I am a Microsoft Data Platform MVP

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Interviewing yourself is easy, as I get to write the questions as I write the answers!

Is this your first award? 

No, it is my 19th. And it is as exciting today as the first time. It was around 18 years ago (the MVP year started in October back then), I got an email from Microsoft telling me I had been awarded the MVP Award. It was a big shock back then, because while I had been asked for information about what I did for the community, I had been at the PASS conference (pretty sure it was in Orlando at the Gaylord hotel, but I am not really sure anymore. That was 18 years ago when I was in my 30’s.) with lots of the MVPs, the MVP lead, and they had said nothing. 

After I got back, I got the email and got the award. I didn’t really know what it meant then, and maybe I don’t really know now. It is obviously an honor to have Microsoft thank you for working with their community of users and I have made a lot of friends and contacts who are also awardees (and not awardees too!). If you don’t know about the award, or what it means, you can read about it here

How would I feel if this was the last one?

I have been convinced about 15 times it would be the last one. Each of the now 19 awards I have received, not one time did I think “if I am not re-awarded, I am going to be mad/throw a fit.”  I will admit it is going to hurt like a gut punch (metaphorically of course, as getting punch really hurts), but when it is the end, it will be. I just hope to get one more trip to Redmond in, and to do that I have to quit getting injured :). 

Does the whole thing bore me now?

Way far from it. In fact, it is best not to be around me the day when the announcements come out. Ok, I will admit it used to be the week that announcements came out, and don’t get me started on that year they were 3 days late and no one told us. 

Over the years, I have gotten pretty good at distracting myself, but once I remember that it is the day, I go to my email client, Twitter, and the MVP.Microsoft.com site and start freaking out. I literally can feel my heart squirming around in my chest. Then comes the moment that the emails start rolling out and you see other people say “I am re-awarded” and your mailbox just has 2000 pieces of spam from that morning. My email address has also been part of many many hacks over the years :)).

Once I get my email, everything goes back to normal in my chest and brain. I truly do hope that when the day comes some day, that I will have some warning, or that is going to be a rough day.

So will this be the last year?

This is the 15th or so time I have asked that. There have been a few “free passes” when the program was being altered. There were a few years I did a LOT of stuff. I have no real idea, as it has always been pretty secretive, but I tend to feel like if the MVP Award was like the NCAA March Madness tournaments, I would be in the lower bracket, but still in. I am generally pretty busy and do a lot of writing and  bit of speaking and conference organizing.

Several things have really changed in my life these past few years.

  • My job is all about writing and editing. Previously I wrote code, and wrote blogs and books for fun. Now I write and edit blogs 8 hours a day. Writing more is a bit more tedious than it once was (I also don’t have my coworkers for inspiration anymore as I don’t really work with anyone programming anymore.
  • There were three conferences I have worked with. PASS is owned by my employer, so that counts a lot less, if at all. Our local user group is struggling to find a form, as is the other conference I worked with.
  • I am not sure I want to do a lot of speaking anymore. Until the pandemic, I usually spoke 5-6 times a year. I haven’t spoken in front of a group in over three years now (and my stage fright voice is asking me… are you sure…) but I will find out in Columbus next week.

Any last words?

That is a very strange way to ask that, but I am leaving it. I am so very proud to have another MVP Award, and I hope I can live up to it this year and get another one, but if not, it has been an amazing journey. If you want to talk about being an MVP (either as one, or as someone who would like to be one), feel free to ask anytime. Well, not after 12:00AM because I will be writing my next blog then.