Some while back, when I was an employee at Berbee/CDW a colleague of mine Joe Shepherd @JoeShepherdMBA was set to speak at a conference in San Francisco, however due to a conflict he couldn’t make it. He floated the idea that I should deliver his session; while I was fully capable of speaking at round table meetings, lunch and learns ,etc,this was my first time speaking in front of a paying audience, needleless to say I was both anxious and scared out my mind at the same time. It was at this conference I met the likes of @JoelOleson @ToddKlindt @ShaneYoung @Drisgill @AndrewConnell @RobBouge and all the titans in the community…and I was in awe. These were the folks that I only knew over twitter, spent hours on their blog posts, and was eager to meet. What I didn’t know then, that I know fully now, and I encourage EVERYONE that I meet with a story to tell is… “The SharePoint Community is by far the most welcoming technical community that you will ever meet”, after building up the courage to say hello and engage these brilliant minds in conversation, I saw the side of a community that has no walls. I knew… this is where I belonged.
What did i do next? I immediately began a blog site, I began speaking at User Groups and eventually I made friends in the community. Next I started frequenting SharePints [something that you just have to do], I even started organizing them myself at the Brockway Pub in Carmel Indiana after a while. It wasn’t too long after that, I started to get invited to speak at other events, I became a regular at the Indiana User Group (SPIN) and then when I moved back to DC Metro, I began attending and working with @MrShadeed at the Baltimore User Group along with Eric Harlan before he upped and moved to Texas.
What I found was a purpose, more than that, a quest and a yearning for knowledge. What I had, which everyone in the SharePoint community also have [whether you know it or not], is a set of people ready to share what they know with you, and eager to hear what you have to share with them. I became a part of that, and besides the hunger for knowledge, these guys really, really, know how to party [responsibly of course], but they can throw down. Alas, i found a home. From that moment on, I blogged about BCS mainly and earned a reputation for that, and then I also fell in love with Workflows and started blogging about that, then I met wise folks that told me to pay attention to Azure, so I started to learn and blog about that too. After a while, I was delivering topics around those areas at SharePoint Saturdays, TechEd, SharePoint Evolution Conference and User Groups all over the US and Internationally as well.
As human beings we are social animals, we seek acceptance. I was fortunate to have folks comment on, critique [which made me better at what I do], and highlight my work in various audiences. This year I was fortunate to speak at SharePoint Conference SPC14 in Las Vegas and after being nominated a few times… today April 1 2014 I was awarded the Microsoft MVP for SharePoint. Needless to say, I was humbled, excited, and of course graciously accepted the award.
This isn’t the end, far from it. Expect to see more blog posts and speaking engagements, I will be focusing on the following areas:
- SharePoint Server
- SharePoint Online
- SharePoint Hybrid
- Apps in general
- …and my new curiosity: converging Big Data using Ubuntu with LAMP blackened by Hadoop & MongoDB and “hybriding” that with/into SharePoint with Azure. I already have my Lab set up and I am spending what free time I have mulling over the possibilities there.
I want to thank everyone who offered congratulations today, all the folks that nominated me along the way, all the parties involved in making the decision. I truly appreciate the recognition and the award. My MVP Profile may be found here
Mi wi si ooonuh latah – that is especially meant for @williambaer who will become fluent in Patwa in the very near future 🙂
MVP – SharePoint Server