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I don’t work for the MVP Program, but I do get asked this question frequently.

“How do I become an MVP ?”

Being a Microsoft MVP is not a program that you sign up for. It’s a recognition for a person’s community involvement over a year’s time.

There is no guaranteed way to be selected, but I can give you a basic strategy as to how to get in the running !

There are 3 things to know about how MVPs are selected.

  1. MVPs are categorized by technology. There are ASP.NET MVPs, Dev Security MVPs, MS Office MVPs, etc.
  2. The Team tries to identify MVPs in every geography where we do business. In some areas the pool of potential MVPs for a particular technology is very large. In others it is quite small.
  3. Community activity AND contribution in what the selection committee is looking for.

So what constitutes “Community Participation and Added Value?

Well, here are some of the activities you might peruse.

  • Answer questions in the Microsoft forums for the technologies that you are interested in. This is easy for Microsoft to measure and the forms are frequented by Microsoft folks and the other MVPs for each technology.
  • Blog! – Preferably on a Microsoft Web Site (thought not required)  since, in general, your blog posts will be easy for the Microsoft MVP folks to find and count, plus, your blog posts will get the widest possible readership.
  • Contribute to a .NET based Open Source Project.
  • Speak on Microsoft te3chnologeis at Industry Conferences.
  • Write Magazine or Webzine Articles.
  • Write a book or books.
  • Do a Podcast.
  • Comment on the blogs of Microsoft Product Team Members

Also, connect with the Microsoft people who work in your local Microsoft office. Seek out the folks that work with the technologies  that you are interested in and engage. The more they know about your work in the technical community, the more they can gage your standing and make recommendations to the MVP selection process.

I hope some folks that hope to one day become Microsoft MVPs will find these useful suggestions to help get them on the path !