How to Become an MVP or MCC

How to Become an MVP or MCC

This article is part of the Wiki series: MSDN/TechNet Forums.

This is a question that current Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), Microsoft Community Contributors (MCCs), and Microsoft employees get quite often. And the question pops up in the forums quite frequently.

The fact is, there is no individual path. There are many potential paths, and you'll have to find your own path. The selection process might not be as detailed as we want, but that's by design (for flexibility and other reasons).

When you become an MCC or MVP, then you receive the appropriate "MCC" or "MVP" title in your Profile and whenever your name is listed on various Microsoft online community tools, such as TechNet Wiki, MSDN Forums, or Microsoft Community.

The "MCC" and "MVP" titles on these community tools only reflect that the award was given... and the Recognition Points might inform the award. But the award itself has nothing to do with the Recognition system, the Profiles, TechNet Wiki, or the Forums. Read the answers and links below to find out more information about how to become an MVP or MCC...


 

MICROSOFT COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTOR (MCC)

Q15. How do I contact Microsoft about the Microsoft Community Contributor badge?

A15. You can send questions to the Microsoft Community Contributor Global Administrator at MCCGA@Microsoft.com (MCCGA at microsoft dot com).

FAQ: https://www.microsoftcommunitycontributor.com/faq.aspx

PROCESS: Microsoft automatically reviews the contributions of participants who offer their time and energy to online technical communities such as Microsoft Answers/Community, MSDN, and TechNet to identify those who make notable contributions for possible recognition as a Microsoft Community Contributor. Microsoft employees cannot become MCCs, but MVPs can become MCCs. MCC is an automatic reward (nobody can help you win it by nominating you).

REWARD: The reward is a "small benefit": the award status in your profile on the online community (MSDN, TechNet, etc.) and your name on a list of MCC award recipients. The MCC badge ends after ninety days (three months) from the date found within the welcome email.

Tips to becoming an MCC (based on the FAQ)

1) Make an impact in the community, using tools like TechNet and MSDN Forums. Maintain quality and quantity in your contributions.

2) Rule the Forums. Find a technology's forum (on MSDN or TechNet) where there's a huge need for moderation and answerers. Become an expert in that technology. Then answer a ton of questions with quality answers, propose a lot of answers (especially ones that aren't from you), and then request to be made an Answerer or Moderator. See How to Become an MSDN or TechNet Forum Moderator. Try to get a lot of quality answers completed.

NOTE: This award is based on your contributions in the last 3 months. In other words, if you just started one week ago, you'll need to continue your efforts for a few more months.

NOTE: MCC is an automatic reward (nobody can help you win it by nominating you).


MOST VALUABLE PROFESSIONAL (MVP)

Current page MVPs: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-US/Pages/default.aspx

Become an MVP: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/becoming-an-mvp.aspx

Nominate an MVP: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/nominate-an-mvp.aspx

PROCESS: After reading the "Becoming an MVP" page, you'll see that the process is rigorous. "MVP nominees undergo a rigorous review process. A panel that includes members of the MVP team and Microsoft product groups evaluates each nominee's technical expertise and voluntary community contributions for the past 12 months. The panel considers the quality, quantity, and level of impact of the MVP nominee's contributions." Essentially the panel evaluates the nominees and then bases their award on those evaluations in quality, quantity, and level of impact. They look for three qualities. The candidates can possess all three qualities or can be incredibly strong in one.

To be considered, you should be a leader in these three qualities (not just a contributor, but you lead others in these areas):

  1. Feedback - How do you impact the product teams? This includes being a community leader in the sense of submitting bugs to Connect and the early releases of Microsoft products. It includes providing valuable, polite, and perhaps data-driven suggestions and feedback. Not only do you make individual contributions, but you also lead others to result in a much bigger impact of feedback than what you could contribute as an individual.
  2. Support - How do you help support the community? This includes not only making personal contributions, but you're a leader of the community in these efforts (you motivate others and build communities around support). That includes using forums, blogs, whitepapers, Gallery, videos, and/or TN Wiki to support the community.
  3. Knowledge/Education - Do you lead conferences, contribute successful blogs, and write books? Not only do you educate personally, but you are also a leader of others, helping many people make an impact in this area.
REWARD: The reward is a "set of small services and benefits", which include (among other benefits) the award status in your TechNet/MSDN profile, a listing among the official Microsoft MVPs, and an MVP profile page. The MVP award ends after one year (and then a renewal assessment is triggered).

Tips to becoming an MVP (based on the MVP site)

NOTE: These tips are not guaranteed to get you the MVP status, and not all these tips are required (you can focus on some more than others). However, these tips will set you on the right path. And the right path is merely to share your knowledge and abilities. That should be our only motivation.

