Our very own Jason Farrell, principal in our Technology practice, was recently named a Microsoft MVP in “Visual Studio and Development Tools”, specifically for his expertise in Xamarin and and his contributions to the tech community. MVP is difficult to attain and a highly prestigious award. Jason’s recognition comes with a fair amount of hard work – for example MVPs must be nominated by a Microsoft employee, and must have shown deep technical expertise in their area as well as demonstrate their passion for contribution to the technical community – whether through community leadership, public speaking, open source contributions, blogging, or otherwise (and Jason does ALL of these!). Check out Jason’s journey to MVP via the Q&A below:
What is the Microsoft MVP Program?
It is an award given to exceptional independent community leaders who share their passion and technical expertise with the community. People awarded have demonstrated incredible expertise in their respective fields and a desire to share with the community their real work knowledge. The MVP program allows awardees the opportunity to gain access to private content at Microsoft and additional support evangelizing Microsoft products and services.
How did you become a Microsoft MVP?
To become an MVP you must be nominated by several peers with at least one being an MVP or employee of Microsoft. My contributions to the local Chicago community for speaking and organizing events was the reason I was selected. According to my award letter, I demonstrated unique and expert level knowledge in several Microsoft product fields and was a frequent speaker and community activist to build community involvement for Xamarin.
What are the perks of being an MVP?
In addition to the recognition from Microsoft and my peers, I am able to access private unreleased information about Microsoft products and have direct contact with product teams to ask questions and provide feedback. Additionally, Microsoft provides several benefits including a free MSDN subscription, to further support me in speaking and spreading knowledge in the community. Also, I was able to attend the Microsoft MVP Summit earlier this November. This enables me to be on the ground with other Microsoft MVPs and product teams, see what Microsoft has planned and offer feedback based on what I am seeing with my clients.
What was your biggest takeaway from the MVP Summit?
The biggest takeaway from Summit was just a sense of amazement. I was amazed not just as the technical achievements Microsoft has coming but also with the people I got to meet. Being at Summit also allowed me to put tough questions to people like Scott Hanselman, John Montgomery, and Scott Guthrie and get real guidance on where Microsoft is headed. Armed with this knowledge I am in a better position to see not only where the tech industry is going but, also how to best help guide my clients to make it there smoothly.
What impact will this mean for clients?
My advanced knowledge of products will enable me to advise clients better. It means I can better assist product teams with making good decisions and have direct feedback channels at Microsoft, all of which enable me to better provide for my clients.
Any lessons learned or recommendations for future MVP?
The MVP award is good for one year, following that I must go through the nomination process again. To be renewed, I must continue to speak and continue my community involvement; something West Monroe is very supportive of and has pushed me to get others involved speaking in the market.