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Announcing the Vaadin Champions

Lawrence Lockhart
Lawrence Lockhart
On Jan 15, 2024 3:08:57 PM

Celebrating lifetime achievements and contributions to the Vaadin community

We are thrilled to announce the initial recipients of the Vaadin Champion Award, a new lifetime recognition given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the Vaadin community. At Vaadin, we take immense pride in our Java-based frameworks and web components, which have been instrumental in helping developers around the world to be more productive. This year, we honor 10 outstanding software developers whose dedication, creativity, and advocacy have not only enriched our community but also elevated the reach of our technologies.

Each Vaadin Champion is a technology leader in their own right, consistently going above and beyond in sharing their insights into the potential of the Vaadin platform. This includes Flow, our solution for full-stack Java development; Hilla, our answer to web app development with a Spring Boot backend and React frontend integrated into a single project; as well as our robust set of web components. Through their blogs, videos, add-ons, and conference talks, they have spread knowledge, sparked innovation, and inspired others in the tech community. Many of them voluntarily assist others with our technologies, streamlining onboarding, and aiding a better developer experience.

Vaadin Champions truly represent the pinnacle of passion and excellence in software development.  We’re proud to introduce them to you below:

Josiah Haswell


With a background in compilers and distributed systems, Josiah is the CTO of - a low-code deployment and infrastructure cost and configuration optimization product. Josiah has created an impressive library of open-source components and utilities for Vaadin called Aire UX. In addition, he consistently takes part in discussions on Discord and shares valuable content related to Vaadin on social media.

Ryan Pang


Ryan graduated from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in 2006 and started his Java journey. He has been working as a software developer for more than 16 years, providing software solutions for the government, insurance companies, fin-tech companies, and banks. Also, Ryan is the owner of WontLost Ltd, which provides web application consultancy and development. He has been active in creating several helpful add-ons for the Vaadin directory.

Christian Knoop


You might recognize Christian Knoop better by his nickname "knoobie" on our Discord server and GitHub. He is always helping out other community members on StackOverflow and Discord, and we think he might know our GitHub better than anyone else. Knoobie is a Software Engineer from Germany working at DVZ M-V GmbH — the IT service provider for the state administration of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The company develops web applications for public authorities ranging from municipalities to agencies of the German federal government.

Simon Martinelli


Simon Martinelli is a Java Champion and an Oracle ACE Associate, and he received the Vaadin Community Award in 2021 and 2022 due to his commitment to the Java and Vaadin communities. He regularly shares his knowledge in articles, speaks at international conferences, and writes his own blog. His current interest is increasing the efficiency of full-stack development with Java.

He owns 72 Services LLC and has worked as a software architect, developer, consultant, and trainer for three decades, especially in the Java Enterprise environment. Besides his work, he has been a lecturer at the Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH and the University of Applied Science Northern Switzerland FHNW for modern architecture and integrating distributed systems and persistence technologies with Java and DevOps since 2007. He also served as an expert group member of JSR-352 Java Batch and JSR-354 Money and Currency.

Frank Delporte


Frank Delporte is a Java Champion, developer, and technical writer working at
Azul, blogger on, and, author of "Getting Started with Java on the Raspberry Pi," and contributor to Pi4J. He blogs about his experiments with Java, sometimes combined with electronic components, on the Raspberry Pi.

When he started a job over 15 years ago in which he switched from C# to Java, he first learned about the Vaadin framework to build web user interfaces. Many years have passed since then, and he used Vaadin again in a new job where a new internal UI was needed to expose the data of several backend services. Because of its flexibility and fast development cycle, it has also become his tool for a few side projects that are open to the public: the Pi4J API UI and a project for his teenage son 4Drums.

Adrian Szegedi


If you are in the Vaadin Discord chat (which you should!), chances are that you have seen Adrián Szegedi's messages there. He goes by the nickname of Hawk and frequently interacts in the chat, providing help to other developers. Adrián is from Slovakia and attended the Technical University of Košice. He graduated with both bachelor's and master's degrees with honors and finished the university in 2020. He started to code at this university and has worked mainly on web application development. Lately, Adrian has moved from using Vaadin Flow to creating Lit elements and building hybrid Java-TS Vaadin applications.

Josh Long


Josh (@starbuxman) has been the first Spring Developer Advocate since 2010. Josh is a Java Champion, author of 7 books (including "Reactive Spring") and numerous best-selling video training (including "Building Microservices with Spring Boot Livelessons" with Spring Boot co-founder Phil Webb), and an open-source contributor (Spring Boot, Spring Integration, Axon, Spring Cloud, Activiti, Vaadin, etc), a Youtuber (Coffee + Software with Josh Long as well as my Spring Tips series ), and a podcaster ("A Bootiful Podcast"). Josh helped implement the initial support for Spring Boot in Vaadin.

Syam Pillai


Syam Pillai is the Group Head of IT at Habib Bank AG Zurich with a long track record on Software Development and application architecture. He touched a computer keyboard in 1981 for the first time and started serious software development in 1986. He started with C and assembly. Later on, Syam moved to C++ in the first half of the '90s and embraced Java in 1996. He develops and maintains the SO Charts, SO Components, and SO Helper components available in the Vaadin Directory.

Andrea Bosio


Andrea Bosio started his career in software development in 1995 as a Trading System Software Developer in the financial sector. In 2006, he started a new software development company in the e-commerce and CRM cloud computing sectors, Zero11, where he currently works as Head of Business Development and constantly promotes and teaches Vaadin in local Java communities in Italy.  His team at Zero11 started with JEE and provided consulting services around it. His team implemented their first Vaadin application in 2010, and from that date, they adopted Vaadin as their official framework for web applications. In 2011, his team launched their e-commerce platform called Rewix, developed with Vaadin.

Ricardo Cantillo


Ricardo Cantillo is a Software Engineer from Colombia. He has over 15 years of professional experience in Java application development and has worked in multinational companies in the Chemical and Mining industries. He currently works at Global Tax Services, a Colombian company specializing in the tax area. Ricardo has experience with Jakarta EE (previously Java EE), Spring Boot, and, of course, Vaadin! He regularly gives technical talks in Spanish-speaking Java User Groups and conferences in Latin America.


As we celebrate these remarkable individuals, we’re thankful for not only their past achievements but also are inspired by how well they each embody the Vaadin values we hold so dearly: Choose the Herd, Own the Solution, and Dare to Explore as detailed in our company page. For this, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to each of the 2024 Vaadin Champion awardees. Their dedication and contributions have left an indelible mark on the Vaadin community and the tech world at large.

Explore the updated Vaadin Champion page to learn about the program and how you can earn the title.

Lawrence Lockhart
Lawrence Lockhart
Lawrence is a Developer Advocate with Vaadin. He works with the Hilla and Flow products and enjoys tech conversations that lead to developer wins.
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