On July 1st, I was honored to receive my first Microsoft MVP award in the category of Visual Studio and Development Technology.
The majority of my community work is in the form of blog posts, BHM.NET Meetup event/group organization and other public speaking. I’ve always enjoyed participating in the .NET community but I stepped it up a notch in January of 2016 starting with weekly blog posts and then in May when we started the Birmingham .NET Meetup.
DevOps has become my passion over the last 4 years at EBSCO as we have matured from a quarterly deployment cycle in the beginning to now daily deployments. It wasn’t always easy but it was absolutely gratifying to see the progress we’ve made and the culture we’ve created. My personal goal is to share our journey with anyone who will listen (and some that won’t) to help them learn/gain the same value we have and also learn more from others along the way.
It has been so rewarding to meet, work with and serve .NET developers both locally in Birmingham, AL and across the world via my blog, conferences and virtual user group presentations. This award is really just icing on the cake.
Lots of Support
There have been so many folks who have provided encouragement and support along the way, I must mention a few key individuals. First Robert Cain, a Data Platform MVP also in Birmingham, for being my mentor in the Southeast MVP Mentorship Program and introducing me to so many great MVPs and other community members.
Next to Michael Crump, a PM on the Azure team at Microsoft and formerly a MVP in Birmingham, for all the encouraging words and also helping me to make some invaluable contacts inside Microsoft.
Joe Darko, the Community Evangelist for the Microsoft MVP Program in the Southeast region, for all his work with the community and guiding me through the MVP nomination process.
A huge thanks to my employer EBSCO and my management team who allowed me to share our experiences outside of EBSCO through blog posts, open source, community events and speaking at conferences. They allowed me to spend work time on organizing the BHM.NET Meetup, supported the group financially, paid for my travel to conferences to speak and invested in me both technically and personally. They are one of the few companies that sees how building community outside of company walls can benefit both the larger community as well as the company. I’m very thankful to have worked their for 10 years and look forward to many more.
Finally to my wife Shannon and our 3 daughters, for supporting me along the way and sharing me with the community. I love you all! I firmly believe a good work/life balance is the only way to truly be successful at both.
I plan on continuing and hopefully expanding my community work to reach more people. I’m quickly learn how vast the resources available to MVPs truly are and look to leverage those going forward.
We are starting to focus on migration to cloud and microservices at EBSCO so I’m sure I will be blogging/speaking more about that soon.
Thanks for coming along on this journey with me. This isn’t a one-way relationship though, I need your feedback to continue to provide value. Please leave comments and open conversations with me on Twitter to keep the dialog open.