I’m both humbled and excited to announce that, once again, I have been awarded a Microsoft MVP award. This is my twelfth year in a row to receive the award. To continue to be included in such an great community filled with such talented people is truly incredible.
Even though I’ve been at this a long time, there are always people who want to know more about being an MVP. What is it? How do you become one? For that information, let’s go directly to the source, the Microsoft MVP website. From their overview page, we can learn the answer to those questions:
Who are MVPs?
Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs, are technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community. They are always on the “bleeding edge” and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies. They have very deep knowledge of Microsoft products and services, while also being able to bring together diverse platforms, products and solutions, to solve real world problems. MVPs are driven by their passion, community spirit and their quest for knowledge. Above all and in addition to their amazing technical abilities, MVPs are always willing to help others – that’s what sets them apart.
What is the MVP Award?
For more than two decades, the Microsoft MVP Award is our way of saying “Thanks!” to outstanding community leaders. The contributions MVPs make to the community, ranging from speaking engagements, to social media posts, to writing books, to helping others in online communities, have incredible impact. Among other benefits, MVPs get early access to Microsoft products, direct communication channels with our product teams and are invited to the Global MVP Summit, an exclusive annual event hosted in our global HQ in Redmond. They also have a very close relationship with the local Microsoft teams in their area, who are there to support and empower MVPs to address needs and opportunities in the local ecosystem.
How to become an MVP?
There are 3 very simple steps: Be an expert, do lots of what you love, and let us know! Really, there isn’t a long checklist of things you need to do to become an MVP. The best MVPs really excel in step #2: they LOVE what they do. And we can tell! Whether you’re a great speaker, have a talent in blogging, lead a top technical community, are a social media superstar, a top GitHub or StackOverflow contributor or have a totally different and cool way to share your passion for our products and services, we’d love to know more! Or, if you know of someone who you believe has what it takes to be an MVP, go ahead and nominate them right now!
Becoming an MVP has opened up many opportunities for me that I might not have otherwise had. Over the past twelve years, I have:
- Written 4 best-selling technical books
- Been a speaker at some of the largest national and international conferences
- Co-host of a well-respected podcast
- And much more…
During my time as a Microsoft MVP, I’ve seen both my designation as well as the technologies I work with morph and change. In 2005, we were called Visual Studio Team System MVPs. Microsoft had just released Visual Studio Team System (which included Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio), and was moving into the Application Lifecycle Management space. In 2010, the Team System name was retired, and as such, the MVPs needed new names. So they started calling us ALM MVPs (for Application LIfecycle Management).
Last year, the program underwent some changes, one of which is the ability to be recognized as an MVP in multiple categories. I’m currently a Visual Studio and Development Technologies MVP, as Visual Studio and TFS have been where a majority of my community contributions have been. However, the cloud is here to stay. And my day job at Infront Consulting Group (which, by the way, we are hiring) has me daily working with various aspects of Microsoft Azure, including OMS, Azure Automation, IaaS, and PaaS. And I’m not the only one. Most MVPs are working in cross-disciplines now, so expect to see MVPs with multiple designations in the future.
I say all this to make the point that it is a great honor to be included in this incredibly intelligent and talented group of people. And I look forward to this next year as a Microsoft MVP, evangelizing the Microsoft technologies that I know and love, and helping customers and friends solve problems with those technologies. It is going to be a great ride!