Last month I had the great honour of winning a Microsoft MVP Award. Most of my friends and family don’t really understand what a big deal it is to win this award. I was over the moon. This is an award that Microsoft gives to folks who have contributed their time and energy to help others in the Microsoft community. There are hundreds of MVPs around the world. Many of them have been given an MVP every year for many years, in order to acknowledge their continued service to the community and to gain their expertise in evolving the Microsoft tool set. They have to win it back every year. No small feat. I won mine in the SQL Server area of expertise, in part because of this blog that I write. It seems that the solutions I log here are helpful to a lot of people.
This week I am attending the MVP Summit in Seattle. I have found it humbling and exciting to be in the company of such great minds who are dedicated to excellence. It is energizing to meet with like minded people who are dedicated to finding new and innovative solutions and to serving their customers in the best way possible. I have enjoyed talking to MVPs and Microsoft employees from around the world who are experts in their fields, and am learning a lot from them. I find it reassuring to know that there are people out there, a lot of people, who are continually innovating for the betterment of our future. Some days I get tired, and forget that they’re out there. I have found renewed energy in being here at the conference. John Galt is alive and well.
There is one thing about this conference that I find really surprising. The lack of women. I know that women haven’t traditionally gravitated to I.T. careers, but I have seen that trend changing over the years. I attended the SQL Pass conference 2 years ago and saw quite a few women there. But here at the MVP conference I see only a smattering. Why is that? Are they too busy juggling home and work to have the time to pursue additional interests? I’m very curious. I would like to see more women pursue and win MVPs. They can offer an additional perspective. Technology is quickly becoming pervasive in our homes and workplaces. And there is no denying that, with regard to technology, the Microsoft community has a huge affect on the direction in which our society will go. I think there will be an unbalanced perspective if women do not also contribute their thoughts and communicate their values in shaping this direction. This concerns me deeply.
I head home tomorrow. It has been a whirlwind of gaining information and connecting with my peers. I am leaving with the understanding that with this award comes the responsibility of helping Microsoft and its community to evolve and grow. It may be because I’m a geek, but I find that very exciting.