When you work with innovative and leading technologies, there’s never time to sit still. So when we brought forward a new generation of the MVP Award Program last year, we weren’t in the least bit finished. We’ve listened to what you had to say, and are continuing to move forward with our mission to further develop and improve the program. And we’re very excited to share with you what’s in store!
Today, we’re pleased to announce that we are bringing more agility to the MVP Award Program and more learning opportunities to our community.
We want to recognize the great community leaders out there as soon as possible so, as of today, we will be onboarding new MVPs in what we call “near real-time”. We will be reviewing new nominations multiple times per month and our goal is to award and announce new MVPs every month!
And we have already started. We’re excited to announce that 42 new MVPs have joined our program as of February 1st. Congratulations to all!
Since we started to challenge our award cycles, we went ahead and challenged everything about them. For the past several years, the MVP Award Program has had four quarterly cycles where we both onboarded new MVPs and re-awarded existing MVPs. Because of that, MVPs identify themselves as “January MVPs” or “April MVP”. We’d like to simplify things and move to a more unified program that provides a consistent experience to all our MVPs.
That’s why, starting July 1st 2017, we’ll be celebrating all our renewing MVPs with just one annual award cycle. Everyone will snap to that cycle.
We also wanted to add more agility to a very important and, well, time consuming aspect of our program: submitting community contributions. And for this one, we’ll need your help. Let’s not forget, the MVP Award Program is a community and you’ve always been there for each-other! So, as we proudly release the first iteration of the MVP API, we are looking to you and your own ideas to enhance your MVP experience.
Through the MVP API, you will be able to access your profile and contribution data, automating several different tasks that we know you spend a lot of time on today. The first thing people think of is a mobile app that allows you to submit contributions in real-time. We’ve actually started building that and we will be releasing a version very soon on GitHub so that we can make this awesome– together! There are tons of other ideas though, from WordPress plugins, to PowerShell extensions, to smartwatch apps, to apps for your car (you never know!).
To help you to leverage this API as quick as possible, we invite you to go to the MVP private website and get familiar with how to access this API and our sample code. You’ll also find a video from one of your fellow MVPs there to get you get started.
Our improvements also touch on new benefits we are offering you as part of our program.
By nature, MVPs love to be the first to learn about new technologies and skills – you all have learning in your blood. You then help your community by processing this new information and sharing it with the world. The MVP Award Program is on a mission to support you in this area, with a whole range of new learning opportunities and benefits:
- We worked with the Xamarin team to offer all MVPs free access to Xamarin University, with over 80 live instructor-led and self-guided courses.
- Understanding the importance of certification alongside learning, MVPs are now able to claim a 50% discount for two MCP exams per year, as well as have access to exclusive instructor-led certification prep sessions.
- We are securing priority registration for MVPs at Microsoft premier conferences.
- We heard you loud and clear about spacing out the MVP Summit from Build and Ignite, as well as announcing the dates sooner: it’s going to be March 4th-7th, 2018!
- We’re revamping the Open Days, launching a new series of “MVP Community Connection” events across the globe in more than 20 locations between March and June 2017.
- We created a new experience to access and claim third party offerings from our partners, exclusively to MVPs, including a new addition to this list (https://gooroo.io/microsoft/mvp).
For more information about this news, we invite you to read and watch the full announcement made by Steve “Guggs” Guggenheimer, our Corporate Vice President of Developer Experience & Evangelism. You may also find detailed information as well as an FAQ in the MVP private website.
The MVP Award Program is constantly evolving – this is just the latest, exciting step. We’re always evaluating more ways to align ourselves with our new mindset of agility and constant evolution, and want our community (you!) to help us develop and shine. If you’d like to offer any feedback, please share your comments in the MVP Program Update Yammer or reach out to your local Community Program Manager (CPM).