So you didn’t get an email from Microsoft welcoming you into the MVP program yesterday, and now you’re wondering, “What happens next? What does all this mean?”
First off, you’re not alone. I didn’t get that email either.
Let’s step back a moment and think about what it is we’re trying to do here. The MVP program is great. The ultimate win – win. Microsoft benefits from an army of passionate advocates willing to share both the good and bad of the products they’re associated with. You get recognition for your role in the community and the skills you’ve built over the years. That’s what it really all comes down to, community and skill; Passion and commitment. Get the right combination and keep at it long enough and you too can be an MVP.
But wait … you have both great skills and tons of amazing community involvement? You travel all over the country to speak for SQL Saturday and SQL user group events? Ok then … you lead a user group? You blog a lot? No? You record how to videos? You podcast? Well … you spend a lot of time helping your peers in the forums?
I think you see where I’m going. Many of us do one or two of the things I’ve listed. A rare few do many or all of them. I’ve talked to a lot of MVP’s about the path that brought them into the MVP program. Some have theories about the relative value of who you know, who knows you, who submits you for consideration, how many people submit your name to the program. In my opinion, it all comes down to one thing. Reach. The more people you can reach and share your skills / passion for the community with the better your chances of getting into the MVP program. Does that mean you have to do everything all the time? No. You just have to reach a lot of people with whatever it is you do. Pick your passion. Make some how to videos. Blog. Speak at SQL Saturday events. Don’t just be part of your community, be a leader. Do it ‘for the love of the game’ and one day you’ll get there.
This post was inspired by ‘Congratulations, You’re an MVP! Here’s What You Need to Know’ from Brent Ozar (blog | twitter). Brent is one of my favorite SQL bloggers; if you don’t already follow him you should add his blog to your RSS reader now.