MVP no more

It’s with some sadness that I have to announce that as of the start of October, I’m no longer a Microsoft MVP.

As renewal time came round again, I asked my employer whether it was okay for me to renew, and was advised not to do so. As a result, while I enjoyed being awarded as an MVP, I’ve asked not to be considered for renewal this year.

This doesn’t mean I’m turning my back on that side of software development, of course. I’m still going to be an active member of the C# community. I’m still writing the second edition of C# in Depth. I’m still going to post on Stack Overflow. I’m still going to blog here about whatever interesting and wacky topics crop up.

I just won’t be doing so as an MVP.

Thanks to all the friends I’ve made in the MVP community and Microsoft over the last 6 years, and I wish you all the best.

Keep in touch.

73 thoughts on “MVP no more

  1. Well, as you say: it isn’t as though you are disappearing from the scene ;-p Still – the MVP program will miss your input. And better to leave on your own terms, with a reason like “a conflict between that and my employer, Google” – I can’t think a better departure.

  2. Well, you don’t need that title anyway :))
    When someone see “Jon Skeet” is all clear.

    Regards,
    Petar

  3. Wow, that seems pretty intolerant. After all you’re losing out on tangible benefits, possibly including an effect on your book sales. Perhaps it would have been a better idea to simply renew without asking your employer?

    Fortunately you’re famous enough that most people will recognize your name anyway. 🙂

  4. I actually agree with Petar that “Jon Skeet” sounds stronger than just “MVP”. But does that all mean that your “current employer” is not such an open company as it tries to present itself?

  5. @Jack: My main project at Google (Mail/Contacts/Calendar sync) is in Java, but my 20% projects are in C#.

    @Everyone: I’m not going to comment on the MVP/Google bit beyond what was in my blog post. In some cases silence is the wisest policy 🙂

  6. Jon,

    I agree with Petar …. Your expertise (and well deserved reputation .. just see AskJonSkeet.com) is more than enough! … nonetheless I’m sorry to see you leave the program … you’ve done a tremendous amount to help C# developers over the years. Including me!

    Although it hard to be a really hard decision for you … I can understand why you’d want to cooperate with your employer … especially a great employer like Google.

    I look forward to your continued contributions online and in print.

  7. If there was ever a question about it, now you know it’s time to move to Seattle or Cambridge..

  8. Does this mean you’ll be moving your blog from msmvps.com?

    I know the site’s for “current and former” MVPs; I’m just curious.

  9. What kind of commitments does being an MVP place on you that affect your day-to-day job?

    Ie, are you required to do X, Y and Z while you are an MVP?

    Mark

  10. @Tenhundfeld: No, I’ll be keeping my blog here.

    @MarkA: No, MVP awards are retrospective – you’re awarded for your *previous* year’s efforts in the community.

  11. Well, it doubt it matters anyway.

    Jon Skeet is Jon Skeet is Jon Skeet. It’s like Richter, Prosise and Petzold (and Schildt…but that’s on the other end of the meter).

  12. I think it’s more than a bit ridiculous that Google told you not to renew your MVP status. Did they say something like “renewing Microsoft MVP is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take.”?

  13. @Everyone: don’t forget that Google lets Jon work in C# in it’s 20% time. That is to be respected and Google this way contributes to .NET community at large (ProtocolBuffers, …).

    It would be great that MS let C# team work in java for 20% of their time and post LINQ to java :))

  14. Jon, For a while there it seemed like you were ALWAYS online in the C# NG. I don’t know how you did it… You were a great help to many. Thanks! from a lurker.

  15. Sorry to hear it. Although I can understand that having insider access to information under NDA might create a liability if working on competitive products, could you not have accepted the title without the benefits? (since the term of the NDA extends automatically maybe not)

  16. That is total bullshit. As a former MVP, I’m pretty certain I can say that your employer cannot dictate how you, a private citizen, are recognized by another organization.

    Yet one more reason I don;t like Google.

  17. Bummer. I’d say accept it anyway. I mean, it’s not like you _have_ to show the logo everywhere. But that’s your choice (or should be!) and maybe by the 6th time it’s not as big a deal.

    I just got the award for the first time, and it makes me more than a little sad to get it just as you have to leave this prestigious company.

  18. That is quite sad. Google just lost a lot respect with me. Are they jealous? Are they afraid you’ll rewrite Wave in C#?

    p.s. I can’t tell you what to do, but you should renew your status anyway.

  19. It is really a bad news for Google.
    As underlined, the award is for the *past* activities, so Jon did a great job and *someone* gave him an award.
    I can’t see the reason to reject an award for past activities.

    The award give us many benefits that require signing an NDA. Awarded people can reject the NDA. They are still awarded but cannot access ‘reserved’ resources, … but they *are* awarded.

    So the problem should move whether the NDA is in contrast with Google policies, but not the award itself, that would be crazy.

    Good luck and best wishes Jon.

    Raffaele Rialdi, Developer security MVP

  20. BTW…I’m yearning for one of your book reviews. How’s it going with CLR via C# and Duffy’s concurrency book? AFAIR you were to review them, right?

  21. @Jack: I’ve read all of CLR via C#, but don’t have the time to review it right now. Basically I need to get the second edition of C# in Depth out of the way (or at least the bulk of it) then you can expect plenty of reviews. I have *lots* of books to review…

    Jon

  22. I don’t see any logic behind being an MVP and working for a company like Google. I think your employer has misunderstood something. If it is for the first time that you are asking then it is OK.

    Did you asked your employer last time when you renewed your MVP status? What was the response?

