On May 1, 2018, I got my first “Most Valuable Professional” award by Microsoft. I was so happy on that day when the email from Microsoft arrived confirming that I got MVP award in the “Office 365 Development” category:
A few days later, I received a package full of MVP goodies from the Microsoft Canada team:
And again after a few more days, I received my MVP award kit:
It has been 1 year since getting an MVP award, and I am still a Microsoft MVP. I will continue to remain Microsoft MVP till June 30, 2019. When Microsoft announces MVP renewals on July 1, 2019, I hope to be renewed as an MVP once again.
So who gets a Microsoft MVP award? What does it mean to a Microsoft MVP?
There are many misconceptions in the mind of people in general about being a Microsoft MVP. I tried to answer a few of those “myths” below:
MVP Myth#1 MVP is a Microsoft employee
That’s the most common misconception which I encountered in the last one year. Many people who came to attend meetups hosted by me, or I met at technical events had that misconception – “Oh, you work for Microsoft, right?”. No, a Microsoft MVP is not a Microsoft employee.
MVP Myth#2 MVPs are paid by Microsoft to promote its technologies
Microsoft does not pay us anything to promote its technologies. It’s true that being a Microsoft MVP, any new technologies/products rolled out by Microsoft will be highlighted by us first. But it is out of passion, and that’s what made us MVP in the first place. There isn’t any monetary benefit involved.
MVP Myth#3 MVPs are experts in all Microsoft technologies
The MVP award is awarded mostly in one of the many categories. e.g. I am MVP in “Office 365 Development” category. There may be MVPs who are awarded in more than one category. But these categories mean that we had valuable contributions in those areas. It has nothing to do with the expertise of the person being awarded. It can be possible that an MVP has expert knowledge in his/her award category, but may not be in all others.
MVP Myth#4 MVPs earn a lot of money for being an “MVP”
It’s true that being an MVP gets you recognition and it is definitely going to help you in getting business or finding a job. But only “being” an MVP does not automatically earn you any money. You have to continue doing your best in your professional life.
So again, what does it mean to be a Microsoft MVP?
Being a Microsoft MVP means one is constantly contributing for the betterment of the technical community around him/her. That contribution can be in the form of hosting meetups, speaking/organizing conferences, writing blogs, mentoring and many more other avenues. Being an MVP means that person has done significant contributions in the public domain in one of the areas of MVP categories.
Which benefits do I get for being a Microsoft MVP?
As mentioned above there is no monetary benifit involved. But there are many other benefits one gets from Microsoft and its partners. Most of those are in terms of subsciptions to various online services or licenses for softwares.
I got invited to represent Microsoft at various events happening in and around Toronto. I represented Microsoft at “Hack the North” and “Disrupt AI” hackathons as a mentor and judge. I presented a session on Excel programming at “Microsoft Ignite The Tour | Toronto” in January 2019.
We also get invited to a big event called “MVP Summit” once a year which takes place at Microsoft HQ in Readmond near Seattle, US. We meet MVPs from across the world, get a chance to meet Microsoft employees and other prominent Microsoft personalities who are attending the MVP Summit. This year the MVP Summit was held from March 17 to 22, 2019 and I had a blast:
In the coming year, I plan to keep continuing serving the technical community in the Greater Toronto Area. I wish to be renewed as Microsoft MVP again. Eagerly waiting for July 1, 2019!
Here is to coming many more years as a Microsoft MVP !!!