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Microsoft MVP Award – January 2013 !

After Christmas, holidays (for the lucky ones who had them) and the New Year, I really hope you enjoyed them as mush I did.

This post is something a lot of people are waiting for: this is about the new Microsoft MVP Awardees @ the 1st of January.

As you may know, the Microsoft MVP Program is an Award given to exceptional people who voluntarily shared their knowledge on Microsoft products. Whether it’s an online forum or a technical speech, the Microsoft MVPs are independent people who gained the trust of their peers by facts. It’s about communities, it’s about sharing the personal/professional experience they acquired on the field. It’s about giving feedback, providing guidance to their online and offline peers. It’s about sharing.

And every 3 months, we evaluate old and new potential and current MVPs to get the best and brightest and I hope we’re doing a good job !

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Finding the right people is the #1 goal and, as said, sometimes it’s not easy. But I can tell you I’m helped by a lot of people in this process. So now please join me in Congratulating the following awarded people as Microsoft MVPs (sorted by name), living in Central, Eastern Europe (excluding Russia and CIS Countries) and Italy:

Influencer Technical Expertise Country/Region
Bill  Stavroulakis ASP.NET/IIS Greece
Boriana  Petrova Excel Bulgaria
Darko  Jovišić Dynamics CRM Croatia
Grzegorz  Gałęzowski PowerShell Poland
Jovan  Popovic ASP.NET/IIS Serbia
Robert  Voncina SharePoint Server Slovenia
Vlatko  Ivanovski Visual Studio ALM Macedonia F.Y.R.O

A BIG CONGRATS to the Microsoft MVPs who have been renewed this Award cycle: the list is long so I apologize in advance if I don’t post the whole list but I still want to congratulate them for their community involvement. Being renewed is as tough as being awarded for the first time and being involved in the online and offline community environments is a challenge. Think about it: do you have time to dedicate to the others? Do you have time to travel to another City or Country to make a speech or participate as an Ask The Expert during a Microsoft and/or a Community event? Do you have time to write articles and technical blog posts? Yes, the list is long and I can go on and on… But the driver is not the MVP Award, the driver is the Passion these people have, Passion to organize User Group events in their spare time, Passion to support users in troubleshooting their technical problems, Passion to write about the products they love more, Passion to share their experience on the field so others can benefit from that. Easy, eh? :)

And for the ones who didn’t make it, don’t lose hope: I’m sure if you put a little extra effort you’ll be able to get the Award !

BTW, If you want to know more about the MVP Award Program, do subscribe our blog as you’ll find some interesting stories to read…

Enjoy your Award and Congratulations again !!

@alead

MVP Award Program – July 2012

Holidays are approaching, slowly :), @ least for the lucky ones, and it’s a good exercise, during this period, to look back and see what we as a Program have achieved from a community standpoint. Lots of events in the whole Region I represent (Central, Eastern Europe & Italy, excluding Russia & CIS Countries which are managed by my dear colleague Yulia Belyanina), lots of Product Group Interactions, lots of articles, webcasts, forum posts, blogging, local projects with every single Microsoft Subsidiary: it was definitely tons of things! I’m really happy about the Program, of course, because it changes a bit every year but the nature of it is still intact.

Just an example: we recently announced the new MVP Award Program website, which has been totally rewritten with a Metro-style UI, and the possibilities to do a lot more than the old one.

Back to the Nomination process, and as you may know, we have 4 Nomination Cycles:

  • January, 1st
  • April, 1st
  • July, 1st
  • October 1st

This is about the III one, the July Award Cycle. The cycles involves lots of stakeholders and nothing is taken from granted (renewing MVPs knows that very clearly :)). The are people from the local Microsoft Subsidiaries, of course us Community Program Managers (aka MVP Leads), the Business Group Leads and the Product Teams.

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I cannot stress enough the fact that the Most Valuable Professional is, in fact, an Award. It’s not a certification, it’s not a Partner-affiliation program, it’s an Award. And it is given to the ones who consistently shared their expertise, with their peers, in the online and offline communities. It’s something you gain in the field. And Microsoft, with this Award, wants to THANK these people for their extraordinary community activities, together with a strong competency on a specific area/Product.

