Sunday, September 06, 2015

My last day as a SQL Server MVP

My last day as a SQL Server MVP
Nine months ago I decided that I did not want to be a SQL Server MVP anymore.
I just want to write a couple of paragraphs telling you what it is like to be part of the SQL Server MVP community. The SQL Server community is unlike any other MVP community, I think the group has better access to people working on SQL Server than other MVP groups have with their respective product. I also think the SQL Server MVP community is more involved with being active online and participating in giving back to the community with events like SQLSaturday


The MVP summit is an event that every MVP looks forward to, this is where you meet fellow MVPs and hang out. You also meet the developers and managers that work at Microsoft and they will show you upcoming features and take feedback from the MVPs, this feedback can be both good or bad (did someone say dacpac?)
Windows 7 launch event
This was a pretty cool event, it was in a loft in SOHO New York City and I got to see Steve Ballmer showing us how Windows 7 was the latest and greatest version of Windows that Microsoft has released until then.


MVP summit
When I went to the MVP summit, I finally got to meet the people in person who I only knew from blogs, newsgroups, podcasts, webcasts and books/magazines. I still remember the first summit I went to, in the lobby I saw Kevin kline, Rod Colledge and a couple of more people. We grabbed a taxi and went to Redmond to attend some presentations by the SQL Server product group. What was shown was some stuff that was coming down the pipe in a few years. This was great stuff, for normal people this would be like spending time with their favorite actor talking about movies that were not being released for another year or two.
Access to the SQL Server product group
One of the best things is when the MVPs give feedback about some features that they don't particularly like. I still remember dacpac and what an emotional response that got from the community.....
Internal MVP Email Distribution List
The MVP internal email distribution group is probably the most interesting part of the MVP program. If you want to know why something works a certain way, you can ask and most likely someone who works in the SQL Server group will answer you, a lot of these are NDA so you can't share it. This list is great to get some internal knowledge about the product and also to learn new things from fellow MVPs and product group members.


There are tons of perks that you get for being a MVP, besides the summit, the internal email list, access to the SQL Server product group, I am going to list just a couple of them.

MSDN Ultimate subscription, I actually only took advantage of this one once, I had a subscription through my job for most of the years
Vouchers to use in the Microsoft store, credit to use in the online store (they don't give the credit anymore)
Hanging out with fellow MVPs
Invitation to launch events
Getting private builds and CTPs earlier than the rest of the people
You didn't think I wrote those 10 blog post all within 1 hour did you? No, as an MVP you get access to the CTPs a couple of days before it becomes general available. This gives you time to prepare the blog posts by making sure all your code works correctly against the latest build
Third party software
There are many companies that will give MVPs a not for resale licensed version of their products. Here are just a couple of companies that do this: Red Gate, Confio, Quest, TechSmith, Pluralsight, Jetbrains etc etc.


Hitting F5 and refresh many times every July 1st to see if I got re-awarded :-)
Those days are over, no need to be anxious anymore every time July 1st rolls around, now I can watch other people sweating instead.....
The jet lag when going to the MVP summit in Seattle. I won't be missing waking up at 2 AM and not knowing what to do with myself because my internal clock is on east coast time. I always thought this was the hardest part of the MVP summit
I decided to ping a bunch of my fellow MVPs and ask them 4 questions about the MVP program, the questions I asked were
  1. How long have you been a SQL Server MVP?
  2. What is the best part of the MVP program?
  3. What are the two main reasons that you go to the MVP summit?
  4. If you were not a MVP anymore, what would you miss the most?
You can find the answers here: Questions for SQL Server MVPs 
There you have last day as a SQL Server MVP......

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