January 1st is a time to relax, slow down and enjoy. This morning was no exception – especially after going out and celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends last night. This morning I caught up on email. I admit I was hoping to find the one specific email I was looking for but it wasn’t there. After a quick check of Facebook I verified that my friends hadn’t posted on receiving theirs yet so it was time for some distraction for email watching by reading a book that I received for Christmas. On a side note, not surprisingly – Stephen King really can write – two pages in and I was already hooked and yep – already now I’m fully distracted. The first pot of coffee was gone (decaf sadly – a tale for another day) so it was time to check email again. And here we go!

I can’t think of a better way to start a year than to find out that I have been renewed as a Microsoft MVP and this one is extra-special to me as it is my 10 year MVP award! During this year I had been thinking about how much receiving this award has changed my life and my career so here we go: Thank you to some folks who I truly owe it to and some of the top insights from a decade as a Microsoft MVP!

The first big insight is to huge list of people who I owe thanks to for making this even possible.

  • Top of the list is Scott Dockendorf – my friend and former 4 time C# MVP. If it hadn’t been for Scott’s nomination I do believe that my career would likely have been very different than it is today. Thank you for taking a chance to recommend me!
  • Thanks to Justin Incarnato and the Microsoft MVP program crew for accepting an unknown commodity like me into this group and making me feel like a member of the family.
  • Thanks to Rory McCaw and the existing MVP’s in the group for embracing me as a colleague. These were the guys whose blogs I had been reading for years who were (and are) my heroes. When I first met Rory he didn’t know me at all but he went out of his way to introduce me around the Microsoft campus where the product team was.
  • Thank you to all of the guys in the CDM MVP group – I am honored to be able to call many of you friends.
  • Thank you to my employer – Catapult Systems – who has been completely supportive of my status as an MVP and has made it possible for me to continue to contribute and to hopefully continue to be involved in the program.

A decade later, being a Microsoft MVP has taught me a lot of things about technology but it has taught me some key things about life:

  • The world is a larger place: We all know this conceptually, but being able to visit places like Malaysia and Europe has given me a chance to experience life and cultures in ways which are vastly different than life in the United States. I do not believe would have happened without the world of connections which the MVP status has brought to my life.
  • The world is a smaller place: I am honored to have friends and colleagues which live on almost every continent of the globe. With technologies we think nothing of gathering up a handful of people from across the world into a podcast or a discussion. With conferences like SCU in America, Europe, APAC/Australia plus the MVP summit and Microsoft conferences it’s not uncommon for members of this group to see each other on a regular basis even though we live on another continent. I have had the honor of travelling with MVP colleagues and even staying at the home of one of my MVP colleagues. Likewise, I have had the honor of having several of my MVP colleagues as visitors to my home.
  • MVP status has created new opportunities in my career: I can’t imagine that I would have the same level of opportunity to do thing like speaking at conferences around the world, doing podcasts, writing whitepapers, speaking at user groups or even helping to put together a conference like SCU without the opportunities that my MVP status has brought to me.
  • It’s not all work: There is an incredible amount of fun which happens as being part of a group like this. Whether it’s the funny banter between the crew, playing Whirlyball together, being labeled as an “Honorary Asian” (True story, ask Marcus or RayRay), or almost being kicked out of restaurants due to Blake’s antics there is a whole lot of fun that happens in what would appear to be a work group.

Thank you to Microsoft for this program and for their inclusion of me in this program and thank you to the guys and gals in this program who make it what it is!

 

1/1/2016: Cameron Fuller