Two years ago, the bar of getting recognized as an MVP was raised. Many of them didn't make it including myself. The main reason for me personally was not being able to contribute more than what I normally would in the technical community because I was processing my move to USA and this took a lot of my personal time. Plus I got so much on my plate at work. So even though I wrote a few decent articles, eBooks, created a few opensource projects, answered questions in technical forums and conducted a couple of local technical sessions, still I fully understand why I wasn't re-awarded for those years.I really thought that my MVP journey was done that time and thought maybe it was time to move on. But this didn't mean that I had to stop contributing to the technical community. Helping others, learning new technologies and ideas is just my passion.

Today, I just learned that I have been awarded Microsoft MVP for Developer Technologies in the US region. This is my 10th award as Microsoft MVP and I feel honored to be part of this selected group of experts again.

I would like to thank Microsoft, Betsy Weber my new Community Program Manager (MVP Lead), to Syed Shanu and Leo Lorenzo Luis for trusting and believing on my technical contributions in the community. To all my supporters and readers, thank you!

A few tips for you

The developer community is the place where we go if we need help and guidance. It’s also a great place for learning. As a developer, the community helped me to better enhance my skills. Getting yourself involved in a technical community brings you a lot of learning, as you will not only learn many things, but you will also be able to make friends. In the community, I was more of a contributor where I help folks resolving their issues and guiding them to write better code. To me, helping others is a very fulfilling feeling and the more you contribute, the more you gain respect and sometimes with it, you will get rewards. Eventually, you will get something more powerful even than a bazooka which is: "Knowledge".

If you are passionate about technologies and want to help your fellow developers, then I would really recommend you to start contributing in the technical community in any form that you are comfortable (Forums, Opensource, Speaking, Usergroups, Writing, etc..). Now, if you are joining the community just to chase a reward, then you are probably doing it wrong. Chances are, you will not produce accurate and quality contributions, because you will be thinking of quantity over quality. A good example is giving links as a reply to a forum question; without any explanation to substantiate it. Worst is if the links provided were irrelevant to the question, because you didn’t really read and understand the questions carefully.

Another thing worth mentioning is don’t answer a question in the forums and then say :

“If my reply helps. Please mark it as an answer” or “If you liked my answer, please click the accept answer button”.

Adding those remarks in your reply doesn’t add value to the thread and definitely doesn’t give you anything special. It’s like you are begging for someone to mark your reply, so you can gain points and perhaps be rewarded. Let me tell you, it doesn’t work this way. There are many sacrifices to be made to achieve a reward. Some folks have tried many times to follow that path, but failed to achieve it.

Becoming an MVP

There’s no set of formula, scripts and magic number in terms of scope for you to be awarded an MVP status. You must have the desire to gain knowledge, help folks, be humble, learn to teach and be taught. Provide accurate, quality and useful support in whatever format fits you the best. You'll find most of the MVP's are technical forums contributor, opensource contributors, technical authors, presenters at the conferences, lead user groups and many run their own dedicated support sites or blog. Bottom line is you are not required to be a "superman", just be active in the community and be passionate on what you do.

Don’t think about the award when contributing. It’s because that’s something you will discover eventually. In essence, if you're working to be an MVP, you probably won't ever get there. If the award changes your life in any way, you probably didn't deserve it to begin with.

People who have become MVP's have maintained their status and respect over the years through their sheer hard work, inquisitiveness, will power, dedication and passion. If, by chance you become an MVP, how would you answer this question:

"Can I maintain the status?"

The MVP status isn’t something that you will be working for a few months. It takes time, sacrifice, passion and dedication. For me, it’s almost a day-to-day duty and I always try to find time to help others.

I am emphasizing the words "help others". I hope you realize its importance. If you have the dedication and passion in sharing your expertise and helping others, then just continue doing that. In course of time, you will get what you deserve. Once the passion is there, it will manifest itself in so many ways including writing, speaking and presenting, contributing the opensource, blogging and mentoring others. It should be something you do in your free time, not just to get the MVP award, but because you love doing it.

Remember to balance your time between work, life and community contribution. Despite all the busy things at work and community, I still find time for my family, friends and myself. I can still play my guitar, play with my dogs, watch movies, hang-out with friends, go on road trips and travel.