I am extremely proud to announce that I have been selected for the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for 2021-22 in the Office Developer category. This journey has been long and while it is certainly a lot of work, I love being active in my tech community, from SharePoint to Azure to M365 to Power Platform. When I learned of the MVP program almost 14 years ago, it sounded like a group of ultimate professionals, so I started inquiring about how to become an MVP. We are fortunate to have several MVPs as part of our local DFW SharePoint & Office 365 User Group. Over the years, we have become great friends and they each have been a significant part of my journey.
Local User Groups
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that my introduction to the MVP program happened minutes after attending my first SharePoint User Group meeting in 2007. The meeting was attended by several MVPs and each of them welcomed me. I was immediately impressed with this group of people. Even though they were some of the most technically advanced people in the room, you could see how much they enjoyed just pouring thier knowledge and experience into this community. While some members of that group have moved, Eric Shupps, the SharePoint Cowboy, continues to lead the DFW SharePoint & Office 365 User Group. Eric has become a mentor and friend over the years and his guidance has been priceless as I started my community journey.
From attending monthly User Group meetings to local SharePoint Saturdays, my esteem of the people in the SharePoint Community continued to grow, resulting in my interest in speaking engagements, blogging, and eventually into taking more of a leadership position on committees of community events. Of course, MVPs were a big part of that growth, constantly encouraging me to participate more. Being a speaker is one of my favorite things, especially at in-person events, because I love meeting and interacting with participants as well as fellow speakers. It was through these interactions that I met one of the godfathers of SharePoint, Dr. Neil Hodgkinson. Like Eric, Neil has become a great mentor and friend. As someone who previously helped select MVPs, Neil has great insight into what the program is looking for. While he felt I already have the spirit and qualifications of an MVP, he helped me showcase my community contributions during the nomination and application process. Obviously, it worked!
Microsoft Patterns & Practices (PnP)
The final piece of my journey was when I discovered the Patterns and Practices (PnP) program at Microsoft. While Microsoft provides oversight of this program, it is an open community, led primarily by MVPs. Everyone is encouraged to advance their technical expertise through code samples, weekly calls with leaders, webcasts, podcasts, and interacting with other participants, just to name a few. Additionally, PnP encourages everyone to become active participants in the program in multiple ways, including contributing to the huge sample repositories, helping to create and update documentation, presenting demos during a call, and adding to any of the code solutions managed by the group. There is even a group called Sharing Is Caring, that is completely focused on helping people to get started in any of these activities. I have been able to contribute to PnP in several of these areas and hope to increase my involvement as an MVP.
The bottom line, as always, is that I certainly didn’t earn this award by myself. I could spend pages listing all of the people, MVPs and non-MVPs alike, that have influenced me, given me guidance, and (even more importantly to me,) friendship. Of course, none of this is possible without my faith and family, especially the lovely “Miss Tracy,” who has put up with my nonsense for almost 35 years. My goal is to validate the confidence each of you has had in me, hoping to use the increased reach and influence afforded by the MVP award to encourage others to set lofty goals and pursue them tirelessly, never giving up.
Find out more
If you would like to learn more about the MVP Award program, follow this link to the official program site: Microsoft MVP Award
You can always find me at social links and email in this blog, but I have added a link to my MVP profile in the logo at the top of the page.
I have also been featured on a couple of sites by fellow MVPs.
So reach out and let me know what is happening with you and hopefully we will catch up soon!