DevOps Excellence Awards: Meet the judges

The professionals making the tough choices

Tom Allen
clock • 8 min read
DevOps Excellence Awards: Meet the judges

With entries for the DevOps Excellence Awards 2023 now closed, it's over to the expert panel of judges who'll be choosing the winners.

The DevOps Excellence Awards traditionally kick off the Computing event calendar with a bang, as hundreds of IT professionals gather in London to celebrate success.

This year we're holding the awards at the Montcalm Marble Arch on the 14th March, where finalists will be able to size up their competition wish each other well before the prizes are handed out.

Our judges are now sorting through the shortlist, and finalists can book a table now.

The difficult job of choosing the deserving recipients is down to our judging panel - and here are the individuals who'll be making those tough choices.

Aliaksandr Shulyak

Senior Site Reliability Engineer - Bloomberg

Aliaksandr is a cloud and DevOps engineer with more than seven years of experience. An active conference speaker, Linux evangelist and open source contributor, he has a strong passion for quality.

Andy Slater

Platform Enablement Lead - Specsavers

With more than 10 years' experience in technology recruitment and consultancy, Andy's focus is on digital transformation people, process and technology across the critical infrastructure, construction, civil engineering and rail sectors. Working within a rapidly changing and a diverse ecosystem of clients and operators, he helps shape their talent attraction / recruitment and diversity & inclusivity strategies, as well as helping demystify some of the hype and buzz around smart cities, the 'connected world' / IoT and 'digital transformation' - all to put in place achievable recruitment plans that future proof attraction and retention of top UK talent.

Avish Jain

Product Strategy and Management - Remitly

Avish Jain is a seasoned product manager with over eight years of experience leading product teams in the eCommerce and fintech space. He is a strong believer in cross-functional collaboration and has led cross-functional teams comprising of engineering, design, product, analytics, data science and marketing at eBay, PwC and Remitly, to define the product roadmap and launch minimum viable products.

Outside of work, Avish enjoys a good Netflix binge, reading non-fiction books on productivity and going on bike rides on hilly countryside roads.

Ian Golding

Interim CIO - SThree Plc

Ian Golding has been Chief Information Officer, Chief Technical Officer and Data Privacy Officer leading global commercial technology programmes for over 20 years. He has a passion for fostering collaboration and innovation to exploit the benefits of technology and data in permanent, interim, fractional and private consulting roles.

Ian is currently Interim CIO at SThree Plc, a leading STEM skills provider, and was previously Interim CIO at the Natural History Museum, developing the technology strategy and vision to support its dual role as a centre of excellence in leading scientific research and as a world leading museum.

In 2017, as the RNLI's first CIO (interim) he created the Institution's first digital, information and technology strategy including new capabilities for fundraising, predictive analytics and data-based insights that will help the RNLl to break the chain of events that can tragically lead to drowning. Ian has also been Interim IT Director at Southern Housing Group and held Group CIO, Data Privacy Officer and Senior Partner roles for The ERM Group through its largest growth phase over four private equity cycles, to 5,200 staff across 140 offices worldwide.

Ian is a Fellow of The Institute of Directors, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the IET and a Chartered Professional Fellow of The BCS. He is also an investor and mentors digital startups. By devoting time to assisting emerging businesses and small investments to advance, Ian's aim is to help grow the digital ecosystem.

Jane Deal

Operational Director, Technology and Change - The Law Society

Jane is the Operational Director for Technology & Change at the Law Society of England & Wales. Following a Law Degree and the Trinity Bar Exams, Jane joined Barclays Bank where she had a long and varied career, with roles ranging from marketing to business transformation. She then joined RNIB as Head of IT, restructuring the IT function and architecture, and establishing business partnerships, and project management disciplines. As the first CIO at Citizens Advice, Jane transformed the IT function and delivered a complex Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation before broadening into an independent consultancy role. Here, she supported major charities and a government agency, exercising her skills in change, business architecture, stakeholder management and IT.

