New Year = Second Year Microsoft MVP!

I’m excited to share that I’ve been awarded the Microsoft MVP award for the second year. 2011 is certainly starting out with a bang and I’m honored to spend another year as part of this great group of technical folks who are involved in supporting the community.
I’m looking forward to another great few days at the MVP Summit in February, catching up with the likes of Emily Freet, Stephen Rose and Jake Gray from Microsoft and some of my fellow MVPs!

The MVP Summit ends, but the experience continues

I had a fantastic time at the MVP Summit this past week. I enjoyed two days of sessions on Microsoft’s campus, as well as keynotes and other side events in downtown Bellevue to complete the four day adventure.
Even though I’m a Windows Desktop Experience MVP, I hit sessions from some of my other interest areas too – particularly Exchange and Directory Services. It meant I spent a lot of time switching between shuttle buses and hoping I didn’t arrive too late to sessions, but it was well worth the effort. Some of the sessions brought to my attention current features that I need to spend more time looking at and others highlighted things that will just have to wait a bit, due to the MVP NDA.
In addition to all the learning opportunities, I’ve met some great people and have run into some familiar faces from attending TechEd and other tech conferences over last few years. Now I have new blogs to check out, new people to follow on Twitter and more ways share information about technology.
All in all, my first Summit has been a great experience and a stellar way to start my first year as an MVP. I’m looking forward to staying in contact with Microsoft staff and my fellow MVPs the rest of year through other online and live events. And I hope I’ll get to enjoy this all again next year!

Looking forward to the MVP Summit

Next week, I’ll be heading to Bellevue and Redmond, WA to take part in the annual Microsoft MVP Summit. This is my first chance to attend the summit, so I’m hoping to make the most of it! I spent some time last week working on my conference schedule and it looks like it’s going to be a busy few days – full of interactions with members of the various Microsoft product teams and plenty of presentations and activities. I almost wish I could be in two places at once so I could attend sessions that share time slots.
I’m also looking forward to meeting other Windows Desktop Experience MVPs, as well as those in other technical areas I’m interested in, like Remote Desktop Services, Exchange, Active Directory and SharePoint. Events like this always get me jazzed about ongoing or upcoming projects I can work on – I’m sure next week will not disappoint!

Confessions of a new MVP

I confess. I’ve been a Microsoft MVP for less than 2 weeks and I didn’t realize what I was getting into. There is a well-known quote from “The Matrix” where Cypher says to Neo, “I know what you’re thinking, ’cause right now I’m thinking the same thing. Actually, I’ve been thinking it ever since I got here: Why oh why didn’t I take the BLUE pill?

I thought I had a pretty good handle on what resources I had available to me as an IT professional. TechNet, conferences, white papers, sponsored webcasts, blogs, books, user groups, training classes… My schedule was easy to fill.

And then comes the MVP award. Sure, I could just hang my certificate in my cube and call it a day. After all, it’s an award for recognizing past contributions to the tech community. But turns out its more than just an award. It’s a door to a world of resources and information that I didn’t know existed.

Barely a week has passed and I find myself trying to be realistic about the amount of information I can actually consume in the next year. There are more webcasts and chats and online meetings and downloadable resources than I can even begin to get my head around. I feel like a kid in a candy store, or perhaps like someone in the TV aisle of Best Buy, trying to figure out where to focus my attention first.

I’m sure I’ll have a better handle on what direction I should be facing as I get more comfortable with the ins and outs of the program. I’m looking forward to being able to use this experience as a way to give back to all those who’ve helped me out of a jam with a timely blog post or magazine article. But until then it seems like I’m back at my first days as a high school freshman. Does anyone know the way to the cafeteria?