I’m a Microsoft MVP!

The Friday before I left for PASS Summit, I was shocked and surprised to find out that I had been presented the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for Data Platform.

Microsoft MVP Logo

My shock was genuine, as this was just about the last thing I was expecting. And then the congratulations and other kind words started rolling in from tons of #sqlfamily and other corners of the internet. My Twitter and Facebook exploded. I didn't get very much done that day. PASS Summit was also an even more incredible experience than usual as I had so many people congratulating me in person, and saying how surprised they were that I wasn't an MVP already.

For those who aren't familiar with the Microsoft MVP Award, Microsoft presents it to (in their own words) "technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community." They go on to say that "Above all and in addition to their amazing technical abilities, MVPs are always willing to help others – that's what sets them apart."

I should take a step back and talk about how much receiving the MVP Award means to me. Not only am I grateful for the recognition of the 10 years I've been a part of the SQL Server / Data Platform community, but there's a lot of complicated backstory for me.

You see, I've been "accused" (in a good way) of being an MVP for years now:

  • There have been two blog posts written by community members over the years mistakenly listing me as being a new MVP.
  • Each year I have been told "See you at MVP Summit!" at other community events.
  • I've had people be surprised to hear I wasn't an MVP on more occasions than I can count.
  • I've been nominated for MVP at least 15 times that I know of.

And while all of that is extremely flattering, there's always been something missing. I adopted the position that I didn't need the MVP award itself to contribute to the community just like MVPs do, and seeing as how so many people assumed I already was one, I must have been right.

But with all the support and kind words I've received over the years, there also has been a negative side:

  • I've been told I don't deserve to become an MVP.
  • I've been told I will never become an MVP.
  • Someone told me they will actively work to make sure I never become an MVP (and they couldn't give an answer when I asked why that was necessary).
  • Someone told me that it was below them to speak to me (or any other non-MVP) during the MVP Summit one year.

Thankfully, all other MVPs I know treat this award like the honor and privilege that it is, and not like it's a junior high school clique. I am extremely honored to have received this award, and look forward to using it to give back to the community in even more ways than I have previously.

Thank you to everyone who has offered their congratulations and support – I hope I can live up to the high expectations you have for me and I have for myself. I'm excited to continue building community the best way I know how, by being welcoming, gracious, and looking down on no one. To me, there is no greater honor than to use my MVP award and its privileges as a tool to help and serve others. So get ready!

Because I'm just getting started :)