I've been awarded the Microsoft Azure MVP title!

Exciting times! This Monday I was notified that my nomination for the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award had been evaluated and I was awarded the title in the Azure category.

If you're not from the Microsoft scene, you might not be familiar with what this is, so let's take a look.

What is a Microsoft MVP?

Microsoft defines the award like this:

Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs, are technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community. They are always on the "bleeding edge" and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies. They have very deep knowledge of Microsoft products and services, while also being able to bring together diverse platforms, products and solutions, to solve real world problems. MVPs make up a global community of over 4,000 technical experts and community leaders across 90 countries/regions and are driven by their passion, community spirit, and quest for knowledge. Above all and in addition to their amazing technical abilities, MVPs are always willing to help others - that's what sets them apart.

MVPs are divided into separate categories depending on what their primary expertise area is. Some examples are AI, Data Platform, Developer Technologies and Microsoft Azure. To put these numbers in a bit of a local context, there are currently 24 MVPs in Finland, of which 5 are in the Azure category.

If you're looking to become one, in my mind the whole thing boils down these two things:

  • Be an expert in your field and show what you can do. Either by speaking at events, writing blog posts / code samples or providing valuable feedback to Microsoft on how they could make their services better.
  • Help the community, and elevate others to achieve more. Participate in and organize community events, solve problems in forums or social media or contribute to open source projects.

Microsoft succinctly puts it as "Be an expert, do lots of what you love, and let us know!", pointing at the fact that there are very loose guidelines as to what you exactly need to be doing, as long as you are clearly enthusiastic about and good at it.

As part of the award, an MVP has direct communication channels to the product groups and is able to get information about the roadmaps of Microsoft products under a NDA. There are also good networking possibilities with other MVPs and Microsoft FTEs, both virtually and physically in the yearly MVP Global Summit in Redmond, where all the MVPs are invited to.

What does this mean for me?

I'm trying to wrap my head around all the channels that the award opens up, so this is something I don't yet have a good answer for. In practice, this probably won't affect my day to day very much at all, but of course there are long term benefits to both myself and my employer.

The things I'm most excited about are:

  • The visibility - It should be easier to get to speak in conferences and also in other events. This will also help the Finland Azure User Group community to grow more easily.
  • The networking - Having access to a network of experts who are more than willing to help with even the toughest problems is both a great benefit to my customers but to myself too.
  • Giving feedback - The previous point of course also applies to having a line to the product groups. In addition to that, having better capability to provide feedback to Azure can help to make the platform better for everyone. It's a win-win.
  • The MVP Global Summit - Getting to participate to this event yearly for exclusive training by Microsoft is very exciting, especially when this event is back to being organized physically. It's also a great place to meet acquaintances from the community who live all over the world.

All in all, it should be a given that I will be producing content regularly for the foreseeable future and keep on trying to get more people in the Azure scene through FAUG, this blog and different conferences I get to participate in.