Jane joined the Law Society in December 2016 as IT Director, supporting a major business transformation programme and transitioning from a shared service with the regulatory body to establish the Law Society's own dedicated IT function.

John Leonard

Group Research Director - Computing

John Leonard is Group Research Director for the Enterprise Technology Group at Computing. He has designed and conducted research studies and analyses covering many of the aspects of business technology that are driving the way we live and work today.

Maharshi Jha

Software Engineering Leader - Meta / Facebook

Maharshi Jha is a technology leader working with Facebook/Meta, and an innovator in the space of cloud serverless technology, where he holds several patents. Maharshi leads teams in Meta and provides technical direction. Before working at Meta, Maharshi was a senior technology leader at Capital One.

Penny Horwood

Associate Editor - Computing

Penny is Associate Editor at Computing and focuses mainly on diversity in tech and sustainability content. She has more than a decade of content creation experience and specialises in long form feature content.

Pulak Agrawal

DevSecOps Lead and Senior Technolog Architect - Accenture

Pulak is a senior technology architect, a member of the IET, and leads Accenture's modern engineering vertical. He has been in this space for the past 18 years, long before it was called DevOps. He started his journey as a build and release engineer hand-cranking jar files, to playing the development and operations architect role helping organisations and advising the C-suite on bringing actual change. Pulak has witnessed the maturity of the space in last decade, from 'What is DevOps?' to 'DevSecOps/SRE' today, and led Accenture's DevOps practice in the past.

Experienced in retail, banking, telecom, healthcare, policing and public service, Pulak has worked for over 30 clients across eight countries in technology areas from COTS to microservices, from 128 BASIC to Kotlin, from AIX5 to distroless, from Cruisecontrol to pipeline-as-a-service and from clickops to IaC & GitOps. He has contributed to the Team Topologies book and been a speaker at the DevOps Enterprise Summit.

Stuart Sumner

Global Vice President of Content - Computing

Stuart Sumner is Global Vice President of Content of The Channel Company and former editor of Computing. Previously he spent 10 years as a programme manager in the IT industry, working for companies such as the BBC, COLT, Nortel Networks and Equant. As a journalist he has also worked for Time Out and IPC Media. He is a regular technology pundit and contributor to the BBC News channel, as well as a published author.

Suresh Rajasekaran

Group Product Manager - NVIDIA

Suresh is an accomplished technology leader with over 16 years of industry experience, and is currently a Group Product Manager at NVIDIA. In his current role he is focused on helping enterprises to adopt, accelerate and scale AI solutions in their businesses, and has previously worked at companies including Samsung, Adobe, and Autodesk. He is passionate about artificial intelligence and its profound impact on humans.

Suresh holds a Masters in Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two kids.

Terry Willis

Director of Technology - Church of England

Working in various parts of technology for most of his career, Terry has seen the world transform from analogue to digital - several times now! Mostly he gives it a gentle helping hand but sometimes it needs more of a firm shove in the right direction. After years working in the creative industries Terry has, more recently, spent time in the third sector and currently leads technology for the Church of England, where he has an unhealthy interest in the areas of cloud services, security and digital anthropology in order to design agile, secure and modern workplaces and platforms. He has a keen eye for emerging trends in tech, and considers it an honour to be asked to judge these awards.

Tom Allen

Editor - Computing

Tom is the Editor for Computing, where he has been covering the UK IT market since 2017. He is an industry veteran, writing his first tech story back in the mists of 2011, and specialises in covering topics around sustainabile IT, diversity and Web3 developments like blockchain and the metaverse. Tom regularly chats to leading IT professionals around the world, from companies both large and small - including Microsoft, Kellog's, Trainline, the Met Office and Mars. He is always on the lookout for the newest market trends that affect IT leaders in the UK and worldwide.

Tom has previously written for a varity of B2B titles, including those serving the jewellery, pet and funeral industries - and yes, he's heard all the jokes.

Often spotted with a notebook, grumbling about the Oxford comma.

The DevOps Excellence Awards take place on the 14th March in London. Click here to see the shortlist, or here to book a table.

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