Just over 6 years ago, I received my first Microsoft MVP award. It was unexpected, in part because I'd only started doing anything community facing 18 months earlier. But it rated - people were finding what I was doing genuinely useful and that award was an absolutely pivotal moment which helped define what I do today.
This weekend, I got the (still) eagerly awaited email for the seventh time:
Giddy up! 7 years running 😎 pic.twitter.com/okTP6GTk5n— Troy Hunt (@troyhunt) July 1, 2017
All these years later, I can tie a huge amount of what I'm doing today back to that original award. It gave me the confidence to expand my writing and speaking, the credibility to access more people and eventually, the option to make a good living out of it. The independence that those of us in the program have allows me to continue candidly speaking about both what I do and don't like about Microsoft, plus the power to actually have some influence over it. And yes, that leads to the inevitable berating by people who believe I actually work for Micro$oft (their spelling, not mine), but that's more reflective of the nature of having an online profile than anything else.
A big thanks to everyone who reads my posts, comes to my talks and watches my courses. That people enjoy all of this enough to make awards like this possible and give me the freedom and choices in life to focus solely on doing this still blows me away to this day 😎