With that said, Please WELCOME the new awarded Microsoft MVPs, sorted by Name:

Influencer Technical Expertise Country/Region
Jan Matejka System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management Czech Republic
Kamil Skalski System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management Poland
Laura La Manna Visual C# Italy
Lukasz Kaluzny Virtual Machine Poland
Marius Ene Directory Services Romania
Tomáš Slavíček XNA/DirectX Czech Republic

A BIG CONGRATS to you guys MVPs and of course to the ones that have been re-Awarded. The MVP Award lasts 12 months and every single candidature is treated carefully and thoroughly so I totally understand the excitement (and sometimes the pain :)) to wait for an email saying that you’ve been Awarded again.

There are also people (very few, to be honest) who has not been awarded: as I’m not happy about that, sometimes there are reasons: people changed their jobs, moved to another Country, or for whatever reasons they decided to stop being active in the communities or they’ve not been active enough to be re-awarded. I always tell them that they can keep me as their primary point of contact for contacting Microsoft moving forward: and you never know, one can be out of the Program for a while and then back after a few months so, as I always say, don’t lose faith :). We also launched an initiative to keep in touch with both, MVPs former MVPs through a LinkedIn Group (membership is limited to active and retired MVPs) http://ow.ly/bKmIC which, IMHO, is a good way not to lose contact with the MVP community as a whole.

Also, If you don’t know exactly what the MVP Award Program is, take some time to subscribe to our blog as you’ll find some interesting stories to read…

If you’re on Twitter, feel free to follow @MVPAward , myself and the #mvpbuzz hashtag: you’ll be amazed to see a great MVP community sharing a lot of real-life stories (covering different Microsoft products and technologies) that may also comes at hand when you’re in trouble :)

That said, Enjoy your Award and Congratulations !

MVP Award Program – April 2012

It is the time, yes, to communicate the new MVP Awardees for the April cycle. As you may know, there are 3 different cycles and every 3 months I publish information about newly awarded Microsoft MVPs on my blog regarding the Region I represent: Central, Eastern Europe & Italy.

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I know many people are anxious when it comes to re-awarding, especially on the 1st of April, where it may seems to be a joke (but it’s not! :)), and it’s totally understandable. When you get the MVP Award, it means you dedicated a lot of time and efforts to help your peers, whether it was online or offline, and the meaning of this Award is a THANK YOU for what you did for the communities, for your peers, using your technical skills to make sure people understands how to use our product in a 1:many relationship. So I guess it’s natural to be a little bit nervous…

I’m truly honored to represent this prestigious Award and I’d like to CONGRATULATE the following new MVPs, sorted by Name:

Influencer Technical Expertise Country
Alessandra Salvaggio Office System Italy
Damir Arh Data Platform Development Slovenia
Francesco Valerio Buccoli Virtual Machine Italy
Goran  Milanov SQL Azure Serbia
Ivan Florian Project Romania
Ivan Kardum Visual Studio ALM Croatia
Luka Manojlovic Small Business Server Slovenia
Marek Pyka Virtual Machine Poland
Mario Serra Directory Services Italy
Michal Gajda PowerShell Poland
Mirco Vanini Device Application Development Italy
Silvio Di Benedetto System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management Italy

(this list is related to the new MVPs in the Region I represent, which is CEE & Italy, excluding Russia and CIS Countries).

A BIG CONGRATS to you guys MVPs and of course to the ones that have been re-Awarded. And being re-Awarded is tough as well: don’t you think MVPs are taking it for granted. The MVP Award lasts 12 months and every single candidature is treated carefully and thoroughly so I totally understand the excitement (and sometimes the pain :)) to wait for an email saying that you’ve been Awarded again.

That said, I’ll be travelling abroad in the Region so I really hope we can meet in person!

I also wanted to spend a few words for the ones who haven’t been award so far or who have been declined on this cycle: as I’m really sorry for that, I’m sure you’ll get a chance to be nominated again so don’t lose faith!

Also, If you don’t know exactly what the MVP Award Program is, take some time to subscribe to our blog as you’ll find some interesting stories to read…

Feel free to follow @MVPAward and myself on Twitter: you may find a lot of real-life stories, covering different Microsoft products and technologies…

That said, Enjoy your Award and Congratulations Again !

