Imagine a people with
intimate knowledge of particular Microsoft programs. They
maintain Web sites and bulletin boards about problems with the
program and answer questions about any difficulties you may be
having with it. All year round. Free.
Welcome to the Microsoft MVP program
The Microsoft Most Valuable
Professional (MVP) progam was started in the mid 1990s. It
recognises those members of the general public who devote their time
and considerable computing skills, on a voluntary basis, to helping
users "in distress" in the various newsgroups that
It is not something that you
can study for; you don't sit a test or even take an exam. Microsoft
support engineers, team managers and other MVPs take note of a
participant's consistent and accurate technical answers in various
electronic forums and other peer-to-peer areas. They then nominate
those participants to become MVPs, who are not paid in any way but
do receive discounts on software and invitations to special events.
There are around 600
MVPs worldwide who actively participate in the Microsoft Technical
newsgroups, including 14 in Australia and 6 in New Zealand. Many are
IT consultants, some are published authors or technical instructors,
and there are those who have no formal training but have practical
Andrew Sword from
Melbourne is a Microsoft MVP in Exchange.
He has been an MVP
for five years. The first two years he worked with SNA Server, the
last three with Microsoft Exchange.
hours, I work as a consultant focusing on corporate and government
clients. I work with IT systems integration and infrastructure,
designing and rolling out computer networks."
Having worked 9 years
in the industry in project management, presales, consulting and
implementation, he now concentrates on the Microsoft DNA
infrastructure products IIS, SQL Server, Proxy, SNA Server, NT and
Windows 2000. He has consulted in Exchange and Lotus Notes and
worked in the help desk, desktop and server support areas.
"As an MVP you
receive many privileges. These include having access to Microsoft
personnel and beta programs. The help, advice and friendship I
receive from other MVPs is much appreciated."
Sandi Hardmeier from
Perth is a Microsoft MVP in Internet Explorer and Outlook and has
worked in the legal field for 13 years.
"By profession I
am a technical specialist (desktop programs) working in the areas of
workers' compensation, motor vehicle personal injury claims, and
criminal injury compensation. I run the office's computer help desk
and am responsible for troubleshooting program and print faults,
stabilising and maintaining the desktop systems." She trains
the staff in Microsoft programs and "general computer use, safe
Internet practice, virus awareness and virus hoaxes."
my knowledge comes from time, experience, experimentation and
hands-on practice. Book learning and formal study have played only a
small part in the development of my skills over the years. In fact,
hands-on real-world experience is a common trait in many MVPs.
"As an MVP, I
specialise in troubleshooting Microsoft Internet Explorer and
Outlook Express, which is currently a rapidly changing environment.
At the moment, we have Microsoft Windows 95/98, Windows 2000/NT, and
the Windows ME (Millennium Edition), all of which require different
approaches when fixing problems. There is also the current rapid
upgrade cycle for Microsoft Internet Explorer, from V5.0 to 5.01 to