I am honored to receive Microsoft’s annual MVP award starting today, July 1, 2011. Microsoft informed me by email this morning (though I had a tip off a few weeks ago).
I am blogging today to inform my blog audience on what this award is and what it means as I share my passion for data mining. Also from this post, I encourage other technology enthusiasts to invest in the technical community too. People who read this blog know that I have close ties with both SAS Institute and Microsoft. This MVP award formally recognizes my choice to invest time and energy in developing relationships with not only Microsoft technology users but also producers.
I believe my path started with my participation in the Microsoft online forums for data mining, which then resulted in Microsoft contacting me about writing a community article a few years ago. Since then, I have met many people outside and inside Microsoft who have become friends, some of which have connected with me on social media sites like Linked In and Twitter. Operationally, this award means more to internal Microsoft people than the general data mining marketplace (unless a non-Microsoft organization has their own strong or partner relationship with Microsoft, which any organization can seek).
This post has information on the MVP program and details on what it is about.
First, I will cite some general information from https://www.mvpaward.com/overview.aspx
What is an MVP?
Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals are individuals who are recognized by peers as well as by Microsoft for past credible participation, highest quality answers and a demonstrated willingness to share their Microsoft technical expertise with others while providing guidance and assistance in peer-to-peer technical communities worldwide.
While these individuals represent a wide variety of backgrounds and professions, MVPs share the basic characteristics of possessing very strong technical skills in one or more Microsoft products or technology areas. Microsoft MVPs also possess the willingness to share that knowledge with others.
Selected contributors earn their MVP status by being nominated by their peers in the community, Microsoft Support Professionals, or Microsoft Product Group members who have seen consistent, professional and
accurate technical answers or guidance in response to customer questions.
Sometimes people refer to “MVP” as an identity. I have a “Ph.D.” and sometimes that title is also used as an identity. I identify with both titles, but in both cases I believe that an MVP or an academic doctorate are awards. On the latter topic, I have mentored several professionals through academic doctorates, which is an identity that people can earn. Earning might require developing new skills and always requires developing new relationships.
Next is some standard language from a letter which Microsoft could send to your employer or client about this award. Microsoft makes such a letter to help MVP awardees in cases where either employers or clients might think skeptically about someone’s involvement in technical community service. In my case, I am my own business owner of MarkTab Consulting, and I am sensitive to managing client expectations. In any case, here is the sample text from that letter:
It is with great pride we announce that Mark Tabladillo has been awarded as a Microsoft® Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 7/1/2011 – 7/1/2012. The Microsoft MVP Award is an annual award that recognizes exceptional technology community leaders worldwide who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with users and Microsoft. All of us at Microsoft recognize and appreciate Mark’s extraordinary contributions and want to take this opportunity to share our appreciation with you.
With fewer than 5,000 awardees worldwide, Microsoft MVPs represent a highly select group of experts. MVPs share a deep commitment to community and a willingness to help others. They represent the diversity of today’s technical communities. MVPs are present in over 90 countries, spanning more than 30 languages, and over 90 Microsoft technologies. MVPs share a passion for technology, a willingness to help others, and a commitment to community. These are the qualities that make MVPs exceptional community leaders. MVPs’ efforts enhance people’s lives and contribute to our industry’s success in many ways. By sharing their knowledge and experiences, and providing objective feedback, they help people solve problems and discover new capabilities every day. MVPs are technology’s best and brightest, and we are honored to welcome Mark as one of them.
To recognize the contributions they make, MVPs from around the world have the opportunity to meet Microsoft executives, network with peers, and position themselves as technical community leaders. This is
accomplished through speaking engagements, one on one customer event participation and technical content development. MVPs also receive early access to technology through a variety of programs offered by Microsoft, which keeps them on the cutting edge of the software and hardware industry.
As a recipient of this year’s Microsoft MVP award, Mark joins an exceptional group of individuals from around the world who have demonstrated a willingness to reach out, share their technical expertise with
others and help individuals maximize their use of technology.
Again, I want to share what this program means if you personally are considering investing time in what it might take to earn an MVP award. This award is annual and requires ongoing activity for active renewal. And, people might be in seasons of life where they need to scale back for personal or professional reasons. However, I always believe that people could rejoin later. An academic degree is something people retain for life, but the MVP award is periodic, inherently encouraging professionals to continue investing in the technical community.
Finally, some visuals — here is the current welcome picture that new MVP awardees see:
Also, I am now authorized during this award period to use the MVP logo.
If you are a technical enthusiast, and even if you have other technology interests beyond just Microsoft, you could become part of the MVP program too.
Click here to view my MVP profile on the Microsoft website (the profile, and therefore link, is valid only as long as I am active in the program).