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Slight alignment in my MVP award categories: I am (as well) an Azure MVP now

I have been privileged for eight years now to be a part of Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) program – it really is a great honor, which enabled me to meet so many great people, to be involved in tech as never before, and to be communicating and discussing the tech issues directly with Microsoft people in Redmond.

Also, during all this time, I have seen program evolve and change. When I was accepted, I was a “SharePoint MVP”. It is still stunning how many of my MVP colleagues still write “SharePoint MVP” on their resumes, even if that category has not been called like that for ages. It was first merged into a big “Office 365 MVP” category, which was then renamed into “Office Servers and Services MVP” and finally into “Office Apps and Services MVP” category. That sticking to the “SharePoint MVP” label, however, shows the pride that former SharePoint MVPs still have in being SharePoint MVPs – that’s a very special bunch of people. And, in all honesty, nobody can create communities like us, SharePoint MVPs. Don’t even start me about parties that we make.

Since I am a developer, few years ago my former MVP lead has suggested me to be additionally awarded with “Office Development MVP”, when that award category was first introduced. I liked the idea – I am a dev after all. And since 2015, when multiple award categories became possible, I was one of the first 10 MVPs in the world who were awarded in two categories (Office Apps and Services, Office Dev).

And while that was nice, and I felt honored, me and Office Dev category were drifting more and more apart since then. Office Dev focuses nowadays on SPFx, and related technologies, which is neither bad nor wrong, but it is not what I do. I probably wrote 5 modern webparts and one extension in the past few years, and none of them was for production (all of them were for demos and showcases). While I make my point on following what is going with SPFx, and I always try to have the latest version installed on my machine, it is not what I do daily. And everyone who knows me is probably aware of my special “love” for JavaScript (which, btw, I use since 1998, and I am unfortunately very proficient in it).

What I do when I develop – heavily influenced by my work – is Azure AppService, to the largest degree. Azure Functions. Azure Active Directory. Sure, I use lot of Office 365 related APIs within those services (Graph, CSOM…), but honestly, it could be any API. If I look at my dev sessions in the past two years, all of it was about Azure dev. Architecture sessions, OAuth flows within AAD, using WebJobs and Functions as SharePoint Timer replacements, etc. This Saturday, in Vianen/Netherlands, I delivered a session on using Azure Cognitive Services for automated metadata extraction within SharePoint. Azure Again.

I was talking to my MVP lead recently about this, and the conclusion was that it makes the most sense to switch my second category from Office Dev into Azure, because it fits much more to what I actually do. So, that happened. From today, I am officially an Azure MVP as well. I am definitely not dissing my original SharePoint MVP award – I will want to keep that one as long as they want to have me. It is the probably the best community that ever existed in the IT world, and I am so proud to be a part of it. But I am also really looking forward to be a member of the Azure MVP community in the future.

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