The True Meaning of Being a Microsoft MVP: An Honest Unbiased Reflective Insights of an Azure MVP in Sweden

It has been a while since I last blogged. For the past months, I have been occupied with work and community – public speaking, organizing community MeetUp events at Azure User Group Sweden, a bit of travelling, interviews, book project, mentoring, etc.

I am up for some freestyle writing what’s on my mind today. So, I decided to jot down the words you are reading right now from my mobile phone. Yes, I am blogging from my iPhone 😊

Microsoft MVP – What is it and What Does it Mean to Me?

I was nominated and received my first Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for Microsoft Azure category in 2021 in the midst of the pandemic.

I did an opening and unboxing of my MVP Award video in June 2021.

My First MVP award from Microsoft in 2021 – Captured from my home office desk

What is this award anyway?

Microsoft MVP Award is an award and recognition for exceptional community leadership.

The following is Microsoft’s official definition of who are the MVPs?

Who are MVPs?
Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs, are technology experts who passionately share their knowledge with the community. They are always on the “bleeding edge” and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies. They have very deep knowledge of Microsoft products and services, while also being able to bring together diverse platforms, products and solutions, to solve real world problems. MVPs make up a global community of over 4,000 technical experts and community leaders across 90 countries/regions and are driven by their passion, community spirit, and quest for knowledge. Above all and in addition to their amazing technical abilities, MVPs are always willing to help others – that’s what sets them apart.

Microsoft MVP Award https://mvp.microsoft.com/en-US/

Reading Microsoft’s description, ”MVPs are always willing to help others” resonates a lot to me personally. I love it because I know that is one of my ”Whys ” in my life and what I do.

I believe this is why I got nominated and received the award. People saw that in me and for that I am grateful and honored.

My Story, Being a Microsoft MVP and My True Meaning of Being One

I’ve been doing some self-reflecting lately on all my achievements and my sense of belonging for the past years.

To those who heard my tech story, you know my journey and challenges in the industry.

If you are curious to hear my story and journey to tech, check out one of my recent interviews with Ellie King of EqualIT at Equal Inspired Podcast eposide 008 Jonah Andersson – Senior IT Consulant, Founder and Role Model. Also, another interview I did this year ar Lisa at the Edge Podcast about being an open book.

Finding time and balance between especially working full time remotely, being an MVP, personal, life, book writing project, public speaking, etc. have been my habits and routine lately.

Summer 2022- With my Labradoodle dog Lorentz 🐾

My favorite routines of my life are spending time with family, friends, reading books, gardening, cooking, photography, and bonding time with my dog!

I have been awarded twice so far as Microsoft MVP for Azure, one of the modern cloud platforms I work with and I passionately share about.

I technically use Azure everywhere – I work, design, code, develop, deploy, solve problems, build modern solutions with it. I teach, write a book, speak at conferences about it, etc.

I share about Azure, not because I am Microsoft MVP for this technology but because I believe in the technical advantages and benefits of it to me and to many.

My Microsoft MVP profile on Microsoft ’s MVP Website

I did not plan and expect to be awarded, but I am happy and very humbled to receive this award and recognition.

Being a Microsoft MVP has taught me a lot about the value of sharing knowledge and inspiring others through tech. The more I serve for the community, the more humble I become. The more I value the power of knowledge sharing and belonging.

– Jonah Andersson

To me, the most rewarding of all being one, is to be part of a great family of awesome people and friends in the community whom I can relate and share the same values. We share the same passion, vision and interests for the technologies we are awarded for.

The Cons of Being a Microsoft MVP in a Traditional IT Company

To those close to me and have worked with me, they know I speak up when I have sensed something is wrong or doesn’t feel right. I learned to speak up more and dare express how I feel. I am honestly expressive, approachable and friendly. I go beyond extra mile for right people.

