With Denis on our team, IT and business leaders know their AWS cloud journeys at OpsGuru are guided at every stage by capable, award-winning cloud specialists. Denis has more technical certifications than most engineers and is deeply specialized in Amazon Cloud solutions and technologies. This makes him stand out and benefits the entire team. OpsGuru customers know they’re in good hands. We know exactly what AWS tools to recommend and how they support our customers’ business objectives.
Denis’s achievements give OpsGuru a leg up on its competitors and deeper insight into AWS tools and capabilities. We’re knowledgeable and integrated into the cloud community locally and at a global level. With a deep, holistic view of the cloud, we’re able to advise customers at all stages of their cloud journeys.
Not every cloud company can boast about having an AWS Hero on its staff. OpsGuru customers know their workloads on AWS are handled with the utmost expertise. They also have added confidence knowing their cloud partner employs highly engaged people who are instrumental to keeping the cloud community engaged, educated, and innovating.
Building Clouds and Changing Lives
In the meantime, ADV-IT continues to grow. Denis feels a responsibility to the community and a pride in helping other developers and engineers get ahead. “People write me on LinkedIn saying they got their first job or their first AWS certification, and tell me they started learning on my YouTube channel.” Viewership and subscriber statistics prove Denis’s channel is a success, but helping people get ahead is what’s most gratifying.
Does Denis have any advice for aspiring AWS Heroes? That’s simple, given he practices it every day at OpsGuru and on YouTube: “Never stop learning.”