Year 13 As A Microsoft Valuable Professional Begins

I found out today that I have been renewed as a Microsoft Azure MVP! This is my 13th consecutive year as an MVP, with previous expertises covering Hyper-V and System Center Configuration Manager. It’s an honour to continue to be part of this program.

The profile of how I am contributing has changed a lot. In my early days, I wrote about everything I saw in my RSS feeds – and I mean everything. I was single with no responsibilities after work, and often living in a hotel with nothing better to do. I got involved in writing books (remember those?). I wrote my own whitepapers – a full week or two of work. Today, Microsoft does a much better (not perfect) job at documenting things. There are lots of people in the community sharing content today so things I might have written about are being done elsewhere and why create redundant content? ]Today, I have a wife and young family and they are my priority in my off-hours. So I have changed how I contribute to the community.

I prefer events where I can fly in out the same day, or at least limit my away time to a quick overnight visit. But that’s all ended for us lately, so the online medium has taken over, which makes me much more available. I haven’t written a tech book in years – my last book (on WS2012 Hyper-V) was when the content was relatively static; today, a book on any tech is out of date before you save your markdown file. I pick and choose my blog topics – I spend a LOT of time doing Azure networking/security and I’ve always skewed my blogging to what I work on. I’ve found even senior consultants/architects don’t know this stuff well so my recent posts have gone into the level-400 stuff on routing and security design/implementation that is usually misunderstood. A lot of my community contribution isn’t obvious.

The MVP program provides MVPs with direct contact with the program managers of the products in their expertise area, and other areas. I’ve taken advantage of that since my 2nd year in the program. There are things in the Hyper-V/clustering/storage world that I can point & say “I provided feedback to make that happen”. And that continues in Azure; like a lot of MVPs, I give feedback and end up in 1:1 email/Teams conversations with the relevant PMs. There are recent things that have launched (some still coming) that I have helped shape. That’s one of the cool parts of being a member of the program, being able to take my observations from work or feedback from customers/community members, and bring it to the product group to improve things for all of us. I think that’s where I’ve been most busy this last year.

There are cool things coming … some are there already but you might not know it! … and that’ll give us lots of things to talk about 🙂

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