This month I have been awarded as a Microsoft MVP Cloud and Datacenter Management for 2018/19. I am both honored and humbled to have received this award. The other MVPs are rockstars in their fields and I feel it is fantastic that I am a part of this group of highly talented individuals in the global technical community. I look forward to another year of sharing and creating great content!
A question that often comes back is what you do to be a MVP or how do you become a MVP. This is not an easy question to answer, but what I can share is how I got here and what it has brought to me as a person as well as an IT professional.
My initial introduction to the technical communities came through searching online for answers. Both the Hey Scripting Guy! blog on TechNet and the forums were a solid reference to me. Even though I frequently returned to both the forums and the blog, I was not an active participant. I was somewhat held back because I thought I did not know enough to share with others.
Shortly after I moved to a position where I was responsible for building out scripting and automation within the Windows department, focusing on PowerShell and source control adoption. This also included the responsibility of training my colleagues on how to use the different tools and methodologies. At this time, early 2012, I also started my first blog, because I was already sharing my knowledge among my colleagues I felt more confident at this point to start blogging.
During this time, I also started to attend more conferences and I met Aleksandar Nikolić back in 2012 at TechEd, he talked me in to writing a blog post for PowerShell Magazine: Jaap Brasser’s Favorite PowerShell Tips and Tricks. Also in 2012, Jeff Wouters started the Dutch PowerShell User Group and asked me to be a speaker there. I promptly said yes to that, a decision I regretted the entire period leading up to the presentation. A blog post summarizing this event is available on TechNet: Hey Scripting Guy! – The First-Ever Dutch PowerShell User Group.
From this moment on I steadily became more active, I started sharing solutions on forums, writing and sharing my scripts, attending and presenting at more events and conferences. In 2015 I was first awarded as a PowerShell MVP, at the time it felt a bit unexpected. But after the initial celebration, a well-deserved cool beverage and a slight case of the impostor-syndrome, I felt an increased sense of responsibility to share my knowledge. Although I continue to feel I could do better or I could do more, I continued working on content I thought would be interesting to others and delivered presentations on topics I am passionate about.
Friends or family around me have asked on more than one occasion: “Do you get paid to do that?” or “What do you get out of it?”. The first question is easy to answer, in most cases the work is unpaid. But what you get out of it, for me it has been a mutually beneficial experience, it drove me to get more in-depth knowledge in areas I would have otherwise neglected to do while sharing with and teaching others.
As a result of both the MVP Program and the contacts from related activities I now have friends and peers in more countries that I can count, and I have had opportunities to speak and attend events all over the world. And most importantly, I have had a lot of fun while doing it.
Earlier this year I started a new position as a Technical Marketing Engineer at Rubrik which has been a fantastic trip so far. Moving forward I keep looking for new ways to challenge myself, grow both as a person and a professional and be an active voice within the global technical community. This month I joined the Community Mentors Program run by Microsoft, as teaching, coaching and mentoring are things I really enjoy doing I am very happy to have been selected for this program.
In 2018 I will continue to speak at events, most notably Microsoft Ignite in September, PowerShell Conference Asia in October and VMworld Europe in November. If you are attending any of these events or any of the others I will be attending this year, feel free to give me a shout on Twitter, @jaap_brasser, and I will be more than happy to meet up.
The MVP Program has been a great journey and I would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who has helped make it to be such a pleasure to be part of this community. I hope to see/work/meet a lot more of you in the future!