Most likely if you are reading this post you already know what a MVP is. If not, a MVP is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional. What does that mean? To quote Microsoft’s MVP home page “Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) are exceptional technical community leaders from around the world who are awarded for voluntarily sharing their high quality, real world expertise in offline and online technical communities. Microsoft MVPs are a highly select group of experts that represents the technical community’s best and brightest, and they share a deep commitment to community and a willingness to help others.”
How does one become a MVP? I have seen this question posted on various newsgroups and I get asked this a lot. Well, first of all the MVP award is just that, an award. As one of my fellow MVPs states “It is an award not an entitlement”. I am proud to be a MVP and have been one for the last 6 years but each year I get nervous wondering if I will get re-awarded. Yes, I answer a lot of questions in the newsgroups and yes I blog but like I said each year I worry if it is enough (some might say our wonderful MVP lead April takes pleasure in making us suffer [:O] )
So here are some things that you can do to help your chances of becoming a MVP. There is no hard formula like if I answer X questions and post Y blogs I will get the award but these are some guidelines:
Active with UserGroups (not as a simple member but one that presents / runs / heads up committees)
Blogging – Actively posting “USEFUL” information about the product (not simply referencing other peoples post and claiming them as your own although if someone else has posted useful information feel free to tell others about it)
Writing and Publishing – Books, Trade Magazines (SharePoint Beagle, SP Advisor, TechNet, MSD2D)
Speaking events – Conferences, code camps
Donates his or her time freely and willingly to help users in the community doing things like posting useful code in places like CodePlex
News Group participation ( MSD2D, MSDN) Providing more answers and less questions
Recognition as a knowledge expert in thier discipline.
The SharePoint MVP community is a very tight nit group but we are always willing to accept new members that demonstrate the willingness and ability to become a MVP.