This month’s topic is giving back to the community, or if you routinely give back, how did you get started?
For background information.
I’ve been fortunate in many ways to be acknowledged as an MVP, now for about 23 consecutive years! How did that start?
Years ago, in a distant galaxy, we used CompuServe to gain access to online services. In a company role as Product Manager for Microsoft Access, I started closely monitoring all threads on Access to learn more about the product. After a while, I started noticing answers that were less than ideal… in fact some would have caused additional issues. In turn, I would answer the original poster, giving the best information I had. In time those replies, were noticed by Microsoft.
While at a conference in Phoenix AZ, sometime mid-1995, I was approached by a Microsoft PM, who read my name badge, and said “You are going to become an MVP”. Knowing very little about the MVP program (this was only the 2nd yr. of the MVP program), I asked what is that!? He explained the program to me, and later that year (Dec 95) I received my first MVP welcome kit, and a letter (still have it, may have to scan it at some point).
Fast forward, I moved from MS Access into the SQL Server MVP camp when it appeared that no further development was going to occur to Jet (the Access DB engine). Trivia time – how many know that Jet blue was used in DNS, WINS and other infrastructure services?
While a SQL Server MVP, I was given an opportunity to design and deploy a large SMS 1.2 (Systems Management Server) environment for an insurance company. Throughout this time, I focused on participating in the community forums to share knowledge, and through sharing, I found I often learned more! In time, this involvement led to moving from the SQL Server group to SCCM MVP community, generally with a focus on SQL.
Getting involved as a conference speaker has been a tremendous benefit; not only for my career advancement, but for the connections and friendships that have been forged. I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to have spoken at many conferences through the years; Microsoft Management Summit, Microsoft TechEd and the Midwest Management Summit (will be there next week).
My advice to those that would like participate in the community; start small, we all have something that we can share, someone that can benefit by what we know. If you are not, start blogging, create a twitter account, and get involved. Most of all have fun.