Most people look forward to July 1st because it means the July 4th holiday weekend is close. For me as an MVP it has an entirely different excitement. No matter how many times I’ve been awarded as an MVP I’m always nervous when my anniversary comes around and its time to be evaluated for a re-award. But I’m happy to say that I received an email Friday morning saying that I’ve been awarded an MVP award again this year. The categories have changed over the last year, so instead of an award for SharePoint server my new category is called “Office Servers and Services”. This of course includes SharePoint and Office 365 which are my focuses. No matter how the program changes I continue to be more excited every year. This is my ninth year and I hope to continued my contributions for years to come. SharePoint and Office 365 continue to be exciting products to work on and there is always a lot more to learn. This year in particular I will be focusing more on how hybrid environments that include SharePoint online, Azure, and SharePoint on-premises function.
I continue to start each day by answering a few questions on the MSDN and TechNet Forums. But am also hoping to expand my presence on the public Yammer forums. I really enjoy being able to help people find answers and frequently find interesting questions that I’ve never thought about that lead me to discover new and different things about SharePoint. I often wonder how I learned as much as I did before I gained access to the resources and contacts available to me as an MVP. I’m also looking forward to continuing to share what I know at several conferences this year. I’m always looking for new topics that people would like to hear about. If you have a question or a topic then drop me a line and my next talk may be on that topic.
This year I’m particularly excited that one of my colleagues at work was just awarded his first MVP award. Gareth Gudger works on Exchange and Office 365 and has a well read BLOG at https://supertekboy.com/. Gareth and I haven’t worked a project together yet since he is based in Cincinnati and I am based in Cleveland. But I hope to find more time to connect with him on Office 365 this year as he begins his MVP journey.
But the bottom line is still that I wouldn’t be an MVP if it weren’t for all of you out there in the SharePoint community. Recently I’ve been running into a number of people who have heard me speak at conferences or have seen me answering questions on the Forums. Its been great to meet all of you in person and thanks for all the questions that you’ve asked. As long as you keep asking questions and listening to me at conferences I’ll keep trying to learn more and share what I’ve learned with all of you. Without you I wouldn’t be receiving this award. I hope to continue to live up to the honor and hope that I never get complacent about what its really about: Helping to support the SharePoint community.
A few days after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines one of my fellow MVPs, Dux Raymond (@meetdux), suggested that we should all band together and do something to support the relief effort. His idea was that we would all volunteer an hour or two of phone consulting time for anyone who would contribute to a charity for the relief of the victims of Typhoon Haihayn. I’m happy to report that almost 50 MVPs, including me, have volunteered to contribute to the effort. If you would be interested in some consulting time with an MVP check out Dux’s blog where the list of MVPs who are contributing to the effort is being kept up to date. YOu can find it here:
Unfortunately, my contribution to the effort has already been snapped up by a contributor. But there are lots of other knowledgeable MVPs waiting to help you (and the people of the Philippines) out.
Last weekend was really exciting for two reasons. First, because my eldest daughter got married on Saturday. We were so busy getting ready for the wedding that I almost forgot about my MVP award date on July 1st. But soon enough the wedding was over and things started to get back to normal on Sunday and there was my the email announcing my MVP award again this year for SharePoint. This is my fifth year and I get more EXCITED about the program every year. Every year I make more friends and contacts through the program. Their help and support is invaluable when it comes to learning all the nooks and crannies in this product. I often wonder how I learned as much as I did before I gained access to the resources and contacts available to me as an MVP. And every year brings more opportunities for learning and sharing that knowledge with others in the community.
But the bottom line is still that I wouldn’t be an MVP if it weren’t for all of you out there in the community. In the last year I’ve begun to run into a number of people who recognize my name from the MSDN Forums. Its been great to meet all of you in person and thanks for all the questions that you’ve asked. Some of them provide an easy outlet for sharing what I already know. But others provide challenges to learn new things so I can help answer questions. Without your stimulating questions I wouldn’t be receiving this award. I hope to continue to live up to the honor and hope that I never get complacent about what its really about: Helping to support the SharePoint community.
Next week I’ll be headed for Denver to speak at the Denver SharePoint Saturday event. I will be presenting two sessions. One will be an overview for users, admins, and developers who are just getting started on SharePoint online in Office 365. The other is a more in depth talk for developers and admins on managing the various places that SharePoint stores user information. I’ve reprinted the abstracts for my talks below:
Intro to Developing for SharePoint Online: What Tools Can I Use? – The introduction of Office 365 drastically changed the SharePoint development landscape. As a managed online service the rules for developing customizations for SharePoint Office 365 are radically different from the ones for an “on-premise” installation. They are also slightly different than developing sandbox solutions. In addition many companies who currently use dedicated SharePoint installations are beginning to consider eventual migration to the Office 365 cloud environment. That means even current “on-premise” development is often constrained in new ways. No matter what kind of development you currently do you need to know how to develop for Office 365. In this workshop/session we’ll cover the following topics:
- Setting up an Office 365 development environment
- Developing sandbox solutions for SharePoint Online
- Building reusable workflows in SharePoint Designer 2010
- Why the Client Object Model is even more important in Office 365
Users, Profiles, and MySites: Managing a Changing SharePoint User population – Every company has some level of employee change and turnover. The question is how do you manage the graceful removal or modification of user information from SharePoint? If everything is perfectly aligned SharePoint will automatically process and delete the user account, permissions, profile, and MySite for users that are deleted from Active Directory. Updates to user information are also automatic in many cases. But most SharePoint installations don’t have all the necessary components aligned for automated removal of old users and some profile properties refuse to update. In this session we will examine the underlying processes controlling user accounts, permissions, profiles and MySites and how they interact. We’ll look at what works, what doesn’t work, and how to work around it. Along the way we’ll recommend Best Practices for managing users, their profiles, and MySites in a SharePoint environment.
Do you have tough technical questions regarding SharePoint for which you’re seeking answers? Do you want to tap into the deep knowledge of the talented Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals? Then join me and other SharePoint MVPs for answers to your questions in a live forum. So please join us and bring on the questions! These chats will cover WSS, MOSS and SharePoint 2010. Topics include setup and administration, design, development and general questions. This month there is only one time slot for the chat. I’ll be there so bring your questions to the chat on Wednesday June 22nd. Other MVPs who will also be attending include:
- Alex Pearce
- Corey Roth
- Darrin Bishop
- Ivan Sanders
- John Timney
- Kanwal Khipple
- Kris Wagner
- Laura Rogers
- Liam Cleary
- Paul Galvin
- Randy Drisgill
- Rob Foster
- Serge Tremblay
- Woody Windischman
Wed, June 22nd, 2011
Noon EDT (9am PDT)
Join the chat room on the day of the chat:
Twitter hastag: #spmvpchat
SharePoint Team Blog post: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/mvpawardprogram/archive/2011/06/14/special-live-sharepoint-chat-announcement.aspx