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Democratizing the Microsoft MVP Award


Democratizing the Microsoft MVP Award

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GilaMonster
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Steve Jones - Editor (2/7/2010)
What's very interesting is that a few of my MVP admins from MS haven't been SQL people. So they don't necessarily judge my technical expertise, at least not themselves.


It's worth noting that, afaik, it's only in the North America region that the leads are by product area. My MVP lead is a former C# expert and he's responsible for all MVPs across all technology areas for the entire MEA region. That's the Middle East and entire African continent

Gail Shaw
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Steve Jones
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It's not in NA either. Our current lead isn't a SQL person, and also has some development area MVPs. I've had, I believe 4 leads, only one has been a SQL person.

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GilaMonster
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Steve Jones - Editor (2/7/2010)
It's not in NA either. Our current lead isn't a SQL person, and also has some development area MVPs. I've had, I believe 4 leads, only one has been a SQL person.


Their job isn't technical though, it's managing cats (or worse).
What I was getting at is that in NA, the leads are divided among tech areas. Different person to lead SQL MVPs as Exchange MVPs (probably). Elsewhere it's one person for all. No way my lead could evaluate the tech competency of all the people he's 'responsible' for.

Gail Shaw
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Todd Klindt
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GilaMonster (2/7/2010)


Their job isn't technical though, it's managing cats (or worse).
What I was getting at is that in NA, the leads are divided among tech areas. Different person to lead SQL MVPs as Exchange MVPs (probably). Elsewhere it's one person for all. No way my lead could evaluate the tech competency of all the people he's 'responsible' for.

The MVP lead for Exchange in the US also handles SharePoint and I believe OCS. Canada has different leads, at least for those products.

tk
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As for weightings, imagine what would happen if someone stated that posts on the MSDN forums are weighted 3 times what posts on any other forum are?


There are others that "game" other forums for other reasons, so a punch list of requirements wouldn't be ideal. (Just see many of copy-cat posts that appear on "The Coding Project" web site that are thinly disguised rehashes of examples that appear elsewhere...)
SQLRNNR
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GilaMonster (2/7/2010)
Jeff Moden (2/6/2010)
Voting by the general public smacks of a popularity contest rather than a public service award (which is what being an MVP is really all about).


Agreed. While many MVPs are popular, it shouldn't go the other way around. I know some MVPs that work tirelessly in the local community, but if I mentioned names I doubt anyone here would have heard of them. Doesn't make them any less deserving.

In addition, complaining that the Microsoft MVP award is administered and judged by Microsoft employees is just a little odd.


I agree with both Jeff and Gail. I know who some of the MVP's are. I also know where the list of all MVPs can be found. Many of the MVPs, I have never heard of and was surprised by many of them. If I were to vote (as is suggested by the article), I would not be doing it any justice. I would have limited information and would base my votes mostly on popularity (human nature - vote for those you know). I don't see how opening the voting up could render the award a fair award.

I don't have inside information and I don't know many of the MVPs like another MVP might. They might be able to disclose some of the short-fallings and some of the benefits of the program as-is. For me, it is fine just the way it is.



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IceDread
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Democracy.. well it would have been nice.

Come to think about it, it would have been nice if the Olympic Games also was made a democracy.
Tony Davis
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I wasn't really complaining that the award is judged by Microsoft employees; just arguing that it could be a little more open and that introducing an element of community voting could be a good way to get many more people engaged with the award. I think this could only be a good thing for Microsoft.

I was careful in the editorial to suggest that only a small number of MVPs would be "community elected". I wasn't arguing for wholesale change in the way the program in managed or for turning the award into a beauty contest. I suggested the MSDN voting because, as several have pointed out, it is Microsoft's award.

I do think Microsoft, generally, does a good job of running the award program, though I also think it could be improved and I don't agree that it would be devalued by introducing a community-voted element. The award isn't about Microsoft assessing how smart you are. It's about what you're prepared to do to help people succeed with their technology. Members of community sites are perfectly well-qualified to make a judgment on who in their community has done that.
DataDog
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it is a ridiculous system - anybody can judge a person by their forum posts
we do not need Microsoft's help
and to be motivated by gaining MVP status? come on ...
Lynn Pettis
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First, although I would be honored if I were selected as a SQL Server MVP, I don't really see that happening in the near future.

I have chosen to participate in the SQL Server Commumnity by devoting may time and effort here on SSC trying to help others learn more about SQL Server and to become better developers or DBAs. I have done this as a way to give back to the community that has greatly benefitted my knowledge and skills with SQL Server. I have learned things here that I doubt I would have learned on my own or if I did, it would have taken years for me to realize what I have learned in a much shorter period of time.

I have started writing some articles as a way of transfering knowledge in specific areas as way of passing on additional knowledge, as I have also by trying to blog (although I haven't been very active in that area for a few months).

Should there be more openess in the Microsoft MVP program, maybe, but this is Microsoft's award and they should be allowed to run it how they feel best. If you had a community vote should only people with MSDN subscriptions be allowed to vote ina community selection, no. I consider myself a highly knowledgeable SQL Server professional, I don't have an MSDN subscription, why should I be denied a vote if there were a community vote allowed?

Cool
Lynn Pettis

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