Posts Tagged MVP

How Microsoft Certification Can Stimulate Your Career

About three years ago I faced a challenge in my career…Do I take the exams to become an MCITP or don’t I. Today I’d like to share a story with you about how taking those few exams has changed my career.

As I sit here today typing this blog post, I’ve just been able to be a part of a Springboard Series Virtual Round Table hosted by Mark Russinovich…Here’s a behind the scenes view of it all:

How did this happen and why does my MCITP have anything to do with it? Well, three years ago when I re-uped my certifications to be an MCITP I also took the chance to become an MCT. It wasn’t an easy accomplishment, but one I thought might make me part of an interesting group of just over 16,000 individuals.

Becoming an MCT grants you access to numerous opportunities and also makes you part of a community of experts that love to share their knowledge and also get together and share that knowledge with others. One of these opportunities was at TechEd EMEA in Barcelona in 2008. I was given the opportunity to work on the Microsoft Learning Booth with a number of other MCT’s as well as MVP’s. It was there on the booth working with Chris Spanougakis and Nasos Kladakis ( that I realised I wanted to be involved more. They got me more involved and after time, I got the chance to show my skills to the community and as such became an MVP and was part of the initial Springboard Technical Experts Program/Panel (STEP). That step alone challenges me to work harder each day…

Through the MVP Program I’ve met people like Stephen Rose, Melissa Bathum, Brad McCabe and my MVP leads Jake Grey, Akim Boukhelif, Vicki Collins and also have had the opportunity to work with other MVP’s like Erdal Ozkaya (we’ve made loads of TechEd videos, so you might have seen me/us there) and Elias Mereb. Further, through the MCT program, I’ve got to interact with people like Tjeerd, Joanne and Dana…

I’m sure there are many other people whom I’ve worked with and more whom I will work with in the future, especially seeing as I get to go on the North America Get on the Bus tour with Melissa, Dana, Tjeerd, Brad and Stephen and others whom I haven’t named but have been critical to my success along the way. However the whole point behind all of this is that by taking those certification exams, I gave my career a whole new extension that otherwise would have been non-existent if I would have just kept with the same certifications I had and only used “industry experience” as my leverage point.

So, in closing, if you haven’t taken any new exams, I challenge you to ask yourself why and looking at the above, see how much one exam can really give you what you need to take your career to the next level!

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MVP Summit 2010 – Catching Up with MVP’s (Bev Hatchard)

The Microsoft MVP Program is a worldwide programme that has over 4,000 recipients representing over 90 competencies and spanning more than 70 countries.  According to the official MVP website:

The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award is an annual award given to outstanding members of Microsoft’s technical communities based on contributions made during the previous 12 months to offline and online Microsoft-related technical communities

This week, over 1,300 MVP’s have travelled the globe to descend on the Redmond and Bellvue campus to learn new things, share their experiences and, well network.  The MVP’s are just like normal people, they’ve got jobs, kids and commitments.  We got the chance to meet up with some MVP’s and have them share their experiences with us and tell us why it is so important to visit campus and take a week out of their busy schedules.

The first intervew, I’m happy to say is with a fellow UK MVP Bev HatchardSimilar to me, she’s a Windows Desktop Experience MVP.  My colleague Erdal Ozkaya (another WDE MVP from Australia) and I got the chance to get her view…See what Bev has to say:

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MCT TTT Dublin

This week there is an event going on at the EOC (EMEA Operations Centre) in Dublin wherein 17 MCT’s from around the world have met to discuss Microsoft courses and how to make them better.  I’m happy to say, as per what seems to be the defacto standard now 🙂 we’ve made some videos.  Here’s the innagural video of me (being interviewed by Italian MCT Lorenzo Soncini):

and then there is Dave Franklyn my compadre and partner in crime as Erdal isn’t here.

Watch for more videos to be posted from other MCT’s!

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See MVP’s at TechEd…serious

So, every visit to TechEd is about education, swag gathering and clueing up on more Microsoft 1’s and 0’s, right…Well, occassionally (ok every TechEd) you see the MVP’s going around answering questions in the TLC and also in the Hands On Labs areas, but not only are we there to help you, we’re also there to see each other.  One of the fun things about all conferences is that we all get to get together again and share stories.  I was privileged enough this TechEd to meet up with Karen Young from the MVP team and share my experiences along with my colleague Erdal about TechEd, our love for helping the community, and a few other things…Watch and enjoy, I’m sure you’ll find humour in it 🙂  In fact, if you’re at a TechEd in the future, stop by the MVP booth or even stop by and see either Erdal, myself or Karen.  You’ll be glad you did 🙂

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So I’m an MVP…


Yesterday I got the email everyone in IT dreams of…congratulations you’ve been selected as a recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award.

I was over the moon (still am actually), but as I’m coming down to earth, I got to thinking what all this means and involves.  For those of you unaware of the MVP programme, there is a load of useful information on the MVP website:

outlining what it exactly is.  In a nutshell though, you get awarded it for the past year’s service and contribution to the community.  Thinking about that, when you get an MVP, you don’t have to do anything to have it for the year, however, it does make you think – I need to work this hard or even harder from today if I want to get the same award next year.

Unlike other awards, you do have to get it reawarded to you every year, which makes it all the more worthwhile and special and the reason why most of us in IT push ourselves just that little more every year.  So, having said that, as I’ve gotten it this year, look for more information and more help from me in the coming 12 months.  It’s because of all of you that I got this award, as the best part of my job is actually sharing the information I’ve got with the community as a whole.

Thanks again!

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TechEd USA 2009 – Dave Franklyn

TechEd is about learning, networking, sharing, talking, all kinds of things. What makes TechEd the event it is though is the people. Most of them MCT’s and MVP’s – the heart of Microsoft’s community. We met up with Dave Franklyn an MCT at Auburn to talk quickly with him about TechEd

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TechEd USA 2009 – Meet the MVP Team

Sure, the community know and appreciate the Microsoft MVP’s, but were it not for this team, there would be no MVP’s. This crew make TechEd fun, tell everyone about what’s what in the MVP world, get the community involved and well, make us all want to work that little bit harder for the community and the better of technology. Kudos to them and the rest of the team that might not have been able to make it with them, were it not for them you wouldn’t have the MVP’s you do!


TechEd USA 2009 – Oliver Sommer & EBS & SBS

TechEd is about learning, but its also seeing those people you know and that are influential and smart when it comes to Microsoft technologies. One of those guys is our German MVP colleague Oliver Sommer. He’s the guy who decorated his car to celebrate the launch of EBS and we tracked him down, talked to him about EBS, SBS and also the upcoming TechEd in Germany – he was excited (but didn’t like the USA beer!)

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TechEd 2009 USA – Quizzing with the MVPs

The Real World Answers that come from the Independent Experts are the voice of the Microsoft Community – the MVP’s. We had a chance to take a quiz with them. If you’ve never been to TechEd before, you have to visit the MVP booth – it’s a must. People are great, comroderie is classy and you’re sure to have a laugh (especially if we’re around)!

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TechEd 2009 USA – Mitch Garvis

At TechEd we met up with MCT and MVP Mitch Garvis and had a quick chat about things…

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