The MVP Summit 2011

It has been a while since I posted, and I know I am not supposed to apologize for being absent in my blogging duties according to The Rules of Blogging. But, I will tell you what I was doing, and with whom, and that may help you to learn SQL Server a bit better, believe it or not.

One of my duties here is to work with the Microsoft MVPs, and it is something I really enjoy doing. I have been working with them for about 10 years now in various capacities. For more info on what an MVP is, you can go to and read up more about them. In general, though, I like to describe the MVP award as a “thank-you for what you did in the Community last year”. These folks write blogs, answer Forum posts, speak at conferences and User Groups, write books, etc. If you have been anywhere in the community, you likely have seen one or more of these folks out there. The largest group I manage is the SQL Server Expertise.

We hold an MVP Summit here on the Redmond campus every year, which is an enormous event (nearly 1700 MVPs came this year), and we put on technical sessions, dinners, parties, meetings with the Product Groups, and all the usual sorts of mayhem that any large conference entails. All the sessions are under NDA, which allows us to give a lot of insider information, share future plans, and most importantly, hear a LOT of great feedback on what we are working on. My role in all of this is to organize these events for my group of MVPs, and make sure it all goes smoothly.

The upside to this is that I get to spend a few days with all my MVP friends in town, which is great. The downside is that the event planning takes pretty much all of my time for a few months, so I don’t get to do things like post to my blog. But, in reality I am helping you to learn SQL Server by doing what I do, and to tell you the honest truth, it is better to learn it from the Experts than to learn it from me. When we let them know what is happening, they can then let you know in their own particular style. And, they do all of this on their own time – they do not receive anything from Microsoft for their efforts other than a nifty title and a conference each year.

So, the moral of the story is this – go find an MVP, listen to what they have to say, and chances are, you will learn something valuable from them.