Learn more about the IBM Champions Program

Q: Who is an IBM Champion?

A: An IBM Champion is someone who makes exceptional contributions to the technical community. Contributions can come in a variety of forms, and popular contributions include blogging, speaking at conferences or events, moderating forums, leading user groups, and authoring books or magazines. Educators can also become IBM Champions; for example, academic faculty may become IBM Champions by including IBM products and technologies in course curricula and encouraging students to build skills and expertise in these areas.

An IBM Champion is not an IBMer, and can live in any country. IBM Champions share their accomplishments and activities in their public profiles on IBM developerWorks, making it easy for the IT professional community to learn more about them and their contributions, and engage with them.

Q: What qualifications does an IBM champion have?

A: The qualifications of IBM champions take many forms. Review these qualifications for ideas of how you can contribute to your technical community:

Evangelize and advocate for IBM
  • Speaks at conferences, user group meetings, IBM events
  • Uses social media channels to help spread the word about IBM solutions and increase positive sentiment towards IBM
  • Helps IBM share specific messages around launches and announcements
  • Work within their own company or their customers' companies to encourage continued use of IBM technology
  • Help customers make the most of the IBM technology that is installed (use of expanded features, broader adoption, and more)
  • Explores ways to reach outside the current community sphere to reach new audiences.
  • Partners with IBM about how to become better evangelists
Share knowledge and expertise
  • Participates in online forums, answering questions and sharing expertise
  • Shares expertise through instructional videos, podcasts, interviews, and other support/teaching sessions
  • Shares knowledge via white papers, Redbooks, wikis, and/or wiki articles
  • Provide feedback and suggestions on IBM certification exams
  • Provide feedback and suggestions on product usability and documentation
  • Participate in usability activities to improve IBM products
  • Helps IBM improve on products and solutions by actively participating in beta programs, usability studies and other types of research
  • Organizes or connects people in their network to find support for issues
Help grow and nurture the community
  • Uses social media channels (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Connections, podcasting, and others) to drive awareness to community topics and events
  • Starts, leads and/or participates in local user group meetings and events
  • Participates in community webcasts and meetings
  • Helps mentor new community members and drive them to community sites
  • Guides community members so they know how to leverage information in the community (that is, help new people know where to go for help)
  • Participates in or leads activities to encourage sustained community activity and contributions
  • Implements new and innovative ways of growing the community
  • Communicates honestly, openly, professionally, and respectfully (for example, keeps private conversations private or complies with NDAs)
Expand reach across the IBM portfolio
  • Finds ways to expand customer adoption of broad set of IBM capabilities
  • Integrates solutions across the IBM portfolio
  • Leverages IBM's breadth of technologies to augment brand specific products
Present feedback, both negative and positive, in a constructive and professional manner
  • Provides feedback in appropriate forums such as a design partner programs, or private discussions with target IBM contact who can affect or implement changes
  • Reaches out to appropriate contacts within IBM to share criticism or suggestions using clear concise, professional language
  • Any challenges, issues or problems you wish to resolve with IBM should be discussed with the appropriate IBM personnel in a private venue. Sharing frustrations in a public or social venue on issues that may reflect negatively on IBM, business partners and/or negatively impact revenue streams is not appropriate.

Q: What is the duration of the IBM Champion designation?

A: IBM Champions receive the title for one year, during which they can enjoy the benefits associated with the program. Existing Champions are eligible to renew their status for the following year, as long as they can demonstrate that they have made significant contributions to the community over the past 12 months. Renewal applications will be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of IBM employees. Being named IBM Champion one year does not automatically guarantee that you will remain in the program the following years. IBM also reserves the right to remove a Champion before the 12-month term ends.

Q: How do I become an IBM Champion?

A: Individuals can either nominate themselves or be nominated by their peers or IBM employees based on their contributions in the past 12 months. An IBM panel compares nominees to the contributions of other nominees during the same time period. If you know of someone who you feel is worthy, nominate him or her. Nominees need a detailed developerWorks profile, so if you're nominating yourself, take a moment to create or expand your profile.

