Hey everybody! I’m in the Seattle area until Thursday, hanging out in downtown Bellevue to attend the 2018 Microsoft MVP Summit. Today was registration day for the event, but they scheduled a raft of sessions that lasted from 1:30 PM until just after 6 PM as well. I jokingly referred to this content at TenForums a little while ago as “touchy-feely day,” and I’ll stick by that characterization. But I have to clarify and say that I don’t mean this at all disparagingly. Today’s content was aimed at helping attendees understand better how to make the most of social media, professional development opportunities, personal branding, and those kinds of things. In other words: professional content aimed more at soft skills, improving one’s stature and presentation in the workplace, and building a strong and workable life-career balance. Not technical, but still pretty darn valuable anyway.
Here’s the MVP logo from this year’s conference pages.
I call today’s material “Day 0” in the title of this blog post for what I hope is a good reason. Zero is the number that comes before one. It’s a way of starting numbering from the center of the number line, if you like. For programmers, it means using ordinal rather than cardinal numbers. For this post, it’s a way of saying that the day before the actual MVP Summit gets underway is worth something, too. And in fact, as I’ve said, it turned out to be worth more than I expected. Perhaps it turned out to be worth even more than I could have hoped.
You can read about some of the content I summarized in my TenForums post “MVP Summit Travelogue Day 2: Touch-Feely Day,” if you like. For the Win10.guru audience, I want to reflect on the incredible and amazing body of skills and knowledge that the assembled MVPs I saw around me today represent. Me, I’m just a rookie and don’t feel like I can claim the degrees of stardom and heroic scales of effort and activity that many members of the community possess and display. But it is that community that really makes the experience quite special already. These are people who perceive issues or shortcomings and who, rather than complaining or whining about them, jump into the breach to build solutions, puzzle their ways through to find fixes or workarounds, and who labor mightily to make things better. It’s really quite something to behold. More than that, it’s something to appreciate and revel in.
It’s great to be around a group of people who obviously care about what they do, and who are willing to go to great lengths to figure things out. But not only that, to take what they learn and share it with others in a generous and open-handed way. If what comes in the days that follow is only half as good as what I saw presented today, it’s going to be pretty educational and illuminating. The buzz and the excitement that I personally heard from people who’ve been coming to the summit for as many as 15 years now tells me that it’s probably going to be even better than that. I know I won’t be able to share stuff about the technical sessions but I should be able to share plenty of useful information about the work my fellow MVPs are doing in the days ahead. So that’s what I plan to do. Stay tuned!
Author: Ed Tittel
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.