@alead

Microsoft MVP Award – January 2012 !

It has been an incredible year, full of events and activities embracing new technology directions which will impact us in the future. Well, it has an impact on a lot of us already, if you think about Windows Phone and the social media integration as a well as the XBOX gaming gaming experience. Some people like it, some people don’t but you have to admit it’s a step further compared to a “normal” Smartphone experience.

Ok, ok, next blog post I’m gonna talk about that, not on this one :). Aren’t you a little curious to see who got the MVP Award this cycle? It’s always a pleasure for me to Welcome new people as exceptional community Leaders, online and/or offline. I’m not saying they were not Leaders and strong community-oriented guys before the Award, I’m just saying I’m truly honored when I award people like that and I’m more when I have the chance to meet them.

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So here is the list, freshen up & ready for the 2012 Year (sorted by name):

MVP Technical Expertise Country
Adis Jugo SharePoint Server Bosnia-Herzegovina
Boris Ulik Enterprise Security Slovakia
Drahoslav Dvorak Project Czech Republic
Gabriel Enea ASP.NET/IIS Romania
Hrvoje Hudoletnjak ASP.NET/IIS Croatia
Maciej Grabek Windows Phone Development Poland
Mihai Nadas Windows Azure Romania
Nenad Trajkovski Project Croatia
Sebastian Wilczewski Project Poland
Slaven Sola SQL Server Croatia

(this is related to the Region I represent, which is CEE & Italy, excluding Russia and CIS Countries).

A BIG CONGRATS to you guys MVPs and of course to the ones that have been re-Awarded. And being re-Awarded is tough as well so don’t you think MVPs take it for granted. The MVP Award lasts 12 months and everybody are treated as normal candidates so I totally understand the excitement (and sometimes the pain :)) to wait for an email saying that you’ve been Awarded again.

That said, I sincerely want to wish you a very Happy New Year and, if took some time off, Happy Holidays ! I’ll be on holiday for a while but I’ll still be around (you’ll definitely find me on Twitter :)).

BTW, If you don’t know nothing about the MVP Award Program, please take some time to subscribe to our blog as you’ll find some interesting stories to read…

Also, did you notice my blog URL has changed? The RSS Feed has been automatically updated but I wanted to let you know anyway (some personal promotion doesn’t hurt :))

Enjoy your Award and Congratulations Again !

@alead

Virtualstudy.pl: let’s go virtual !

When I was @ the Microsoft Technology Summit in Poland few weeks ago I had the pleasure to talk with a lot of MVPs @ the Community Booth that had been set up for the event. BTW, that was a HUGE event with, I presume, almost 2.500 attendees. As you can imagine, it’s the biggest annual Microsoft event in Warsaw and, from what I’ve seen, it was a real success.

BTW, I’d like to point out a great article on the event (in Polish) by MVP Piotr Pawlik.

Well, during these conversations a lot of interesting things normally come up. One of those was regarding the VirtualStudy.pl (not to mention all the other communities like WSS.pl, codeguru.pl and a lot more).

Thanks to the hard of the community members, VirtualStudy.pl now has a full support of English language, an English forum and even a few videos in English available as VOD.

At the same time the board is now looking for presenters who would like to prepare and present sessions in English (possibly with good presentation skills).

VirtualStudy.pl was created to allow users to attend online meetings and learn free of charge. Since the beginning they had quite a few interesting courses like Windows Server, SharePoint 2010 Training, SQLServer 2008, Windows Phone 7 programing, as well as 6 month C# training course which finished with an exam and certificates) where the average number of attendees was around 200-300 people.

Currently VirtualStudy.pl hosts all the previous sessions on a on-Demand basis (few hundred sessions are already available to watch).

These online sessions do not contain any marketing content, but it’s pure technical Microsoft knowledge.

And at the moment they are currently organize their first VirtualStudy.pl Conference 2011.

So this is a call to action for anyone with technical skills on Microsoft Technologies who wants to deliver English presentation.

