April 1st is a day that is frequently dedicated to pranks, bogus news and tomfoolery.
Generally keeps everyone’s shields of skepticism on high alert and I consider myself to fall into this category. So I have to say that when I received an e-mail from Microsoft with the tagline of “Congratulations 2014 Microsoft MVP!” I was extremely hesitant (I mean what a terrible day to make an announcement on).
As I continued reading through the e-mail, I didn’t find any evidence that might require my bank account information or wire-transferring thousands of dollars to a Nigerian prince. In fact, things were beginning to look legitimate and that I might actually have received the award. A quick tweet to Dora Chan (the North American MVP Lead) quickly confirmed my suspicions and a small amount of celebration went down in my office :
I was officially a Microsoft MVP for ASP.NET / IIS and I really couldn’t be more proud.
I’ve become very close with several MVPs primarily through my work in the ASP.NET Forums and I have a great deal of admiration for them. They are extremely smart and passionate people that dedicate days and hours of their lives to helping others learn and become better at what they do. I have looked up to several of these individuals every since I began contributing to the development community and I am extremely honored to be able to join the MVP ranks alongside them.
What the MVP Program Is? (this is primarily for my untechnical family members and friends)
To quote from the program’s page itself for those unfamiliar with the program :
The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award is our way of saying thank you to exceptional, independent community leaders who share their passion, technical expertise, and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with others. It is part of Microsoft’s commitment to supporting and enriching technical communities. Even before the rises of the Internet and social media, people have come together to willingly offer their ideas and best practices in technical communities.
How did you end up with one?
The simplest answer to this would revolve around the days (and likely weeks) of time that I spend in discussion groups, blogging, offline activities and contributing to the ASP.NET (and a few other) forums.
I’ve always been a fan of helping others in any ways that I could. My work on the forums has been extremely rewarding and it has yet to become tiresome (even averaging around an hour a day for a year and a half). I’ve met some great people that I can turn to for advice of my own and I’ve been able to mentor many novice developers and help point them in the right direction when they run into issues.
As far as how I actually ended up with the award… I was nominated by several users (some MVPs and some not) that encouraged me to pursue the actual award, believing that I would be a reasonable candidate for it. I was a bit hesitant at first, as I had heard the discussions behind the scenes regarding granting the award itself were extremely rigorous, but I figured “what the hell”.
So after a few months – I entered in all of my pertinent information, clicked send and basically forgot about it.
I am extremely honored to receive this award and it means a ton to me. So I figured I would throw out a handful of thanks since this is my blog and I can “do that” :
- Thanks to my wife, Katie for putting up for my hours of sitting in bed with my face illuminated from a Surface as I answered questions all night.
- Thanks to my employer, Structure X for being an awesome place to work for (and more specifically to Blane for being an incredible person to work for).
- Thanks to my parents, obviously because I wouldn’t be here.
- Thanks to my alma mater, McNeese State University for having a great Computer Science department that wasn’t actually afraid of Microsoft technologies like C#.
- Thanks to the ASP.NET Forums and all of the people involved in it (the moderators, the MVPs, the management team and everyone who goes there to either ask questions or answer them).
- Thanks to the academy, err… wrong speech.
- Thanks to Microsoft for making a kick-ass platform like .NET that I really enjoy working on and for sending me the e-mail that brought this post about.
Finally, thanks to you, whoever you are, for reading my blog and helping make part of this possible as well. I appreciate you.