August 25, 2022
4 min read

United as One: Our Kong Champions Program

Daliya Spasova
Global Community Manager

We created the Kong Champions program as a way to acknowledge and encourage community members, such as developers and advocates, who are going above and beyond in the Kong community. They help us to grow, learn, and create better tools and products as a company. With 18 Champions all over the world, the program is expanding rapidly to make a global impact.

But what makes Kong's Champions program different from all the other advocacy programs out there?


Incredible passion for Kong's products and different OSS projects

Kong Champions are frequent contributors who play a key role in developing and engaging with Kong's community all around the globe. You will often find them sharing their expertise and passion through forum discussions, blogging, speaking at local events, and our monthly user calls. They are the core foundation of our community. At Kong, we always strive to keep our champions engaged and motivated, either by providing them with free training courses, access to our engineering or Developer Relations teams for feedback, or even by sending them some of our latest swag.

"I really like the completeness of vision, how the Kong components fit together and make sense of each other to tackle connectivity challenges that arise in cloud-native solution architectures. From a usage perspective, I appreciate the ease of use, which allows me to get started quickly, and the flexibility to address various use cases as well as integrate Kong solutions in nearly every existing system landscape. In addition, the overall performance and stability of Kong solutions is impressive and allows them to build resilient and maintainable solution architectures." -Sven Bernhardt, Chief Architect, OPITZ CONSULTING Deutschland GmbH


United as one: we encourage and support one another

Inclusivity defines us. Our Kong Champions are all over the world – UK, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, USA, Brazil, and more! Our differences and different cultural backgrounds make us who we are, unique! We don't qualify our Champions based on their work titles or seniority but rather based on their love for Kong's products, and inclination to collaborate, grow and learn more from one another. We strongly believe in the power of unity: we are better together. Our Kong Champions communicate on a daily basis with us, either casually in the Kong Champions slack, or over email. We keep this connection alive by fostering personal relationships with our champions.

"As a Kong Champion, I feel I have widened my support network. We are a strong community – everyone is welcoming and I feel energized. I find it interesting that our community is made up of people from all over the world, from different backgrounds, with the same passion for Kong. As a Kong Champion, I receive regular communications, and I have found all members of Kong personable and encouraging. I know Kong and the Kong Community are always there if I have questions or want to discuss ideas. The swag is a bonus too, during the recent heatwave in the UK I kept cool with my Kong sun hat!" -Danielle Dias, Associate Software Engineer, Just Eat

"The Kong Champions community feels like a family. You feel immediately welcome and everything you do is appreciated, regardless of the scope. There're no cumbersome and strictly formalized processes, if anything is needed help or advice is directly provided by the respective contacts. Kong really cares about its Champions and listens to them! From there, it almost feels like being a part-time Konger." -Sven Bernhardt, Chief Architect, OPITZ CONSULTING Deutschland GmbH


We want to do good in the world and we care for our community and its members

Forget our job titles for a minute, or the different functions we work in. As humans inhabiting this magnificent planet, we Kongers feel it's our duty to give back something to the world with every chance we get. Every year in honor of the Kong Summit, we do something special for our Champions. This year, we adopted gorillas on behalf of each one of them! Each Kong Champion received an adoption pack in the mail, which included an official adoption certificate, detailed information about the gorilla, and a plush toy.

Just as Kong is the leader in the API world, Chimanuka is the leader of its pack.

"What Kong did for us as Champions sends a positive message about nature preservation and caring. This message never was so important as it is now, the future depends on our actions." -Marcelo Bezerra, Staff Engineer, BEES Bank Brasil

"The gorilla adoption gift was a touching gesture. It shows Kong gives back to good causes. Born Free is an incredible charity and I was so delighted to receive this gift." -Danielle Dias, Associate Software Engineer, Just Eat

"Most gifts we make or get are mostly materialistic and often lose their importance very quickly. With the gorilla adoption, it's different, as this is something sustainable which makes our world, where much value is placed on materialism, a little bit better and maybe helps to preserve a part of nature, which my children will appreciate later." -Sven Bernhardt, Chief Architect, OPITZ CONSULTING Deutschland GmbH

Intrigued by everything you’ve heard about Kong Champions?

Don’t wonder what it’s like to be a part of our growing community—join us! You can find ways to get involved, here.

And if you’re interested in adopting a gorilla just like our Kong Champions, we suggest the following wonderful organizations.