Recently I met with a couple of guys from Microsoft over lunch to discuss what it might take to be considered for the award of Microsoft SQL Server MVP, and I thought that I would share this information for those interested while it is fresh on my mind. After doing some research on the program I have found out some things that you might consider helpful if you strive to work towards this goal.
A little background first, about six months ago I had a couple of friends at nearly the same time tell me that I should investigate what steps were needed to become an MVP. They knew that I geek with SQL Server morning, noon, and night, weekends and holidays included, and might be a good candidate for this status. Actually I never thought much about it, because I really didn’t know anything about the program and wasn’t terribly curious to go investigate. Then shortly thereafter, someone from work mentioned it, which prompted my curiosity - one of the directors at the office said that it would be nice to have a SQL MVP at our Dallas office. Seeing that the company where I work has 200 employees at our local office, over 8000 in the United States, and 96,000+ world-wide, I figured that we should have some MVPs floating around. Add to this the fact that we just won a distinguished partner award, the two seemed to go hand-in-hand. After doing some investigation though, I was a bit shocked to find only one SQL Server MVP (John Paul Cook, who is located in another office and by the way a genius at infrastructure as well as SQL. There very well may be more, but he is the only one that I am aware of). At that time, I did some more reading, asked questions here and there, and came to the conclusion that, yeah, I might go ahead and investigate this a little…it may be cool to work towards becoming a SQL Server MVP.
So I pinged some resources at our office and was hooked up with a former Microsoft employee who is now working for us as our practice area lead. He in turn contacted a couple of folks from the local Microsoft office, and we all got together to chat about the SQL Server MVP program. Here are a few take-ways for you, in case you are interested in going for this award. These were suggestions directly from two Microsoft SQL Server folks out of the Irving, TX office; to what degree or route for a candidate to follow is up to him/her, and this serves as an outline from my notes:
One thing that was not mentioned but I sort of figured out…it will help to work for a company that will support you in this effort. You obviously can’t afford to take time off of work and fly across the country on your own nickel, so it is imperative to work for someone willing to assist you with the process. This also requires them to know, to a degree, what they will get in return for having a SQL Server MVP on staff, and understand the benefits of their investment. If you have no support in this area, it will be more difficult, in my opinion. Working for an insurance company or maybe a clothing retailer (not that there is anything wrong with these industries) might not be as good as working for a consulting company or products specialty company. As you can see, there are a lot of tracks or avenues to go about becoming a SQL Server MVP; you probably can’t do all of them, but can certainly take-on many.
So, what do you think? Are you interested in pursuing this status? Do you have the determination to achieve this goal? Do you live, eat, breathe, sleep, wake up thinking Microsoft SQL Server? After meeting with the guys mentioned, I’ve sort of concluded that I’m not on this track at the present time. I tend to enjoy doing other things, stuff that you read about on my blog, and haven’t ventured out too far with some of the requirements that they have suggested to me. Remember that not everyone will become an MVP – you have to position yourself to ‘stand out’ amongst the crowd, so to speak, and at the end of the day you may be nominated but may not receive the reward. But, it’s definitely something to keep in mind for the future. No doubt that the folks that I have met who are MVPs are really super class-acts for sure; someone attaining the status will enjoy the camaraderie and friendships that will be made for a lifetime, and will open up very rewarding paths and opportunities throughout a career.
Thanks for visiting,
Lee Everest M.S. texastoo.com
“It feels so good to be back here at the Dexter Lake Club. We'd like to do a tune entitled: Shama Lama Ding Dong. So hit-it!”