    Regards,
    Anand
    http://www.learnxpress.com

  23. This is atrocious. Why should Google be bothered about your award status?! I’d quit them if I were you.

  24. meh, you should tell Google (the no evil company) to get over it and take it anyways. I do not see how Google should be able to tell you what rewards you are able to accept. If anything consider it a compliment from Microsoft and accept the offer.

    On a side note you should just leave Google already and get your own software company running. With your reputation you could get top quality developers without much trouble.

  25. While it is odd for Google to suggest MVP renewal should not be sought after, I still believe that working for Google is better than working for Microsoft.

    Microsoft has spent its years dictating what should or should not be allowed. The company has stifled innovation by forcing its proprietary file formats, APIs and protocols on the world for years. Only now, when it knows that openness is a big thing, is it starting to open up – it’s a case of either fighting against it and losing or going with it and saving face.

    As Jon has been happy to work for Microsoft, which has dictated so many software-related things, I doubt the dictation of his status is any different. I would far rather promote openness than have a title, and I expect that Jon would too.

  26. Let me hope that your employer won’t ask you to stop updating your ‘C# in depth’ book next. You inspire me a lot and I have come to love C# more after reading your book!

  27. It’s not up to your employer to decide if you are a MVP. You might have to reject the title, but the community respect is completely different and quite ephemeral. I personally think you are an MVP, and I hope many others would agree.

  28. With your credentials even in this economy you would have no problem getting employment offers…while i respect your decision i would have told Google to shove it and left.

  29. Jon,
    Thanks for all your contributions to the community, I am completely sure that you’ll be as active as the past. You are the king of StackOverflow, are you not?

    I’d also like to thank you for being transparent enough to post this blog entry, letting us all hear a little bit about it. Sort of like Letterman, just ‘getting it out there.’

    I hope everyone can respect your desire to not talk about it any longer and move on!

    As a Microsoftie, I think it’s awesome that you’re able to .NET-it up for your 20% projects, btw!

  30. What if John worked for MSFT and there was an MVP program for Google. Do you honestly think Microsoft would have even let one continue to be one while employed at Microsoft?

  31. Google is carrying it’s anti Microsoft tirade too far. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to study and achieve/maintain excellence. Google should be proud to hire people who have gone out on a limb to achieve this, and not discourage or mock them by this childish behavior.

    I would be more worried about the people at Google who orchestrated the MVP demeaning and rubbishing. And where was the Google HR during all this. Don’t they encourage further education and training.

  32. I am not sure why someone has to take the company’s input in getting the MVP status renewed.Anyway, You will get better wings to fly with out a status tagged now. Keep rocking !

  33. Jon, I think all the comments sum it up…the community still has their expert and title or no title the community will always respect and benefit from your contributions.

  34. Jon, I’m sure you don’t really need the title anyways. Just keep up the good work. The community recognizes you as an expert MVP or not.

  35. I really don’t see how being awarded as an MVP shows google in bad light. Well it seems like its just another company from the lot.

  36. Did your company need to pay for you to maintain your MVP status or something? With things picking up, it might be time for a new job!

  37. Hi John,

    I am just wondering, why you need permission from employer for renewing the MVP award? It’s all personal things right?

  38. Jon,

    You don’t need to be an MVP in order to BE an MVP.

    (Wow, that sounds like one of those ‘Chuck Norris Facts’ xDD)

  39. As as Google supporter and someone who has seen the ways of Microsoft, I would just remind everybody that supporting Microsoft is evil. So Google, far from being evil, is obviously doing this to *avoid* being evil.

  40. @Niels Hansen – I do work for Microsoft, and a friend down the hall has been recognized by Google for helping find security issues. No one even blinked.

    While I do understand that one has to be careful with associations, etc, IMHO, this is pushing it too far. I’d be really peeved if my employer did something like that.

    I remember being at a very small conference some years ago, and was talking with one of Sun’s security devs. I was showing her a web page on my laptop, and she commented “So that’s Windows XP?” (yes, this was about 6 years ago). I was astonished, and asked why she hadn’t even seen it – turns out they’re not allowed to use anything from MSFT. I told her that I could use anything I needed to do my work, and we had Sun and Linux boxes here and there. Her response – “That’s why you’ll win.” As things have turned out (sadly, IMHO), she was prescient.

  41. Don’t be so stupid …
    do you have a contact for the rest of your life time period? does it include a clause which mentions that they will refund you with certain amount of money in the case they fire you?
    come on, you are a temporal employee, renew your MVP and don’t tell them you did.
    Wake up … they are just a company, and as they go up … they can go down anytime.

  42. Jon,

    I have an incredible amount of respect for you technically. You should be rewarded a life time MVP achievement for all the good you have done to help the community.

    I find it disgusting that your employer would want to deny you the recognition for your efforts. It sounds more like political maneuvering then anything else.

    Perhaps next year your Manager will wisen up.

  43. Jon, I’m sure it’s too late but you should reconsider. How does Google have a say in what is a recognition award for personal contributions to the development community? The amount of expertise you have in C# and the amount of contributions back to the C# development community are the qualifications for the MVP award, of which you have both in spades.

  44. so sad news Jon! but you’re an MVP with or without your boss permission, my friend. Your contribution to the community is truly valuable and nobody can ignore that!
    Thanks for keep your rythm and success!!!

  45. congrats jon. though i must say your original posting is sort of incendiary given that it doesnt discuss google’s primary objection which seems to be some nda related thingie…can you clarify the situation?

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