How to become Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP)

This is one of the most common question I have been asked these days and yes you are not only curious person around, there are many 🙂 //Please note that this is a long post 🙂
What is MVP?
Most probably if you are reading this blog post, you already know that what is MVP however if you don’t then first and foremost thing is that “Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) is an award”. This is what Microsoft says about MVP award at Microsoft MVP Site:
“We seek to recognize the best and brightest from technology communities around the world with the Microsoft® Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award. These exceptional community leaders come from a wide range of backgrounds. They are teachers, artists, doctors, engineers, as well as technologists, who actively share their high-quality, real-world technical expertise with the community and with Microsoft.
With the MVP Award, we thank these inspiring individuals for representing the voice of thousands in the community through the powerful and independent feedback they give us, and for helping our customers maximize the potential of their software.“
MVP award is given in particular technology for example C#, ASP.NET, Connected Systems etc in which person shows most contribution or passion.
What is required to be MVP?
The very first thing I want to clear here is the answer of a weird question people ask sometime that “Is there a certification to become MVP?” Well not at all. The key to become MVP is Sharing of Knowledge and Real World Expertise, voluntarily. Your goal should be ‘serving community’ rather than becoming MVP as they say that MVPs are already in the community they are just being recognized 🙂
So, coming back to the point, there are two main ways to serve the community being technical expert
  1. Online
  2. Offline
For online: you can contribute through Answering on technical Forums, fantastic articles, useful blogs, podcasts, websites, screen casts. //Be careful not to copy someone else content and if you do give it proper reference.
For offline: User Groups, speaking, books, magazines etc.
Finally keep in touch with other MVPs and local Microsoft Evangelism team.
How will I be selected?
There is no shortcut to become MVP. You need to get active in the community for the long time and be consistent. In order to become MVP you need to be recognized and nominated by someone from either Microsoft or by another MVP. Some are lucky to get recognized early and some get late. Out of 100 million people participate in technical communities, there are only around 4000 MVPs worldwide and there are only around 10 in Pakistan. That makes me more lucky 🙂
“Potential MVPs are nominated by other technical community members, current and former MVPs, and Microsoft personnel who have noted their leadership and their willingness and ability to help others make the most of their Microsoft technology” – Microsoft MVP Site
Benefits?
Perhaps the MVP Award has now become a status symbol in the technical community. However there are numerous benefits that are offered by Microsoft to you as a MVP. Some of them are:
  • MSDN and TechNet Subscription //That means virtually all Microsoft software are free for you
  • Access Private Newsgroups and Insiders’ List
  • Product Feedback and Interaction with Product Team
  • MVP Global Summit //Microsoft invites all MVPs to their headquarters at Seattle/Redmond
  • MVP Source Licensing Program //gain licensed access to source code of some Microsoft Products [limited countries]
  • //etc etc
Please note that there are no monetary benefits offered to MVPs from Microsoft.
Concluding Remarks
I would like to end this post by highlighting few points:
  • Although MVPs are considered as Microsoft technology evangelist, they do strong criticism when they provide feedback to product teams at Microsoft
  • MVP is not all about doing evangelism of Microsoft
  • MVPs are independent of Microsoft //Jon Skeet is Visual C# MVP and he works at Google
  • MVPs give feedback as a representative of local community and they do what best fit in the real world scenarios. For example, MVPs suggested that when connecting with Oracle through .NET application Oracle’s ODP.NET is better than Microsoft Oracle Data Provider. As a result Microsoft marked ‘Microsoft Oracle Data Provider’ obsolete and not recommended for future use 🙂
  • As a MVP you have networking opportunities with other MVPs around the globe
  • The above mentioned activities (online, offline) are just common set of activities usually MVPs do and there is no guarantee that if you will follow above defined activities,will become MVP. In fact no one really knows the criteria of MVP Award. However there is only one thing common which I see in almost every MVP and that is the passion to serve the community regardless of reward
The beauty of MVP Program is that as a MVP you have so much credibility inside Microsoft that they can even change their product shipping date if MVPs recommend them to do so and that makes the relationship between MVPs and Microsoft strong.
I hope this post would have been useful for many of you. If you still have any question(s) in mind, please feel free to ask.
Last but not least, As a fun I would recommend you to read “Finally revealed!!! The secret criteria for the Microsoft MVP Award!!” by Sean O’Driscoll.
Have a great day!

Practical Enterprise Application Development

This week I presented a session to my team at Telenor Pakistan that was related to Enterprise Architecture, Design and some good design principles. Since I like these stuff and I got request as well, I would like to share the slides with you all 🙂

Enjoy!

References:

Second Shot Voucher from eDotNetDevs

Hey Folks, 
Summer is here and we have a good news for you! Yes “Second Shot Vouchers” for Microsoft certifications. Take any IT Professional, Developer, or Business Management (Dynamics) Certification exam and get a FREE retake if you fail. Customers must take their first exam and (if necessary) their retake exam before June 30, 2010.

Emerging .NET Devs will not only provide you second shot vouchers but also

To request for voucher, please read the blog post on Emerging .NET Devs site. You can also join Facebook Page of “Emerging .NET Devs” to get future updates!

TechElite and ProCom.net 2010

Last week I had privileged to participate, as judge for software project competition, in TechElite and ProCom.net 2010. Both the events were wonderfully organized and I really appreciate the potential in our students.

TechElite 2010 – NED University

TechElite-Group (picture source: CIO Pakistan) TechElite 2010 was held on 29th April, 2010 at NED University of Engineering and Technology. There were 4 categories of competition:

  • Speed Programming
  • Software Modeling and Design
  • Network Management
  • Software Project Competition

TechElite has really gained popularity and level in just few years and it’s now considered among the top Inter-University competition, so hats off to NEDians and in particular students of CIS department. Another point worth to mention here is the decoration of the overall department was done by the creativity team and despite financial challenges the students have done a great job to brand their event. Also they take care of their guests well. However there were few areas in which they need to improve such as some delay in event timings or some mix of software cum hardware projects in software etc. Finally, I think the initiative of Software Modeling and Design competition is really really good because usually student don’t focus in this area which has its own importance.

Well done TechElite Team.

ProCom.net 2010 – FAST – NUCES

FAST-NU

The 11th All Pakistan Programming, Engineering and Business competition ‘ProCom.net 2010’ was held on 1st and 2nd May, 2010 at National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Karachi. Following were the categories of competition:

  • Short Film and Animation
  • E-Zenith
  • I-Cube
  • Programming Competition
  • Software Competition
  • Gaming Competition
  • Hardware Competition
  • Circuit Design Competition
  • Network Design Competition
  • Innovative Business Idea

ProCom.net is a well known All Pakistan Inter-University competition so usually the expectations are high and sometimes they meet and sometimes they don’t. Overall the event was good and I think most number of participants were in programming competitions.

One of the best part was the participation of school students in i-Cube competition in which they demonstrated their project ideas and I think ProCom team needs to give further attention in order to make this category a great one. Another good thing was the participation from deaf and dumb school in software competition. Everyone appreciated their participation and efforts which was indeed a source of inspiration for all of us. However participation in software competition was not as per expectations on which I think future ProCom team must give attention to. Overall the program was fantastic, Thumbs up to Fastians.

These type of events are really encourage and motivate students to share their ideas and projects plus it also acts as interaction point of students with Industry.