Microsoft Community Connection events have wrapped up around the globe! Between September and December 2017, Community Connection events were held in more than two dozen cities worldwide, providing a space for the community to learn new skills, inspire each other, and celebrate technology on the cutting-edge.
While MVPs have the opportunity to connect online or at smaller events throughout the year, these events are designed for the community to connect on a larger scale. MVPs, Reconnect MVPs, Cloud Developer Advocates and leaders from Microsoft Corp all come together to engage in hands-on sessions, speaking events, and team building activities.
And through this networking, we've gotten word of some awesome projects taking place in communities worldwide! Here are a few highlights:
Hackathon for women and minorities in Charlottesville, United States
Visual Studio and Development Technologies MVP Michael Szul traveled to the Philadelphia event and spoke about how he'll be organizing a Charlottesville-based hackathon exclusive to women and underrepresented minorities in April. Charlottesville was the site of a white supremacy rally earlier this year.
The goal of the hackathon is to encourage diverse participation in software engineering and uproot tense bias in tech. "The inspiration comes from going through several rounds of hiring initiatives for software engineering positions, and finding a severe under-representation of women, African-Americans and Hispanics," says Michael.
He says he was also inspired to organize the hackathons because of how diversity affects the workplace. "I always appreciate what diversity brings to the creativity of a team, and I think that alternative...views are important."
Hack-a-Doc efforts in Mississauga, Canada
At the Canadian Community Connection event in Mississauga – which is just outside of Toronto – MVPs engaged in a Hack-a-Doc session for the first time in the country. Microsoft believes that technical documentation can be improved through community collaboration, so Canadian MVPs sat down to review specific areas to improve – this included recreating scenarios, docs translation, product feedback, and content errors/improvements. And since the Canadian MVP population is so diverse, more than 40 percent of MVPs had the skills to translate documentation in 12 different languages.
Los Panitas De Rolando in Bogota, Colombia
At the Community Connection event in Bogota, Windows Development MVP Jaime Suárez presented on his project “Los Panitas de Rolando” - or Rolando’s buddies, in English. Founded along with AI MVP Willy Marroquín, the project aims to teach young people in Mosquera schools (a city just outside of Bogota) the art of coding, .NET, Xamarin and IoT with Microsoft Azure. And once they have the required skills, the goal is to create teams that can participate in the Microsoft Imagine Cup. The group consists of almost 500 kids.
Speaker recruitment in Tokyo, Japan
About 70 percent of Japanese MVPs live in or around Toyko; so naturally, this is where community sessions take place. At the Tokyo event, a 'speaker recruitment discussion' was held to inspire attendees to visit areas outside of Tokyo and share their knowledge. More than 150 attendees were divided into 7 groups to discuss solutions that give all MVPs in Japan equal opportunity to engage with the community. Not only did this activity promote communication and networking skills, but it also encouraged community leaders to develop deeper bonds and plan trips to visit each other.
MVP Program book research in Los Angeles, United States
Enterprise Mobility MVP David Lundell is writing a book about MVPs - including Microsoft MVPs, and some sports MVPs, too. And at the Los Angeles event, he collected some research. He asked MVPs in attendance for their perspectives on the program, and for stories they could share to bring his book to life. According to David, the goal of the book is to inspire readers to be better at home, at work, and in their communities. He hopes to have it published in early 2018.
‘How Cool’ presentations in Charlotte, United States
Charlotte’s Community Connection event included ‘How Cool’ presentations - a set of 10-15 minute talks meant to showcase what MVPs are working on, and the projects they’re involved with. One we liked was Regional Director Dan Thyer’s presentation on Industry 4.0, and how he uses IoT and Azure to build interactive Halloween characters.
Sharing stories and inspiring each other is what Community Connection events are all about – so, we're happy to hear about so many community projects! We can't wait to see some of them come to life in the coming months.