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The Road to Microsoft MVP Award workshop


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Based on the feedback requests we received in Cloud DevOps Visions, we decided to hold a workshop about the Road to Microsoft MVP and the following are the highlights. Cloud DevOps Visions is a community that has been co-founded with a main set of objectives. The main objective is delivering sessions, discussion panels, and inviting Microsoft guest speakers. The code of conduct is based on responsibility, coaching, innovation, ethics, goals, teamwork, customers, and trust.

The workshop presented by Prof. Ahmed Bahaa, Mohamed Elqassass, and myself and here is the video of the workshop: Workshop Video

What is Microsoft MVP?

The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award is given by Microsoft to technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community. They are awarded to people who actively share their technical expertise with the different technology communities related directly or indirectly to Microsoft. The Microsoft MVP started in 1993 with the first MVPs which were the most active in online peer support communities, such as Usenet and CompuServe. Steve Ballmer spoke to the MVPs for the first time during the launch of Windows XP in 1999. The first “rule” about becoming an MVP is not to chase to be one. Most of the MVPs were approached and offered to be nominated as MVP. Microsoft is looking for quality and impact with high-quality expertise, and most importantly the willingness to share your knowledge. Microsoft says “We want to award the best technical community leaders. And It’s our way of saying thanks to them!”.

Numbers and info about MVP program

Currently, there are 2850 MVPs worldwide in all technology areas. All MVPs are distributed over 90 countries. There are 11 categories divided into 95 tech areas. The first country with the biggest number of MVPs (498) is the USA, and the second country is the UK with 186 MVPs.

MVPs related numbers

MVP categories

There are 11 main MVP categories. Each category is divided into contribution/technical areas. The main categories are:

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Windows Development
  • Office Development
  • Developer Technologies
  • Data Platform
  • AI
  • Cloud & Data-center
  • Enterprise Mobility
  • Windows & Devices for IT
  • Office Apps & Services
  • Business Applications

MVP per country

On the following graph is presented the number of MVPs in each country, starting with the country with most MVPs.

MVP countries 1

MVP countries 2

MVP countries 3

Benefits of being an MVP

There are a lot of benefits of being an MVP:

  • Private and early access to information under a non-disclosure agreement (access to features which are not released yet)
  • Get invited to the Microsoft HQ for various sessions and discussions about their products
  • Visual Studio Enterprise (access to all Microsoft licenses)
  • Azure subscription with $150 per month
  • Extend Azure benefit to $1000
  • Pluralsight Training Platform
  • LinkedIn Premium
  • LinkedIn Learning
  • Camtasia Screen Recorder
  • Snagit Screen Capture
  • DevExpress UI Controls
  • Experts Exchange Community
  • ReSharper Code refactor
  • WebStorm Smartest JS IDE
  • 50% discount for Microsoft exam
  • GitHub Pro
  • Octopus Automate Deployment
  • Infragistics UI Controls
  • TypeMock Unit Testing
  • RedGate DB Tool
  • And many many others.

Microsoft Certificate vs MVP Award

There are big differences between Microsoft Certificate and Microsoft MVP Award. Below are described details about each of them.

Microsoft Certificate Process:

  • Specify which area you would like to be certified in
  • Prepare for the certificate
  • Pay and schedule certificate exams
  • Take the certificate exams
  • Pass the certificate exams

Microsoft Certificate Process

Microsoft MVP Award Process:

  • Have a good knowledge of Microsoft Tech and Products
  • Share your knowledge with the community
  • Help a lot of people
  • Love what you do
  • Make an impact on the community
  • Get nomination from other MVPs or Microsoft Employees
  • Receive an email from the MVP program
  • Review
  • Continue sharing your knowledge
  • Wait for the result

Microsoft MVP award process

The key point to be an MVP is helping others by sharing your valuable knowledge in high quality and unique style to make an impact on the community.

Where you should share your knowledge?

You should have a combination of High-Quality Activities that impact the community like:

  • Contribute in Q&A communities like Stack Exchange (Stack Overflow), Microsoft Forums, etc.
  • Write articles and blog posts
  • Create videos/webcast/podcast and course series for free
  • Organize and speak in Events/Meetup/User Group
  • Write a book (Author/Co-Author)
  • Contribute to open source projects
  • Provide ideas and product feedback
  • Share sample code and scripts on GitHub
  • Publish tools in Microsoft Market Places like Visual Studio and Azure Market Place
  • Prepare technical workshop and mentor others

Many contributions with high quality and impact would accelerate the acceptance process. Your activities must be done within the last 12 months. The Microsoft MVP program announces new MVPs every month. The Microsoft MVP award is renewed every year and you get renewed based on your activities in the last 12 months and its renewal cycle is on the first of July every year. Also, you can be awarded as Microsoft MVP in two different categories. If you are a Microsoft employee you can’t be a Microsoft MVP. There are a lot of Microsoft MVPs that became Microsoft employees, but before that, they have to leave the badge of MVP.

Several advices in order to become an MVP

  • Believe in yourself and just be you
  • Don’t stop helping others
  • Share your valuable knowledge with the community
  • Love what you do to be able to continue
  • Forget about working toward becoming an MVP
  • Make a balance between your contributions, family, and business work
  • Don’t panic and never give up
  • Even if you don’t become an MVP, or you become an MVP but are not renewed, nobody can take your contributions from you. Just be proud of what you are sharing with the community.


There is no straightforward road to get the Microsoft MVP award. It is about quality, not quantity. It doesn’t matter how many activities you share. It mainly depends on the quality of activities that you are sharing. Your contributions should be unique, adding value, and making an impact on the community. Your contributions should be distributed in more than one type of activity. And most importantly, do this to make yourself and others happy, not to get the Microsoft MVP award. The award will come when you least expect it.

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