Hello! I'm excited to share with you that this month marks my 10th anniversary as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). It has been an incredible journey of learning, sharing and growing with the amazing Microsoft community. In this post, I want to reflect on some of the highlights and milestones of my MVP journey, as well as share some fun facts and statistics from the past decade.
For those who are not familiar with the MVP program, it is a way for Microsoft to recognize and reward outstanding community leaders who passionately share their knowledge and expertise on Microsoft products and services. MVPs are always on the "bleeding edge" of technology and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new and exciting innovations. They have very deep knowledge of Microsoft technologies, while also being able to bring together diverse platforms, products and solutions to solve real-world problems. MVPs make up a global community of over 4,000 technical experts and community leaders across 90 countries/regions.
The MVP award is not based on a checklist of activities or achievements, but rather on the quality and impact of the contributions MVPs make to the community. These contributions can range from speaking engagements, to blog posts, to books, to online forums, to social media, to GitHub, and more. The key benefits of being an MVP include early access to Microsoft products, direct communication channels with product teams, an invitation to the Global MVP Summit, a close relationship with the local Microsoft teams, and various subscriptions and licenses.
My MVP journey started in 2012 when I was working as a software developer using Microsoft technologies such as C#, ASP.NET MVC, SQL Server, Azure, etc. I was always curious and eager to learn new things and improve my skills. I started reading blogs, watching videos, listening to podcasts, attending events and following experts on Twitter. I was amazed by how much valuable information and insights I could get from these sources. I also realized that there were many other developers like me who were looking for answers and guidance on various topics.
I decided to start my own blog where I could share my learnings and experiences with Microsoft technologies. I also joined online communities such as Stack Overflow, MSDN Forums, CodeProject, etc., where I could ask and answer questions, provide feedback and help others. I also started speaking at local user groups, meetups and conferences where I could meet other developers face-to-face and exchange ideas. I enjoyed these activities immensely and found them very rewarding.
One day in 2014, a friend of mine, nominated me as a Microsoft MVP. I filled out the nomination form with details of my activities and waited for the result. After a few months of review, I got another email from Microsoft saying that I had been awarded the MVP status for ASPNET Technologies. I was overjoyed and grateful for this opportunity.
Since then, I have been actively involved in the Microsoft community as an MVP. Here are some of the things that I have done in the past 10 years:
- Written 100+ blog posts on various topics related to Microsoft technologies (and not only).
- Published 1 book on ASP.NET Core Minimal API.
- Spoken at over 125+ events online or around the Europe
- Organized more than 10 events online or in person
- Created (and creating) 2 LinkedIn Learning courses
- Contributed to over 50 open source projects on GitHub
- Participated to 3 Hackathons
- Mentored over 20 aspiring developers through online platforms
- Received other awards and recognitions such as GitHub Star, Auth0 Ambassador, Codemotion Ambassador, etc.
Being an MVP has been a tremendous learning experience for me. Here are some of the key lessons that I have learned along the way:
- Be passionate: Passion is the fuel that drives me to learn new things, share my knowledge and help others. It is what makes me excited about technology and keeps me motivated to do more.
- Be curious: Curiosity is the spark that ignites my creativity and innovation. It is what makes me explore new possibilities and challenge myself to find better solutions.
- Be humble: Humility is the foundation that helps me grow as a professional and a person. It is what makes me appreciate feedback, acknowledge mistakes and respect others.
- Be generous: Generosity is the spirit that guides me to give back to the community and make a positive impact. It is what makes me share my time, resources and expertise with others without expecting anything in return.
- Be grateful: Gratitude is the attitude that shapes my perspective and happiness. It is what makes me thankful for the opportunities, support and recognition that I have received from Microsoft and the community.
To wrap up this post, I want to share some fun facts and statistics about MVPs that I have collected from various sources:
- The MVP program started in 1993 when a developer named Calvin Hsia developed a system to rank the most active users of the technology support forum CompuServe. His list of "Most Verbose People", as he dubbed it, was initially created for fun, but it soon caught the eye of Microsoft.
- The first MVPs were awarded in 1994 for Microsoft Access, Visual Basic and FoxPro. The first MVP Summit was held in 1996 with 37 attendees.
- The MVP award categories have changed over time to reflect the evolution of Microsoft technologies. Currently, there are 14 award categories: Microsoft Azure, Windows Development, M365 Development, Developer Technologies, Data Platform, AI, Internet of Things, Cloud & Datacenter Management, Enterprise Mobility, Windows & Devices for IT, M365 Apps & Services, Business Applications, Security, Mixed Reality.
- The MVP award lasts for a year and is renewable based on the continued community contributions. The average tenure of an MVP is 5.4 years.
- The MVP community is very diverse and inclusive. There are MVPs from all ages, genders, backgrounds and professions. The youngest MVP was 14 years old and the oldest was 83 years old. There are MVPs from over 90 countries/regions and they speak over 40 languages. There are MVPs who are students, teachers, doctors, lawyers, artists, musicians, etc.
- The MVP community is very collaborative and supportive. There are many ways for MVPs to connect and interact with each other, such as online forums, social media groups, podcasts, newsletters, etc. There are also regional and global events where MVPs can meet in person and network with each other and with Microsoft teams. The most prominent event is the Global MVP Summit, which is held annually at the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It is an exclusive event where MVPs can learn about the latest Microsoft technologies, provide feedback to product teams and have fun with fellow MVPs.
- The MVP community is very influential and impactful. MVPs are recognized as thought leaders and trusted advisors in their respective fields. They have a strong voice and reach in the community through their various channels of communication. They also have a direct impact on the development and improvement of Microsoft products and services through their feedback and suggestions. According to Microsoft, MVPs have influenced over 200 million people worldwide through their community activities.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. I also want to thank all of you who have supported me throughout my journey. You are the reason why I do what I do.
I look forward to continuing my journey as an MVP for many more years to come. You can find more information about the MVP program at https://mvp.microsoft.com/.
Thank you and see you around!
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