Isn't it great to be a "January" MVP? You always get the news for the award first thing in the morning of January 1st. Perfectly in time for new year's resolution. I am pleased to announce that I was awarded the MVP Award for a second consecutive year. This is a great honor and validation of my work for the developer community.
However the most important aspect of the MVP award for me is that it reinforces my believe that static knowledge is useless. In the super connected world we live, obtaining knowledge and keeping it to yourself, either because of ill understood sense of job security or because of geekiness, or lack of communication skills, devalues this knowledge tremendously. With the fast pace of change nowadays, the window of opportunity to make use of your skill is rather limited. We create much more value for our companies, for the community and for ourselves, by sharing ideas, provide support to the new comers and expressing opinions about the future of the industry niche we specialize in.
This process provides tremendous opportunity for developers, who are not so fortunate and work for companies that either don't understand the value of continuing education, do not have the resources to do it, or simply are overworked. Several years ago I worked for several startups in a row and I recall that the lack of resources, the stressful work and the lack of social interactions with peers in the developer community really took a toll on my satisfaction on the job. Couple of years later, when the Florida code camps became big, I found that this is the perfect opportunity to share my knowledge with other developers in similar position. Even though now I am working for a company that takes really good care of it's developers, I find that the knowledge I exchanged in community in recent years is very valuable for me and for others.
Many ask me what is the MVP award. Many think it is some sort of skills certifications in the traditional certification terms, some simply reject it as a mark of the overachiever, and many savor it for what it is not. However in my opinion the MVP award is a "certification" of an open and outward attitude towards learning, sharing knowledge and building teams and communities. Some get in for assisting in the MSDN forums, other for writing books, third for preparing a presentation for a code camp or other community event, or may be sharing code on codeplex. Regardless of the form we all have one thing in common we keep our skills and knowledge in motion building new connections, ideas, friends and most importantly value.
Happy New Year!