Three years ago, I was very excited to announce that Microsoft had given me a Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award, recognising some of the work I had been doing at that time around virtual machine technology (specifically Hyper-V). I’ve been re-awarded twice since then but 1 October has passed once more and, for the 2011/12 season, there is no award for me.
To be honest, that’s not a surprise and all good things must come to an end. MVP awards are for people doing great work in the community to evangelise Microsoft products* and I just don’t do much of that any more. I also don’t have the same relationship with Microsoft’s evangelists that I enjoyed a few years back, and the PR people stopped feeding me information (so I guess my influence must have been on the wane). Ultimately, my career has moved in a different direction and I honestly believe that to keep me “on the team” would devalue the programme and what it stands for. (Kind of like the MCSE did when the exams got too easy…)
As I’m writing this, it seems like a good time to mention the Windows Server User Group too. I spoke to Mark Parris a few weeks ago, and we agreed that I would step down from any activities there (the user group still exists, under Mark’s leadership). Realising that this might look like bitterness on my part, I want to be clear that it’s unrelated to any decision about my MVP status – I just chose to announce it at the same time because it comes down to the same issues of time/priorities/career focus.
Thanks to all of the people both inside and outside Microsoft, who have supported me over the years, read this blog, retweeted my comments on Twitter, etc. I hope you’ll continue to do so, now I no longer have the badge. And good luck to all of the MVPs I’ve met over the years, either online or in person - as I joked with Aidan Finn a couple of weeks ago, if Microsoft ever launches a “Most Valuable Strategist” programme, I’ll be right in there!
*I appreciate that this may be a slightly contentious comment. Many MVPs offer objective and impartial advice too!