The deterioration of the MVP-program
For many years I considered the MVP-program to stand as a guarantee for:
Professional high quality and a deep knowledge and skillfulness about various tools.
A driving force for continuous development where the output became standards and widely adapted in the global virtual communities.
Represent the cutting edge.
Individuals who was accredited the MVP-status did to high degree qualify in view of the above. This was valid during the 90′s and in the early 2000′s but for the last years it has been a dramatically change where the above seems to be no longer valid.
I’m the first one to regret that I nowadays consider the whole MVP-program as a joke and therefore no longer stand as a guarantee for quality.
It’s obvious that MSFT has switched strategy for the program as they now accredit:
Young and nice individuals but with no experience or with a limited experience.
Site owners & Authors
What do these groups have in common except for the lack of quality, experience, knowledge and skillfulness and what can they actually contribute with?
Personally I see the individuals in these groups as victims and I can also understand why they accept the accreditation. After all, MSFT are today the most powerful software company worldwide and therefore it would require a lot from individuals to turn them down.
However, I can only conclude that it exist a gap between what the MVP-program once was and what it has become today. What is also notable is that highly respected members have left the program or consider leaving it (keep in mind that Excel is a small group in the total MVP-program).
Where are the new Excel MVPs?
It looks like many of the recently MVPs disappear from the global community which indicate that something is wrong. Has the accreditation become a burden and therefore feel that they cannot stand up for it?
As a consequence I conclude that the recent Excel MVPs have contributed with little to the knowledge base for the last years. For the last 4-5 years I can only single out the chart-area. Sure, we’ve see some nice solutions that use API and other libraries but these solutions have been applied in the classic VB for a longer time (read 90′s).
The rapid development in many areas where Excel is involved strongly requires that the Excel MVPs take the responsibility for the development and take the lead. Excel cannot no longer be viewed as a standalone tools.
There are some emergency areas like Excel Sharepoint, Excel Visual Studio.NET & VSTO that need to get the attention. However, in order to do it MSFT need to make sure that they have well qualified and active MVPs.
Restore the MVP-program
I would like to see that MSFT reconsider the development and restore the trust in that the MVP-program still stand for all the good aspects. Here is a list what I would like to see:
Clean up Individuals that doesn’t measure up to the level, or are no longer active or are not interested to be part of the global community should gracefully be helped to leave the program.
Accept that during some years there are no good candidates and therefore no accreditation will be executed.
Encourage and support the MVPs to be the driving force for Excel in all areas.
People who know me well also know that I’m not a badge/title person and therefore do not mix my own person with the above discussion.
It’s my concern to maintain the level of quality associated with the MVP-program. Perhaps I’m old fashion but that’s the way it is.