We caught up with SQL Azure MVP Herve Roggero at the recent PASS Summit in Seattle. We spoke with Herve and Product Manager for SQL Azure, Cihan Biyikoglu, about the relationship between MVPs and Microsoft in the SQL Azure community. Herve also offered to share his thoughts on the value he has found in his first year as an MVP.

Being an MVP: The Ultimate Community Reward

This post contributed by SQL Azure MVP Herve Roggero

It’s been almost a year as of this writing that I have been honored with receiving the SQL Azure MVP Award. As a first timer, it really wasn’t clear to me what being an MVP could bring me. It turns out I was looking at it the wrong way. It isn’t as much what the MVP Award brings me as it is what it allows me to bring to others. I can breakdown my experience in the following categories: individuals, businesses and product involvement.

Individuals

This is perhaps the most obvious aspect of becoming an MVP: the community you affect monthly, weekly and sometimes daily. MVPs get involved in various ways. Whether it is running a user group, answering questions on the MSDN Forums, writing books, helping out at SQL Saturdays, speaking at .NET User Group venues, flying to Tennessee to run an Azure Code Camp or even planning a trip to Paris to speak about SQL Azure, all these activities have one thing in common: they provide unique opportunities to help people one on one, have candid conversations about Microsoft technologies and hopefully help individuals achieve greater results with the Microsoft platform. At no charge.

Businesses

As an MVP I often reach out to the corporate world, performing various presentations, trainings and guidance. Some of this is done for-hire, but many meetings are an extension of my community work and as a result are performed at no charge. However the most important aspect of working with businesses is to obtain on-the-floor feedback on the realities of what companies are struggling with, in terms of process, people and technology. As a result, this category becomes an important source of information that leads to the third category…

Product Involvement

This is perhaps the area that l least expected as a new MVP: being involved in early technical previews and providing feedback to Microsoft on design features, prioritization and even early bits of upcoming features. Above anything else, I consider this the cherry on the cake, a second layer of icing, the ultimate chocolate fondue! I’ve met a lot of SQL Server/SQL Azure team members and provided feedback on early previews of upcoming features. I also met Cihan Biyikoglu (blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cbiyikoglu/) in March while visiting the Microsoft Campus for the MVP Global Summit. Cihan knew that I was building a sharding library for parallel processing of SQL requests. Since Cihan was leading the SQL Azure Federation feature he invited me to participate in the Federation Evaluation Program. Since then I updated my sharding library on codeplex to support Federations (http://enzosqlshard.codeplex.com/)and presented the library at the recent PASS Summit 2011. Cihan and I connected again and made this video announcing the upcoming features of SQL Azure and discussing some of the ways MVPs work with the SQL Azure team.

Being involved with the product teams completes the circle of the community picture; it is a win-win situation for all parties, from the individuals and businesses seeking advice, to Microsoft obtaining feedback from the field. If you are thinking about becoming an MVP I hope I gave you some motivations to pursue your goal. It is well worth it.

Author

Herve Roggero (http://www.herveroggero.com) is co-founder of Pyn Logic (http://www.pynlogic.com) and Blue Syntax Consulting (http://www.bluesyntax.net). Herve’s experience includes software development, architecture, database administration and senior management with both global corporations and startup companies. Over the last 15 years, Herve has worked in the Education, Financial, Health Care, Management Consulting and Database Security sectors. He holds multiple certifications, including an MCDBA, MCSE, MCSD. He also holds an MBA from Indiana University. Herve is heavily involved with the South Florida SQL Server community, speaks at multiple venues, co-authored Pro SQL Azure and runs SQL Saturday events in South Florida. Herve is a SQL Azure MVP.