Play chess with me but do not ask me to play and fake my emotions for I am bad in playing the ”poker face” game 😊

Sometimes, I feel that others don’t really understand what I do. Why I use my spare time to share knowledge at events, etc. Why do I care mentoring others? Others think I work and do marketing for Microsoft.

I teach, mentor and share about Azure to help. Sometimes it is appreciated, sometimes not.

In a group coversation, a colleague once asked who can share something technically. Another colleague mentioned me and asked if I had something to share. I replied and wrote yes I have some things to share that might be useful and interesting.

I heard back from the first person who asked the initial question, that he thinks I am good but he wants to see less of me and prefer somebody else.

That statement made me wonder why, what was wrong of being too active in sharing knowledge, etc.

That day when I heard it, I was on my way to speak at an event. I was crying on the train on the way to a conference maybe because I feel humiliated, excluded and I felt that it did not make sense.

Yet, I stod on the stage the next day and shared my talk with confidence. Meeting other MVPs and experts at the conference made me feel better and inspired that I forgot what just happened then.

One of my favorite quotes by George Bernard Shaw said ”Don’t wrestle with pigs. You both get filthy and the pig likes it.”

This quote helped me through out of the process after reflecting over it.

Sometimes, you just have to let it go things that makes you sad. Shake it off and do what makes me happy and give attention to those who gives you appreciation.

Though, I wonder if I am really in the right best possible place I should be sometimes.

Every place is different and unique! You just need to find the right and best one that works for you, most specially if you are extraordinary!

The Personal Opinion and Genuine Observation on Nomination

The MVP award are only given by nomination from Microsoft employees or existing active MVPs. So, if I find someone deserving, I can nominate that person.

From time to time, I get messages from others asking me they want to be an MVP too and recommend themselves to be nominated. It doesn’t really work like that easy.

Sometimes, I wonder and asked myself questions like, ”Do they really know what it really means?Are they genuine? , ”Are they really helping others and not for their own benefit?

To me, recommending someone is not easy. You want to recommend the best and deserving person.

Being an MVP means sharing knowledge about what you are great at, collaboration with others, inspiring, volunteering helping others and building communities.

– Jonah Andersson

I once made a mistake recommending a random person who randomly connected to me on LinkedIn. That person messaged me just appreciating what I do as an MVP and asked for job opportunity. I was too quick to just recommended this person into the company without verifying that person’s background. Later, I saw that person got the job! I realized that person was just using me to get into the company. Never even thanked me for getting hired and for the recommendation. Just grabbed the big seat!

I learned my lesson – Never recommend someone to be your colleague unless you really know them who they are as a person! Just like in Zero-Trust Methodology in Cloud Security 😁☁️

In terms of nominating someone to be an MVP, When you see someone who is deserving, you know, I would know. Microsoft would know. The community and the public around would know!

So if you are genuine and passionate about helping others, keep shining, keep sharing and keep inspiring. Enjoy the journey!

Microsoft MVPs Around the world and Azure MVPs in Sweden

Worldwide, we are over 3000+ MVPs,

In Sweden, we are 77 MVPs in different categories.

For Microsoft Azure, we are only 12 MVPs in Sweden and I am myself, yours truly is the only active ”female” Azure MVP in Sweden 🇸🇪

Community, Sharing and Belonging

I met most of the fellow Swedish Azure MVPs and Swedish Microsoft MVPs in other categories in conferences like DevSum, Swetugg, Cloudburst and Microsoft Reactor Stockholm event.

They are all great! I feel the connections when you meet like-minded people with same purpose and I feel like I have an extended family in tech.

This is what community and belonging is about. You feel you belong because you share the same passion and vision of helping and sharing.

Thanks so much to all who appreciate my community work and what I do!

I would like to thank you Microsoft again and my #MVP family globally and friends in the community for the support, appreciation and recognition!

If you would like to learn more about what I do, read my book about Azure, join our community, follow me through my links on https://linktr.ee/jonahandersson

Thanks for reading my story and my thoughts today! 💡

Keep inspiring!

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