The MVP Summit and the MCM Program
The 2011 MVP Global Summit has ended. This past week MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) from around the globe descended on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA, USA, for a week of deep dives, NDA (non-disclosure agreement – info not yet public) unveilings, networking, and socializing.
One of the key differences between MCMs (Microsoft Certified Masters) and MVPs is how the groups are affiliated with Microsoft. The MCM (Microsoft Certified Master) program started out as The Ranger program and was originally available only to Microsoft employees. Conversely, Microsoft employees are not elligible for the MVP program. The MCM program was opened to non-Microsoft employees in 2005. Since being opened up, very few SQL Server MVPs entered the MCM program. Someone told me that until recently, Brent Ozar (blog|@BrentO) was the only joint MVP/MCM. I haven’t seen any actual statistics, so I can’t validate if that’s true or not.
When we were discussing revamping the MCM program, one thing we all agreed upon was that there were a lot of uncertified Masters* out there, many of whom were already SQL Server MVPs, to whom we would be opening up the MCM program. Since the new program opened up, we’ve had at least 4 more SQL MVPs join the program: Denny Cherry (blog|@mrdenny), Maciej Pilecki (blog), Simon Sabin (blog|@simon_sabin), and Jonathan Kehayias (blog|@SQLSarg). Many more MVPs are sure to follow.
Edit: I have received confirmation since this was posted that there was at least one MVP who is an MCM (as well as an MCA) before Brent Ozar. Per Paul Randal, “Bob Duffy has been MCM *and* MCA for 3 years and has been an MVP for 2 years.” Bob Duffy’s blog. I have also received confirmation from Mladen Prajdic and Paul Randal that Victor Isakov (blog) is also an MVP and an MCM/MCA (original SQL Ranger).
During the MVP Summit last week, we put together a small gathering with some SQL MVPs and SQL MCMs at Paddy Coyne’s Irish Pub in downtown Bellevue. It was my first time meeting MVP Gail Shaw (blog|@SQLInTheWild) in person. Also in attendence were MCM Jimmy May (blog|@aspiringgeek) and his lovely bride, Regional Directors (super-MVPs) and SQL’s royal couple Paul Randal (blog|@PaulRandal) and Kimberly Tripp (blog|@KimberlyLTripp), Denny Cherry and his lovely bride (@nodns), and a couple more people whose names I did not catch in the noisy pub.
The Future for the MCMs and MVPs
Following the gathering, I made two proposals. First I proposed that the lunch gathering of SQL MVPs and SQL MCMs be made a scheduled event for future MVP Summits. This will get it more publicized and hopefully will get more MCMs and MVPs involved.
Secondly, I put forth the suggestion of having an annual MCM Summit similar to the MVP Summit. Since we expect many more MVPs to be MCMs as well plus an MCM summit is likely to contain a lot of the same events and materials as the MVP Summit, it may be logical to combine the two events. I could see there being events that are MVPs only, events that are MCMs only, and lots of events that are both MVPs and MCMs together. Another reason why it may make sense to have both Summits at the same time is because people who are both MVPs and MCMs may not be able to make the trip for two Summits.
The suggestions were well-received, and I know that MCM Administrator, Joseph Sack (blog|@josephsack), will continue to push on these things. It’s got support, the question will be if it can be funded.
If you’re an MVP or an MCM or working to be either one or both, I’d like to get your feedback. In turn, I can relay the feedback to the decision makers as we work to make these events happen. Please share your thoughts and ideas for an MCM/MVP lunch event during the MVP Summit, a separate MCM Summit, or a join MCM/MVP Summit below.
* We ued the term uncertified master to mean all of those people out there that have the experience and knowledge to be an MCM but had not been able to go through the programs due to its time and/or financial investment requirements. If memory serves correctly, Joseph Sack was the person who coined the term.