Q: Are IBM employees eligible to become champions?

A: No. IBM employees are not eligible for the program, but are welcome to nominate other worthy members of the community.

What are the benefits and obligations of being an IBM Champion?

What are the benefits of being an IBM Champion?

A: IBM champions may receive:

  • Special visibility, recognition, and networking opportunities within IBM communities, events, and conferences
  • Participation in exclusive IBM online communities
  • Exclusive access to IBM product development teams
  • Invitations and discounts to events and conferences
  • An IBM Champion open badge through the IBM open badge program, which allows the IBM Champions to have a verified digital credential to use in social media and networking sites.
  • Special recognition on their developerWorks profile: The profiles of IBM Champions have special designations, such as "IBM CHAMPION" under their name and a unique icon on their profile picture. Their profiles may also include an endorsement and notable achievements in the left column to recognize their contributions to the technical community.

Q: Are IBM Champions compensated for their role?

A: No. IBM Champions may receive special program benefits, but they are not compensated nor employed by IBM.

Q: Do IBM Champions have any obligations to IBM?

A: No. IBM Champions have no obligations to IBM. The title recognizes their past contributions to the community only over the previous 12 months. Once you're selected as an IBM Champion, you can round out your public profile in additional ways to further engage with the IT professional community. For example, visit your profile and update your status often to keep it current, as it appears in the "Recent Champions' activity" feed on the IBM Champion homepage . Also request an endorsement quote from a colleague or IBM employee, and fill in up to 6 of your most notable achievements or contributions.

Q: Do IBM Champions have any formal relationship with IBM?

A: No. IBM Champions do not formally represent IBM nor do they speak on behalf of IBM.

How are IBM Champions selected?

Q. How does the nomination process work?

A: To become an IBM Champion, self nominations are accepted as are nominations by proxy. As nominations are received, IBM will evaluate each nominee's contributions over the past 12 months from the date of the submission. At the close of the nomination period, an IBM panel will consider the community impact, expertise, and overall contributions of the nominee. IBM will evaluate nominees both on the quality of contributions and the level of participation across a wide variety of community activities. See "Who is an IBM Champion?" for examples of community contributions. Nominees will be notified by IBM if they are selected as IBM Champions.

Q: What are the specific nomination categories for IBM Champions?

A: Ultimately, IBM Champions advocate for the community of technical professionals using IBM solutions, services, or products. In that role, IBM Champions will collectively represent the spectrum of IBM products and technologies, including:

Q: How do I improve my chances of being nominated and ultimately being selected as an IBM Champion?

A: A detailed profile in the developerWorks community is key. For example, be sure to identify your skills and interests; add links that you recommend to others, such as links to your Twitter timeline, blog, or user group; and activate a feed to your LinkedIn profile. You can also list your published works, such as books and articles, and any courses you have taught. And most importantly, in your "Professional bio," expound on your recent honors and awards, your professional or user group associations, and the conferences you attend or speak at, being sure to include dates and links wherever possible. To see what a fully fleshed-out profile looks like for a current IBM Champion, take a look at Champion Theo Heselmans' profile.

Q: How will IBM select the Champions?

A: A panel of IBM employees reviews each nominee's contributions over the past 12 months for quality and impact on the community. Read details about the nomination process.

Q: How do I withdraw my nomination for an IBM Champion?

A: You will receive an email after you submit the nomination form, which will include the email address of a developerWorks champion support administrator. Contact this admin to have your nomination withdrawn.

Q: How do I end my participation as an IBM Champion?

A: Contact your Champion administrator to end your participation in the IBM Champion program. (Your Champion admin is the person who contacts you during the nomination, vetting, and acceptance process.)

Q: How can IBM Champions share their accomplishment?

A: IBM Champions have multiple opportunities to share their accomplishments including the following:

  • Wear and display IBM Champion merchandise.
  • Use IBM Champion logo marks.
  • Accept and share the IBM Champion open badge on social and networking sites.

Champions on YouTube

Link to featured Information Management champions on YouTube