We often get asked what an MVP is, how someone becomes an MVP, what exams are required and other questions along those lines. Being a former MVP (they strip that credential when you get hired at Microsoft) I try my best to explain the program but figured why not get our Canadian MVP Lead, Sasha Krsmanovic to explain it.
By the way of introduction, my name is Sasha Krsmanovic and I am the MVP Lead for Canadian MVPs. Your IT Pro team asked me to publish a few posts here in order to introduce the MVP Award Program to Canadian IT Professionals. You have seen some of these guys ‘spotlighted’ at this blog, too, so here I come to demystify what the MVP Award program is all about. It is likely to take longer than one post, so please stay tuned.....
There are, of course, exact definitions of what the MVP Award Program is, you can find them on the official Microsoft MVP Website. In a nutshell, here is how I think about it. Think of very few community members who are absolute community super heroes – those who dedicate their own time and technical expertise to the community. Personally, I think this is quite unusual, especially in the IT field; where people generally keep their IT skills “to themselves” as their knowledge IS the only competitive advantage for the next job, contract etc. But not these guys. They are in the community after their day jobs, helping people to accomplish their goals – all of that for free, and on their own time. You can find this type of behaviour in virtually any online or offline community – newsgroups, forums, user groups, blogs, YouTube – you name it – they are there.
They do this for the benefit of the community and don’t expect any type of compensation. This is where Microsoft steps in and awards these individuals, who help Microsoft product oriented online/offline communities, with an MVP award. Think of it as the “Oscars” – it is an award given to exceptional individuals for the achievements they had in the past year. They don’t have any obligations to Microsoft whatsoever and are encouraged to freely share their expert opinions in their respective communities. Often times, they are our biggest critics – they are very passionate about Microsoft products and want to see them improve. Needless to say, this feedback is very appreciated and welcomed.
I think this should do for the first post. In addition, check out the Channel 8 podcast on beginnings of MVP Program, from my US counterparts Ed Hickey and Brian Boston. In the next guest blogger post I will go a bit more in depth about MVP program benefits and interactions with the product team. Feel free to drop me a note any time if you want something else covered.