As many of you know I was awarded as a Microsoft MVP in 2015 for the first time. At this time I was a „System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management“ MVP. Since then I constantly received the award year over year. But what does that mean?
What is an MVP?
MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) are technology experts that share their knowledge with the community. As technology experts they are always interested in and working with the latest and greatest technology. Based on this they have deep knowledge of their topic.
The contributions to the community can happen in different ways. There are experts that contribute to projects and code on GitHub, experts that are blogging, podcasting and webcasting. You can also find MVPs in technology communities, supporting in forums, chats, slags, etc. A lot of MVPs share their knowledge also by giving talks on conferences, meetups, community meetings, etc. or even writing books.
MVPs share their knowledge for free as they understood the „sharing is caring“ idea behind a community. As I always say: „The community lives from the community, and only those who join in keep her alive!“
How to become an MVP?
I often get asked what kind of certification I had to do for my MVP, or even how much I paid… but none of this helps to become an MVP.
The only way is to be a real member of the community, contribute to the community and be recognized as an expert that is helping others.
To be nominated for an MVP Award it requires a referral from an Microsoft FTE or from an MVP. There is no way (any more) to nominate yourself or to upvote yourself by friends. You need to be part of the community….so people will recognize you and over time, maybe, they will nominate you.
The most important thing: Do not aim for an MVP Award!!!
If you start blogging, podcasting, … just to „achieve“ an MVP Award, that is not the way to go. You should start contributing because you want to help, exchange, grow, improve, … If you do a good, very good, excellent job in contributing to the community, you may get nominated.
Just keep one thing in mind: If you have to ask to be nominated, it is not yet time for it!
The nomination is the logical result of a well done journey. So please keep it like this.
How did I became a Most Valuable Professional?
I have started my blog in 2008. Then … nothing happend. I rarely wrote something … did not know how to start.
In November 2011 I started from scratch, recreated the blog, and wrote my first „interesting“ technical blog entry about syncing Active Directory Groups via PowerShell. The post was based on a project I did in my real life, and that I thought would be valuable to others.
I wrote whatever crossed my way…. and at this time I had a lot to do with XenServer and XenApp, and so, also some posts around Citrix were part of my blog. But the clicks were very low … and I really thought about stopping to write articles.
But then in May 2012 I received a mail out of Japan, stating:
Your web site helped me reaching to the workaround by renaming. Without it, we could not do anything to this issue… Vielen Dank (aus Japan) !!
I had a comment on my website regarding an article about SQL Developer in XenApp … at this time I was only writing in German. So I was surprised to see someone from Japan to find a solution on my website.
This finally motivated me to keep on, as there is always someone who needs what you are writing about.
From there on I did a lot, posted 866 articles till today which makes round about 110 articles per year.
In 2015 I did a lot with System Center and had the chance to participate in several feedback calls with the Microsoft Product Group for System Center. Starting with single groups we moved up to a call with all Product Manager Leads of all System Center products.
It ended in a nomination for the MVP award which I then received in October 2015.
From there I went on and on …. changed my focus a bit more to Azure, contributed more via conferences and communities … but as you know…this year will be a blog year again.
What does it mean to be an MVP for me?
First and foremost it is a super huge honor to receive the MVP Award year over year. I made a lot of friends inside the program, helped others to grow into the community, gathered a lot of experience as a speaker. I had the chance to be a speaker at Microsoft Ignite for 4 years in a row now.
On the other hand it is also a commitment to the community. Sometimes people are surprised when I offer my help without asking for money, when I share my experiences on community events or when I work together in community projects even with friend from competing companies.
But that is one of the most important things: In the community we are one, no matter from where, which gender, which religion … we are all interested in technology. We love what we do … we love to help others … we love to give our feedback .. we love to create things.
This attitude is a big part of my daily life, even when it means that I hardly can say no.
So if you are thinking about joining the community … just do it!!!
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