Recent C# programming Guru John Skeet who has been a Microsoft MVP for a number of years was advised by his employer (Google) that he shouldn’t accept the Microsoft MVP award this year.
Personally I don’t understand Google’s doing this, but that’s between John and Google. I’m sure that they had their reasons. My issue is with the article which was written by Cade Metz for The Register. Cade’s sentence which has me really bothered is “MVPs are little more than Microsoft evangelists.”.
Now, last I checked an evangelist for a product is someone who talks about how great a that product is. To me an evangelist sounds like your typical Apple fan boy. Telling anyone that will listen that everything the company puts out is gold, and they can do no wrong. MVPs as a group aren’t close to being evangelists. MVPs are some of the most vocal critics of the products which we are MVPs of. While some MVPs do evangelize Microsoft products, they are the in the minority.
The fact that MVPs are very critical of Microsoft’s products is one of the reasons that Microsoft has the MVP program. They want out critical feedback so that they can make our products better. If we sat around saying how awesome there products are Microsoft wouldn’t get any benefit out of the program and it would simply be a waste of money to them.
Within the SQL Server group (which is the product which I’m an MVP for) there isn’t a week that goes by where we as a group haven’t found another bug which we have sent to Microsoft, and in some cases railed on publicly. Now a portion of the complaining happens in private, but enough of it happens in public that it would be pretty easy to figure out that we as a group are very critical of Microsoft.
Based on the tone of the article that Cade Metz wrote it appears to me that Cade doesn’t hold the MVP program in very high regard. Based on the comments on the article, neither do some of his readers. And that’s fine, everyone is entitled to there opinion. However if you are going to write an article on behalf of a company (like that article is) you might want to veil your personal feelings a little bit better so as not to come across like a total punk.
For the record everything I post on this blog, while hosted on a tech target site is my own opinion and isn’t censored or approved by Tech Target in any way.