How much do you know about being a Microsoft MVP?

The Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Award is one way that Microsoft celebrates individuals for their contributions to the greater IT Community. I’m happy to say that I have been awared my 3rd Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award in the area of Cloud and Datacenter Management. Having been included in several IT Community recognition awards, I’m often asked – How can I become an MVP? I thought I’d put down my thoughts in an effort to help answer some of the most common questions.

Q & A About the MVP Program

(Q) What does it take to be an MVP / How can I become an MVP?
(A)
In its most simple explanation, to be an MVP you should mimic the behavior of other MVPs…but what does that really mean? Well first examine what core charter of the program and its members. Being an MVP is all about the sharing of knowledge to empower others. There are many different ways in which this happens…GitHub Projects (share sample PowerShell scripts), In-person speaking at events, user groups or online through webinars. The most common way of helping others through is through blog posts (like this one), the MSDN / TechNet Forums, attend and participate in a local Microsoft User group. You can also create some demo videos…they don’t have to be too complex, just record your screen and post to YouTube. You’ll be surprised just how many people really watch this stuff! You can also provide product feedback to Microsoft’s Product Teams directly. Coming from outside of the MVP Program this one would be the most challenging since those key individuals are not always the easiest to find and get a hold of. Now keep in mind, this is not an all inclusive list but it’s the most common ways. Again, if you see an MVP in the wild – mimic what they do.

To self nominate visit: https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/Nomination/NominateAnMvp

(Q) What are the Award Categories?
(A) Microsoft Azure, Windows Development, Office Development, Visual Studio and Development Technologies, Data Platform, AI, Cloud and Datacenter Management, Enterprise Mobility, Windows and Devices for IT, Office Servers and Services, Business Soltuions and Office Products.

(Q) What will I get out of the MVP Program?
(A) There are many program benefits – having been a part of many influencer and community programs the MVP Program in my opinion offers the most to those fortunate enough to be awarded. MVP Global Summit, Free MSDN and O365 Subscription, MVP NDA Distribution Lists to share and get feedback directly from Microsoft Product Managers and the rest of the MVP Community. There are also a laundry list of 3rd party benefits from vendors like LinkedIn Learning, Digicert, Devolutions, Docker, ESET, Pluralsight, TechSmith (Camtasia and SnagIt) and Veeam just to name a few. As an MVP you also have the opportunity (I’m one of these lucky ones too!) to get $12,000USD of Azure Credits to use over the calendar year.

You will also be given many opportunities directly from Microsoft themselves to speak at User Groups, MeetUp’s and even at Microsoft Ignite, Build and other related community focused events.

(Q) How do I find other MVPs?
(A) The MVP site has a very handy Find an MVP search. You can use this to search your geography to find MVPs in your area according to their award category. You should also find and follow fellow MVPs on Twitter. Search for the #MVPBuzz and #MVPHOUR – then follow the folks that Tweet to these particular threads. This is a great way to get engaged and involved with the content they’re producing.

Wrap Up

If you apply to the MVP Program and don’t get accepted on the first go, don’t get frustrated – keep after it, all great things happen in due time. In fact, my first run at applying for the MVP Program resulted in rejection, not until my 2nd time around