Rule #1: Don’t write blog posts, nor essays at 2AM, shortly after writing late night blog posts mentioning the educational benefits of Microsoft education programs like DreamSpark!
The question on the table at the moment is, “Why am I passionate about Microsoft training and certification?” And I feel that this question is actually very easy for me to not only explain and articulate but to discuss in great length! ;) The key word specifically is my passion around this. This is no area I am one to shy away from, nor one which I have not done my best to cover in earnest time and time again both in this blog, but also in presentations to large groups and individuals while trying to raise the bar around what educational opportunities exist.
To discuss a bit about me, I am a founding member and currently an elected chair of the Chicago Windows Users Group, an organization founded on the premise of not only helping raise awareness and education within the Microsoft Community, but on that very point of increasing community within those of us Technical as well. Whether I am at our meetings discussing what Free opportunities exist in a downturn economy, talking about the merits of MCP certification and availability of training courses or even offering up random marriage proposals to Trika in her Certification hey-day; I’m always looking out for the folks around me making sure they know what exists and what is available!
I get asked quite often what the current state, merit and benefits of certification are, especially for those who get overly concerned over the expiration, lack of, and re-instatement at times (deja-vu!) And I take those comments not only in stride but also in the effort of educating the individuals so we all come out stronger and can walk away knowing what it takes to become a master! But it takes more than some Technical Offerings and a little education to really set a precedent for what Certification really means. It is about showing the promise, the possibility and exuding my own passion for Certification, Education and Learning as an Evangelist moreso than an enthusiast.
Define: Enthusiast v Evangelist
The difference between an enthusiast and an evangelist, is an enthusiast tells you how excited they are about something. An evangelist tells you how excited YOU are about something.
Yea, I am an evangelist, and I promote education, certification and more in this blog and through direct one-on-one communication, large group education sessions, presentations, livemeetings, webex’s, creating Post-Mortems after taking Beta Exams (within the confines of NDA’s ;)). I even comment excessively on the Beta Exams and have participated in the creation of a number of test questions and exams (Hey, I like to make sure I don’t have to make comments by fixing some things in the beginning!)
Am I passionate about Education and Certification? You better believe it! I’ve been told, if there were an MVP option for Certification I would have received it – Which is honorable indeed to be told that by many people (Multiple Microsoft Employees and many third party) though sadly that option does not exist in the MVP community, so sad :) I treat my sharing of this information like I am getting paid to deliver it! But I am not getting paid for it, and I’m not so sure I’d do the job quite so passionately if I were actually paid – The satisfaction is in knowing that people are actually benefitting!
Wow, this almost sounds sappy, but it’s sincere and true and I enjoy and appreciate knowing that people I help, whether through a blog post, a presentation, or direct mentoring has a very tangible impact not only in their careers but also in their lives.
This brings me an absolute level of satisfaction, the likes of which I reap the rewards every time I get the comments, compliments and hear from people who have walked away with new jobs, promotions and salary increases, or just all around a better understanding of their environments and their lives.
Given the chance to compete for this opportunity to be on the bus, it will be a great boon for the technical community, user groups, twitter and more so :) I love to meet people who have an interest in these very topics, whether it being around wanting to learn, or wanting to help ensure others are learning – This will be an experience like no other while leveraging technology like it is second nature :)
And the worst case, is I have an enjoyable time giving it a try, making sure that others are aware of their opportunity to compete in this as well, but above all – I’ll carry on sharing the educational love and making sure that there is no technologist left behind – And with Microsoft Funding (Often $$ Free) That’s a promise we can all agree to!
@cxi on twitter