My First MVP Summit

I’m a little later than normal getting this blog post written as I caught the Black Death coming home from Seattle.  Ok it was really the flu but probably fairly close in misery involved.  This year was the first I was able to partake in the MVP Summit.  I had heard a lot of stories from my MVP friends and was out of my mind excited!  I had a little heart attack when I was finding out the timing of the Summit.  I had a trip to Cancun planned with the husband for February very early on and thought was going to overlap with Summit.  It didn’t but the trips were back to back though.  So the week before MVP Summit, I spent lounging in the sun drinking fruity cocktails, I know a super sad story.  So I left Cancun Sunday and traveled directly to Seattle.  By the time I got there it was midnight Indiana time so I was exhausted.  Got to the hotel in Bellevue and rested up for the next day.


I wake up bright and early since I’m still on Cancun (CST) time.  I am able to catch up a bit more with my wonderful roommate, Audrey Hammonds.  Then head down for breakfast and then get registered.  I was so excited to see they gave us jackets!  I always get excited at events to get something other than a men’s small polo.  They are really nice jackets, thank you Microsoft!  From there I head over to the first session.  This is where I go quiet.  There are strict NDA restrictions in place and you won’t see a peep from me on them.  I will say that this was some of the best and exciting technical content I have ever had witness to see.  It also helped me to solve the mystery as to the speed/depth people have content available after a release.  It was also an honor to be a part of a group that had the privilege to give input and ask questions of the teams working on these products.


It was bound to happen. Little venture over to Bush Garden with Jason and Colin.

That just leaves the parties then.  Every night was a welcome or appreciation party of some sort.  I couldn’t help but to think about the costs that were involved in putting together such shindigs, let alone the work of dedicated folks to put it all together.  The appreciation was not lost on me and felt throughout the MVP Summit.  It seemed the theme of all the nights were eat, drink, be merry, and network.  I am amazed at how many great people I meet at every single event.  And of course, I got to be with some of the greatest people again, my SQL Family!  I only get to see some once or twice a year so it was a great SQL family reunion.  I had an absolute blast!  The last night for me was at the appreciation party at CenturyLink Field.  It was a very impressive affair!  I wish I would have not gotten such an early flight but had been gone so long from my kids.


One of the displays at the appreciation party at CenturyLink Field. MVPs represent!

Thank you everyone who put effort into the MVP Summit!  It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget!  Thank you Seattle/Bellevue for having many great local beers.  And thank you to all my MVP friends who continue to share with me their knowledge, drive, passion, and friendship.


Wait what?! MVP?! Me?! Seriously?! Get out of town!!

Sitting at my desk in between meetings on Monday, September 17, 2012 and I get an email from Simon Tien of the Microsoft MVP program.  My heart skips a beat immediately and starting checking calendar and thinking to myself “it’s not October 1”.  I had gotten super great fantastic splendid email earlier from Simon telling me I had been nominated for the MVP award.  So that email created much screaming and happy dancing including a generous dose of the cabbage patch.  That nomination email said that I would know on October 1 so that was the reason I was doing a mental check of the date.  I read on and can’t believe my eyes…they wanted my address so they could send me my MVP award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So after the closest thing I have ever come to that dramatic beauty pageant winning moment I sit there teary eyed re-reading the email over and over again to make sure I’m not reading something wrong.  I was completely shocked!  I knew I was headed down a path that could possibly put those lovely letters behind my name, not going to lie about that, but didn’t feel like I was up to that level yet.  And I had cornered many MVPs and discussed the possibilities and different aspects to the MVP process.  I just felt like I had a little further to go to get there.  I still don’t think I have come to terms with it really that I am actually a Microsoft MVP.  I think it will still take some time to sink in for sure.


Thinking back over the last couple years it’s pretty amazing.  Finding the SQL community and SQLSaturdays really changed me and the path of my career.  I would have never thought my path would have taken me here.  It’s just incredible to think that at the same time I find the part of my job that gets me hot in the belly passionate would also be the one to grant me a huge honor like the MVP.  I am constantly floored by the passion and good nature that goes on in the SQL community.  Seeing some of the differences with say the community or lack of for other unnamed database platforms *cough Oracle*, I feel really lucky I found my way here.  And the people I have met along the way who have helped encourage me and push me farther, I can never thank enough.  I have met so many of the most wonderful people who have become great friends and continue to meet great people with every event.


I remember at the dinner after one of my first technical presentations I sat with Jimmy May (blog|twitter), Kevin Kline (blog|twitter), and Brad McGehee (blog|twitter) and was still very unsure this technical speaking stuff was for me.  I remember saying “why would anyone want to listen to me when they have guys like you out there?”.  Everyone was so encouraging and supportive, especially Jimmy.  A bit of karma that he would be the one who later on would nominate me for the MVP.  Thank you so Jimmy!  Thank you for nomination and helping put me on this wonderful path.  I take every chance I can to pay this forward and trying to motivate anyone who will listen.  Also thank you to everyone who has helped motivate me, inspire me, and push me to be better technically, professionally, and just as a human being.  Thank you to a community of wonderful people where I have found so many great friends!  And of course, thank you to Microsoft for this huge honor!