1) Give quality assistance, advice, processes, scripts, and consultation. Test your own advice and ask first (don't make assumptions that you're answering questions when too little data is given). Experts in your area will be evaluating samples of your community work. You don't want them to be evaluating the one communication issue you had or the one mistake you accidentally made (and thus thinking that you make mistakes or miscommunication a regular practice). Test out your solution before you post it on your forum replies, blog posts, and Wiki articles. You can edit all of those, so if you don't catch the mistake, you should correct your solution as soon as possible.

2) Give high-quantity contributions. Be active in your technology's forums and on blogs. The TechNet and MSDN forums are being monitored by current MVPs and Microsoft personnel. Quality is more important, but quantity is also very admirable and helpful!

3) Become a Moderator, Answerer, and/or MCC on your technology's forums (post high quality and quantity answers and then approach and ask moderators and owners to be considered or nominated).  Then make a case (given your Forum experience and abilities) to become a moderator. See How to Become an MSDN or TechNet Forum Moderator.

4) Share your knowledge in online community tools like blogs, Wiki articles, white papers, and Galleries (you can upload your white papers on TechNet Gallery). You must create your own unique content and help build the community around your content.

5) Lead others on TechNet Wiki. On TechNet Wiki, we built a reward ecosystem that gets you recognition. There are two sides of that.
First, we show off your accomplishments on TechNet Wiki (your articles, edits, etc.) in seven different ways. After you make some contributions.
(1) we'll invite you to an Interview with a Wiki Ninja. We have had Wiki Ninjas (contributors to TechNet Wiki) get awarded the MVP status as a result of this interview blog post (where teams were made aware of a contributor's accomplishments as a result of the blog post) - not to mention job offers. In addition.
(2) we reward you with Profile Recognition (TechNet Wiki: How to Earn Recognition Points and Achievement Medals).
(3) we feature articles on the home page of TechNet Wiki
(4) we feature a weekly list of Top Contributors on our Wiki Ninas blog.
(5) we hold the monthly TechNet Guru Awards. 
(6) we compile the top articles into celebrated TechNet Wiki Community Ebooks (see TechNet Wiki White Papers), and
(7) we have the Wiki Ninja Belts award system (Wiki Ninja Belt Rankings).

Second, we give you responsibilities for you to help lead the community in four ways.
(1) The TechNet Wiki: Featured Article Teams keep the featured articles for each language up to date.
(2) The Wiki Ninjas bloggers (Wiki Ninjas Blog: The Contributors) become the voice of the community (see Wiki Ninjas Blog: How to Become an Author).
(3) The TechNet Wiki International Council helps build language-based communities around the world (we launch forum sites, Twitter accounts, and even blogs for languages' Wikis as their communities grow)! and
(4) the TechNet Wiki Community Council strengthens the Wiki values via the TechNet Wiki Community Council: Areas of Focus (you can help them out even if you're not a member; also see TechNet Wiki Community Council: How to Become a Member). Finally, once you become an MVP, you can join the TechNet Wiki Advisory Board to champion and lead the content area in your MVP-awarded technology! 

6) Speak at conferences, local groups, meetings, and user groups. Speak online in virtual events. Go show your expertise and teach large groups. These conferences and events are different for every product. Go find them. Here's a testimony of one MVP who speaks at conferences. See Paul Randal's Public Speaking Primer and Kimberly Tripp's Getting started in speaking publicly.

7) Write articles, guest blogs, or books. In addition to writing for your own Blog, Wiki, and Forums, become a guest blogger on other famous blogs. Research the online and print magazines for your technology and then submit articles to try to get published. Ask to complete technical reviews of books that are currently being written. Eventually submit pitches to book publishers as well and establish yourself as an accomplished author in your technology areas. For more ideas and specifics, see Brent Ozar's How to Start a Blog.

8) Become the leader. Instead of just plugging into conferences, events, local groups, and user groups, build them, organize them, and lead them. Bring the community off-line. Many MVPs I know run user groups with an online communication platform and with regular telecommunication meetings (using Lync or Skype). Here's the testimony of an MVP who started an off-line user group, which led to other great opportunities.

9) Be consistent. This is a "marathon award", and not a sprint award. Because an MVP award is evaluated based on the previous 12 months of contributions, you have to be active and consistent for over a year. If you're three months in, then you have 9 more months to go before you can even be considered (you're being evaluated with folks who have a full year of leadership contributions). And after you win it, you should continue your successes in order to be considered for the next year as well.

