By Sunimalee Dias
Microsoft in its creative initiatives has ensured that software developers linked through their various communities established among themselves get world recognition through the Microsoft MVP award or the Most Valuable Persons.
This is a global programme and it’s about technicality and giving back to the community what each of these awardees have learnt. This is what Merrill Fernando said in speaking with the Daily Financial Times.
He noted that it commenced when a forum was started for developers wherein a monthly user group meeting would be held and thereby market Microsoft as well in effect evangelize for Microsoft through these young MVPs in “preaching their technology”.The Microsoft MVP Award recognizes exceptional technical community leaders from around the world who voluntarily share their high quality, real world expertise with others.
Microsoft MVPs are a highly select group of experts representing technology’s best and brightest who share a deep commitment to community and a willingness to help others.
Worldwide, there are over 100 million participants in technical communities; of these participants, there are fewer than 4,000 active Microsoft MVPs.
How it all works is when they “link between community and clients and inevitably become “gurus” in our respective areas, Fernando pointed out.
He noted that gaining this MVP status affords them with a well rounded experience in going out as opposed to doing a day job.
At Merrill.net which is his blog, is when he became part of the form of the community through which Microsoft got to know him.
It is all about becoming passionate about their achievements and this is exactly what many other Sri Lankans are also upto, Fernando explained.
He also had the rare opportunity of meeting up with Microsoft chief Bill Gates at the Microsoft Summit which was a highlight of his achievements so far.
Fernando explained that the key thing is to help the country, provide direct access to product developers and thereby enhance their capabilities which is becoming “big” here too.
In order to receive the Microsoft MVP Award, MVP nominees undergo a rigorous review process. Technical community members, current MVPs, and Microsoft personnel may nominate candidates. A panel that includes MVP team members and product group teams evaluate each nominee’s technical expertise and voluntary community contributions for the past year. The panel considers the quality, quantity, and level of impact of the MVP nominee’s contributions. Active MVPs receive the same level of scrutiny as other candidates each year.
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MVP Award recipients reflect Microsoft’s global customer base and the breadth of Microsoft’s technologies. MVPs have been awarded in new categories such as Windows Live, Xbox, VSTO, Microsoft Dynamics, and Visual Developer Team System.
A significant portion of new MVPs represent emerging markets in China, Russia, and Korea, as well as smaller markets like Ghana, Nepal, Macedonia, and Macao.
MVPs also represent the diversity of today’s technical communities. Respecting the user’s desire to get technical information in a variety of ways, Microsoft recognizes both online and offline community contributions. Reviewers consider the contributions that nominees make to traditional communities such as public newsgroups and third-party Web sites, as well as emerging community venues such as forums and blogs.
Microsoft MVPs are an amazing group of individuals. And that statement certainly can be matched up with what they actually are doing. They are engaged in conducting meetings and going regional within the country to help other such developers to be helped out in areas where they need help and improve on their skills.
This is being achieved through the use of user a group which has been localized with around 50 part of the group.
Wellington Perera of Microsoft who was an MVP highlighted that some of the key challenges observed were in delivering the new technologies.
He noted that this was Microsoft’s way in which they hunt down for good IT persons from across the world.
Re-selected for a third year he noted that the MVPs would meet up with others in the region and would themselves be on the search for new experts in technological and those willing to share knowledge and have a passion as IT developers.
Microsoft also benefits from engaging with MVPs through conferences, user groups, code camps, the MVP Global Summit, and other events. MVPs share their independent, real-world feedback with us, thereby helping Microsoft better understand users’ needs, improve current products, and develop future technology.
Customers and technology users who work with Microsoft technologies are encouraged to visit user groups, conferences, and training sessions that are led by MVPs. MVPs are objective technology experts who are eager to share their knowledge. They have no obligation to Microsoft and freely share their expert opinions and experience, earning users’ respect and trust.
Source: Daily Miror