First of all, let me assure you that I did not fall prey to some sort of SPAM. I know as I write this that we are approaching mid-November, not a time when Microsoft awards/renews MVPs. October 1st however was a different story. As a whole, October was an extremely busy month for me and as I prepare to attend my first MVP Summit next week, I have been taking some time to reflect on what a bang it started off with!

Did That Really Happen?

Although I had known since about the middle of September, it all became real about mid-morning on October 1st when I received the official email with the subject line “Congratulations 2013 Microsoft MVP!”.

So me, a Microsoft SQL Server MVP? To be honest, it’s still a little weird to say and even weirder to be introduced as such. I knew that I had been nominated and had already been through a number of award cycles without hearing from Microsoft. My nomination was not something I shared with anyone other than my wife, and although it sounds cliché, it really was an amazing honor to have just been nominated. When I looked at the list of current MVPs and those who everyone thinks are/should be, well, it is humbling to even be thought of in that same light.

When I was contacted over the summer by Microsoft and asked to submit a list of my community activities, it was fun to revisit all of the great opportunities I’d had over the last year to work with and provide opportunities for others within the SQL Server Community. I also found it a bit of a challenge. I really don’t like talking about myself and anything that feels like self-promotion makes me uncomfortable. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to talk, just not about myself. So, in sticking with that theme, I want to take a moment to focus on those in my life who helped make this honor possible. Yes, I did the work, but not without some key people by my side and a group, that through their actions, help set the standard for community involvement.

Some Influential Folk

My “Other SQL Family” – I would not get to do the cool things I do without the support of my wife Jen and two young boys, Darren and Joe. They get me. It’s that simple. Knowing that I love my work with the SQL Server Community, they support me unconditionally. Upon arriving home from PASS Summit 2012, I found them at baggage claim, holding this sign. They are that awesome.

A Unicorn and a Teacher – I first met Jason Strate (B | T) in 2011 during his final year as Chair of PASSMN, a position I would one day hold myself. I met Sarah (B | T) a few months later during my first SQL Saturday volunteer gig at SQL Saturday 99. Jason sets a great example of what it means to be an MVP and together he and Sarah personify #SQLFamily.

The One and Only Jimmy May – When it comes to all things SQL Server, Jimmy (B | T) is one of the most passionate people I have ever met. I don’t think he does anything at less than full speed x50. That passion and energy are contagious! Little did I know as he helped me, and the rest of us, understand partition alignment a number of years back, that I would one day call him a friend. Thank you Jimmy for all that you do.

SQUEEEEEEEEEE – Little known fact, but SQL Saturday 149 would not have gone as smoothly as it did without Jes Borland (B | T). I was a first year PASSMN Board member, planning a huge SQL Saturday, in a new location, on a new day. Needless to say, my stress level was a little high. Having just gone through something similar, Jes’ offer to be a sounding/venting board (in addition to delivering two sessions and sitting on the WIT panel), helped keep me sane.

Time To Wrap This Up

There are many other people I could add to this list, but think I can summarize it best by saying the SQL Server Community is the best, most supportive technical community there is.

I now commonly get asked what I am going to do to stay an MVP. I haven’t given it a lot of thought and not sure that I will, but I would assume the answer is “more of the same”. Sure there will be a little more of some things and maybe a little less of others, but I remain committed to giving back to this community that has given me so much, regardless of my award status.