About every eighteen months or so, Microsoft throws a big party for all of the Microsoft MVPs around the world.
The next Global MVP Summit is in Redmond (as always), next week – March 12th to March 15th.
In honour of the MVPs being away from their usual desks, Microsoft have promised not to deliver any security-related patches, and to keep us away from the chaos that follows any misapplications of the Daylight Saving Time patches.
[I'm kidding, of course - Microsoft didn't deliberately schedule this around DST, nor are they holding any security patches back for us, they simply have no security patches to give to the world as yet.]
So, yeah, I’m excited. I get to meet with a large number of good friends that I’ve only ever met online, and a few people with whom I frequently disagree, but I’m certain to get on well with them all.
Did I say “party”? Well, yes, there’s one or two of those, in the evenings, but the day starts early – the buses depart from hotels at 7am, and Microsoft likes to spend the day shoveling us full of knowledge about new software, new ways of working, or even better ways of using what’s currently out there.
What’s truly exciting about this – and different from any other conference I’ve been to – is that everyone at the MVP Summit is there because they love to figure out new things and to help other people figure them out, too.
At other conferences I’ve been to, I’ve seen people who are simply there because their employer sent them, and they really can’t imagine what use they’ll get out of half of the sessions.
At MVP Summits, some of the attendees are there despite their employers – many are doing this entirely on personal funds and personal time off work – and they are all keen to get maximum use out of their time in Redmond.
As with any time of the year, there are some people who can’t make it – last time I went to a Summit, it was scheduled around the same time as Passover, so many observant Jews couldn’t make it. Last time, it was right after I left Microsoft, so I couldn’t make it, as I wasn’t re-awarded yet. This time, it’s right before April, so many accountants can’t make it. They will be sorely missed.
There are also things to be nervous about – my MVP award expires on April 1 – but I don’t yet know whether I’ll be re-awarded for this last year’s community contributions. I’m also going to be a part of one of the sessions – that should be entertaining.
Most of what’s put out by Microsoft at the Summit is covered under an NDA – Non-Disclosure Agreement – meaning that I can’t share them with you – but of course, we’ll all be blogging what we can, because that’s one of the things we do that made us MVPs in the first place!