Every year, Microsoft invites thousands of IT professionals to its hometown turf, puts us up in nice hotels, and puts up with us, period. They conduct sessions led by Microsoft staff who let us in on upcoming stuff, and we complain about all the ways it won’t work. We throw things, we drink a lot, and somehow Microsoft grits its teeth and keeps bringing us back.
There’s really only four benefits to being an MVP:
- Free software
- A cool badge on your bio slide
- The MVP email distribution list
- The MVP Summit
They’re all cool, but it’s probably the MVP Summit that I value the most – and this year, I’m skipping it. It pains me to write those words, because I’m going to miss shaking hands with many people in the community who I really admire and appreciate.
They’re like my family – except they’re not my family, and that’s where the decisions get tough. This year I’m trying to spend more time at home with the folks I love, and that means doing less travel. I try to only travel one week per month, and I’ve been averaging over that, so I have to make some tough decisions. Between SQLCruise, Connections, paying client trips, and the MVP Summit, I had to cut one event. I’m flying out to Seattle for one day of meetings on Thursday, but then flying back out, so I’ll miss most of the MVPs. And believe me, I will miss them – hopefully I’ll catch some at Connections.
Between SQL Server 2012 coming out and the cool Microsoft guys involved with the event (shout out to Chuck Heinzelman), I bet this is going to be the best MVP Summit yet. Have a wonderful time, everybody!
I admire your decision, it has to be difficult. I always wonder how all you rock stars keep up with regular life. I struggle to find time to for exercise, writing and other non-household items and I don’t travel.
Ha! Rock stars. Yeah, it involves making a lot of ugly choices and sacrifices. There’s so many things I want to say yes to, and it’s so frustrating to have to skip something like the MVP Summit, but it’s worth everything when I can make Erika as happy as she makes me. 13 years this week!
It amazes me how often MS MVPs travel, you folks always seem to be on the run. I only like to travel for pleasure and my family always comes with.
8 years ago when my daughter was born everything changed for the better. No amount of money or MVP status was worth what I would be missing while I would be away.
I drive my daughter to school every day and I have never missed any event in her life. Perhaps working out of the same location is boring for some, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I can’t wait for the day you have your first child. You might eventually lose you MS MVP status, but it will pale in comparison to being an MVP at home
Well, Erika and I don’t want kids, so that makes things easier. A dog is all the commitment we can handle!
I, sadly, had to make the same decision, for the same reasons. I do so much travel and I’m finding myself having a harder and harder time justifying time away from home. Unfortunately the MVP Summit fell short this year. 🙁
I was exchanging banter with @way0utwest + @sqlsoldier about fuel prices in the Uk and got hit with quips about the UK being a small island. But there’s the rub, because the states is so much larger than the UK, it can be pretty rough in terms of the air miles state side consultants such as yourself clock up. For example I think you could fit the UK into an area the size of Texas.
Must be really tough decision. But that’s the best decision! We know event like that would bring in business potentials…but your putting family first is something that most admire 🙂
As I commented on Steve Jones’s similar post, well put. As previous commenters have said I don’t know how you guys (and girls) do it – I have trouble just handling being gone to one or two training events a year and a few offsite client engagements.
Ironically, this is the 4th year I’m missing the summit since I moved to North America.When I was back Asia, I was at every summit.I thought just be being a flew hundred miles away instead of several thousands would be a good reason not to miss it.But back then, the MVP Summit was held in mid-March so I don’t have to miss my wife’s birthday. Not anymore and it’s the main reason why I skip the summit. I admire your decision for prioritizing Erika? I’ll see you at SQL Connections.
@jlangdon, I’ve got 2 wonderful sons that have been the greatest gifts that my wife & I ever had. I spend quality and fun times with them & takes them to the school bus stop every morning. And this is my 7th year of becoming a Microsoft MVP. It just takes a lot of courage to say NO to the unimportant and focus on the right priorities. And I also admire you for making your family a top priority in your life. We need more fathers and husbands like you nowadays
You gotta get Erika into SQL Server – makes the whole travel thing soooo much easier 🙂
Hahaha, I bet!
Sorry that you won’t be here, but I think your priorities are exactly right. You will be missed, but I will see you at Connections.
For some reason this just came across my desk again today, and I wanted to post that I’m still mad about this. The 2012 Summit was the only one I was able to attend, and you skipped it!