Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer in the United States, June 21st is the summer solstice this year, and July 1st is the time to recognize new and renewed Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVP). As the staff at IT Unity wind down from a busy spring conference season, we’d like to take a moment to recognize all of those who receive the MVP award over the next few days.
Microsoft renews groups of MVPs every quarter throughout the year. My own renewal is on January 1st, which has been a nice New Year’s present for the last 10 years. Nine of those years I was a SharePoint Server MVP, but this year I was “migrated” to Office 365. Just like everything else, I moved to the cloud.
Over the last 10 years, I have had the privilege of working with many MVPs. Most of them, of course, were connected with SharePoint in some way, but not all. Even within the SharePoint community, MVPs can represent dramatically different skillsets; we have business user, power user, IT, and developer specialties. What all of the MVPs share, however, is a commitment to learn and share constantly. MVP is not just an honor, it’s an obligation to help push new information and practices into the community of users and engineers. In fact, the MVP award itself is given in recognition of such community activities.
When I was first awarded, it was on the strength of a few SharePoint development books, which were viewed as significant community contributions. At that time, there were few dedicated SharePoint authors, but that has obviously changed. With improvements in technology, more and more people are getting their information from places like articles, blogs, videos, and webcasts. Furthermore, people expect the information to be timely and available on demand. All of this means that MVPs must produce more high-quality content for the community than ever before, and IT Unity is the place to find a lot of that content. In fact, MVP contributions are a cornerstone of the IT Unity model.
Along with the volume of change, MVPs (and the rest of us) are also experiencing an increasing pace of change. When I was first awarded, SharePoint was on a three-year release cycle. So, we would ramp up our learning over the course of 18 months, write a couple of books, and use our knowledge to work on projects until the next cycle came. Now, changes are made to Office 365 every 2 weeks. There is simply no time to stop learning. So, MVPs must consume new knowledge rapidly and quickly produce content for the community.
So let’s take a moment to congratulate all of those new and renewed MVPs for this cycle. We here at IT Unity would like to recognize them for the many hours of uncompensated hard work they put in each year providing documentation, guidance, samples, and best practices for the rest of the community. In a world where you no longer get much documentation with your Microsoft products, MVPs are invaluable to us all.
Thanks everyone and congratulations!
Did you get renewed, or do you know someone who did? Please add a shout out, below, and include your twitter handle!