Other resources from MS contributors:

Tips to becoming an MVP (by MVPs)


MVP Source Tip
Asif Rahmani TechNet Wiki Article "SharePoint MVP award is granted to people who do a Lot of community work. It is not earned like a MCT, MCSD, MCSE etc. It is very much of a designation of gratitude from Microsoft for helping the community." 
Brent Ozar Personal Blog  "I’ll let you in on another secret: the more that you give back, the less you care about awards. Every year when my MVP award gets renewed, I’m completely surprised and flattered. It’s awesome that Microsoft continues to hand me these little glass disks, but if they stopped tomorrow, I wouldn’t change anything about how I give back. Giving back is its own incredible reward." 
Chris Shaw Personal Blog  "MVPs are people helping people.  If I did not have the award, would I stop helping people? No.  Did I want the MVP?  Yes." 
Isha Attlee TechNet Wiki Article  "Becoming an MVP takes time, sincere hard work, and a great deal of community service. To become a SharePoint MVP one needs to share his\her SharePoint knowledge via various social platforms and\or via Interpersonal skills. Hard work would definitely make the path easy." 
Ivan Padabed TechNet Wiki Article "To became an MVP you need to be passionate about community and find a way to empower community... Work with MS in your spare time to make their product better and to build people around it, and you will always find support and recognition. Final grade of that recognition is the MVP award.." 
Khalil Rehman TechNet Wiki Article "Good web presence, Reply to user questions on MSDN/TechNet or other forums, Maintain a quality blog with good posts, Evangelize technology in local events, and Community Presentations (user groups etc.). And more importantly do all these things with technology of your choice… So that you get recognition in that technology circle."
Margriet Bruggeman TechNet Wiki Article "The advice I can give you: be there in the long run and don’t go for quick success." 
Paul Randal Personal Blog  "Start answering forum questions, but make *really* sure the answer is correct... and aim to become a moderator if you can... you have to ensure you're adding value rather than just answering for the sake of getting your ranking higher... Start presenting... Don't aim for major conferences right away – it won't happen. Start with local user groups, SQL Saturdays, maybe do a podcast." - Also see his Public Speaking Primer
Pinal Dave Personal Blog  "In the programming world, however, there should be no ego involved. You are here today but you may not be here tomorrow anymore... Being an MVP is a commitment to one’s self, promising to keep the standard up and continue the passion onwards." 
Richard Mueller TechNet Wiki Ninjas Blog  "For anyone aspiring to be an MVP, I would stress that it is not just how much you know that counts. More important is how willing you are to help others. Being patient and professional is always appreciated." 
Robert McLaws Personal Blog  "DON'T be in it just for a title. If you're looking to be the king of some imaginary social hierarchy, forget it. The MVP Program has been around a long time, and the Microsoft employees assigned to foster community and build the program will see right through you." - From his list of Do's and Don't's
Rodrigo Pinto TechNet Wiki Article "The MVP main idea is share and trade experience with no strings attached. Helping others and sharing is the main goal... Post, comment, meet, eat, and inhale knowledge and new ways to spread the word. And especially... have fun on doing it!"
Sahil Malik Personal Blog  "I would suggest that don't let MVP be the goal, let it be a consequence of what you already are. There is so much benefit in involving yourself in the community that you should do it anyway. If you get the MVP award by doing so, even better. If not, still there is plenty to gain." 
Thomas LaRock Personal Blog  "If you really want to be considered for the MVP award then you should be thinking about ways you can contribute and influence the SQL Community in a positive way without ever once thinking about receiving an award. The giving should be it’s own reward." 
Thuan Ngyen TechNet Wiki Article "MVP is an award. Similar to any other award, asking how to get one almost disqualifies you, so you are better off not pestering people about how to get an Oscar or a Nobel award, and simply do what you do best... If you are helping hundreds or thousands of developers or technologists further their career in Microsoft technologies, then Microsoft will take notice... Also volunteer to help out at local events like user group, CodeCamp or SharePoint Saturday. Start a user group if they are lacking in your area... BUT DON’T JUST CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY TO WIN AN AWARD, DO IT BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT. People win Oscars because they love to make great movies. Love what you do, and influence others to do the same.” " 
Vijay Raj Personal Blog  "First of all, Most Valuable Professional (MVP) is not a certification., Its an Award! ... which Microsoft gives for individuals who are technology experts and most importantly, who play a role and are keen in sharing their expertise with the Community.  So if your question is, 'I have completed my MCTS or MCAD.. what are the next steps towards being a MVP?' – You must re-think on your question!" 
Wayne Small Personal Blog  "To become an MVP is not something you set out to do.  It’s something that is born within you.  You must have the following traits… 1. The desire to help others without expecting thank you’s, appreciation or payment of any kind"



See Also

This article is part of the Wiki series: MSDN/TechNet Forums.


Other Languages

This article is also available in the following languages:

 

Sort by: Published Date | Most Recent | Most Useful
Comments
  • Great post!

  • Very nice post Ed Price.

  • Hey thanks everyone! Feel free to make any suggestions!

  • good explanation about the MCC - MVP differences

  • awesome article..

  • Just getting started after being a member for three years.  I happened across this article because I was awarded a bronze point for updating my profile and was interested to know more about the recognition system.

    Thanks for the insight Ed.

  • Thanks Marc and Guowen!

    CyberDuck, for the fastest overview on Recognition Points and Achievement Medals, see the FAQ: technet.microsoft.com/.../ff395928.aspx

    Thanks for reading!

  • Excellent article, Thanks Ed!

  • Thanks Ed - very informative.

  • Thank you very much for tips!

Page 2 of 6 (56 items) 12345»