And, just to close the topic that I started at the very beginning, these are some pictures from the MTS:

MTS Group

And this is me, powered by a customized Chrome-Joke T-shirt (:)), when I just got a nice & unexpected gift:

The Gift

Thank you for the wonderful time guys: I’ll see you next time in Warsaw (or even before, @ the MVP Global Summit !!)

IT Camp 2011

It’s a big 2 days timeframe for developers and ITPros in CEE.

On May 26-27, the 2 Romanian communities CodeCamp and ITSpark organized a 2 days event dedicated to both developers and system administrators: the IT Camp 2011

Featuring International speakers, this event, which will be hold in the forth most populous city in Romania (Cluj-Napoca), will see 10 Microsoft MVPs, all of them with different technical backgrounds and from different parts of Europe (you can add their personal Twitter/LinkedIn/RSS from the speakers’ list).

ITCamp

You may want to know what the topics are…well, from their own voice:

“We will be discussing general interest topics such as Private Cloud, security, Windows Azure, RIA using MVC and Ajax, System Center, SQL Server, Dependency Injection in ASP.NET MVC 3, Exchange High Availability, ASP.NET and PHP apps on IIS, Workflow Services in Windows Azure, SharePoint Server support for ISO and COBIT certifications, Link, WCF and REST in the Cloud and more”. So a lot will be covered !

While I suggest you to follow them, you can register here !

Link to: IT Camp 2011

Microsoft MVP Award – April 2011 Awards !

Everytime is a challenge, everytime is a “working hard” to make sure all the valuable members of the Communities are Awarded. It’s a process that never ends…

And it’s not that easy, monitoring all the Communities in CEE & Italy (the Region I represent, excluding Russia & CIS Countries), and find the “best of the best” inside those entities.

But I’m helped, of course: thanks to the continuous commitment of the Microsoft local Subsidiaries, and the help of the MVPs themselves, we get new outstanding nominations throughout the Region every Quarter.

So what can I say, apart from CONGRATULATING the new and re-awarded MVPs?

I never experienced that but, if I would be a technical expert in the IT Industry, getting the MVP Award e-mail should be really satisfying, from a personal and professional standpoint.

I always feel the excitement from the new MVPs, but also from the ones who are renewed, it’s still a very emotional part of their jobs and careers.

And this is thanks to what you do, on a voluntarily basis, that makes you a Microsoft MVP, even if you are not “MVP-branded” yet :). Doing communities activities, being available to the local subsidiaries when it comes to do technical presentations or articles or whatever it is, you’re part of the Community Ecosystem as an “Influencer”. People listen to you, listen to your advice, and take actions on your technical feedback. And this is definitely TRUST, something you gain year over year with your continuous effort in helping the communities grow from a technical perspective. So this is just to say THANK YOU, again, for what you do.

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Back to the April Award Cycle, I’m very happy to announce the new MVPs (sorted by name):

 

Influencer Country/Region Technical Expertise
Alberto Ferrari Italy SQL Server
Anton Staykov Bulgaria Windows Azure
Bahrudin Hrnjica Bosnia-Herzegovina Visual C#
Daniel Stefaniak Poland Management Infrastructure
Dimitris Papadimitriou Greece Connected System Developer
Francesco Sodano Italy SharePoint Server
Igor Pavlekovic Croatia Exchange Server
Jevgeni Tsaikin Estonia Device Application Development
Marcin Dembowski Poland Internet Explorer
Marcin Iwanowski Poland Expression Blend
Mirko Mainetti Italy Dynamics NAV
Nicola Ferrini Italy App-V
Toomas Ruus Estonia Exchange Server

 

(as soon as you’ll publish the news on your blogs and/or on your MVP Profiles, I will add the links to your name so anyone can see who you are :)).

I won’t put the list of all the re-awarded MVPs as it’s very long but, if you ask me to do it, I’ll do it !

Of course we had some declined MVPs. And this is natural: sometimes people don’t have time to dedicate to the communities anymore, some others changed jobs so this make it difficult for them to be active again: any other reason in between I don’t want to lose connections with these guys because I’m sure, sooner or later, they’ll come back again !

BTW, If you don’t know nothing about the MVP Award Program, why don’t you subscribe to our blog? You’ll definitely find some good interesting stories to read about !

 

That said, Enjoy your Award and talk to you soon !

@alead