I’m humbly excited today to have received an email from Microsoft saying that I’m awarded MVP. The big change among the other times is the category which is Microsoft Azure. If you are an avid reader of my blog, you already knew that in my quick review of 2017 I shared my plan moving forward in 2018 which would strongly focus on Microsoft Azure.
How about SharePoint and Office 365? Well, almost of my work these days, and customers and people I’ve been working with look ahead to cloud transformation. That hardly pulls me from SharePoint and Office 365 areas to the new one. Approximately 15% of my work is still related to SharePoint though. I’m unsure if I will participate in joining Office 365 community but for sure I will still be helping my colleagues and every person who’d like to reach out to me for technical inquiry, speaking engagement or so forth.
A letter to the community
Unlike any other years in the renewal cycle, I’ve received a lot of emails regarding non-renewal MVP award with expressing unhappiness. Even some blames or give negative feedback to Microsoft for wrong evaluation or not recognizing their contributions.
I think the best moment of MVP is when you received it at the first or second year. You’d not even know why you were awarded. That moment would really reflect exactly to what you had in your blood – a passion. If you asked yourself at that time why you were contributing to your community for free, without getting paid, you’d never have an answer thanks to your passion.
MVP award perhaps is important and have an impact to people who use it for marketing and their personal business (to show it off to prospective customers during sale pitching. But would it prevent you from contributing to the community even if you are not renewed?
I’ve been receiving so many compliments from folks saying that I’m professional/an expert/a magician when they know I’m awarded MVP. That is my shame honestly. I know so many folks out there who are unsung, and much better than me. And I’m really inspired by those who leave the MVP award but still keep closely with the community (A few friends of mine who was not renewed, but spent time writing hundreds-page book and giving it free, or organizing many talks). Beyond, I got many emails asking how to become an MVP, and many requests to ask my to nominate them, and many requests to seek my approval to put me as a nominator. You know how I feel? It is a huge shame to be on such a situation.
Remember that MVP is just a recognized award by not only the community and people being in charge in technical community development at Microsoft. And if I remember correctly, Microsoft introduced a new evaluation process and criteria last year. There are some changes in how contribution is evaluated, and also categories of award. Once you follow Microsoft you’d have to follow the rules and your contribution must be met the criteria. Moreover, different markets require different level of contribution.
If you think Microsoft is not fair with you because they don’t award you for what you put your “free” effort for the community, you are completely fallen into your personal trap and you would lose your passion.
Treat MVP as a powerful transmission to boost and accelerate your passion of continuous learning and continuous sharing. Don’t treat it something which demotivates you in life.
To me personally, I don’t mind if someone being an MVP or not, I value diverse opinions and every single contribution you have make in whether your blog, speaking, book or anywhere I can have access to read. And I appreciative and learn every piece of them from you.
Let’s be an MVP in the community’s eyes
I think being an MVP is an amazing experience. I would like to thank my peer MVPs, the community program manager and the Microsoft product teams for supporting and being with the community for years. I’m looking forward to contributing and engaging more into the community in the new year ahead.