Just a few minutes ago I received an e-mail. “Dear Robert Cain,” it began, “Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2008 Microsoft MVP Award! The MVP Award is our way to say thank you for promoting the spirit of community and improving people’s lives and the industry’s success every day.”
I admit it’s a goal I’ve had for the last year and a half, and have worked hard to achieve, but I still have a hard time believing it’s finally happened. For those who are unfamiliar with the award, MVP stands for Most Valuable Professional. Microsoft gives the award for work in the user group communities. My award was given in the SQL area. I am humbled to be joining an elite crowd, worldwide the website shows only 223 people in this category. Even though the award is for my efforts, those efforts were in the community and I had a lot of help from the community. Thus there are some folks I’d like to publicly thank.
The first is Doug Turnure, who up until Monday was the Developer Evangelist (DE) for AL/MS/GA. Doug mentored me, and gave me a lot of practical, valuable advice. I’d also like to thank the new DE for the area, Glen Gordon, who also gave me aid. Two other DE’s, Joe Healy and Brian Hitney also deserve a word of thanks. Even though I lived out of their normal operating areas they still took time to answer my questions and let me know of speaking opportunities.
Next I’d like to thank all my co-workers, too numerous to mention, who tolerated my constant e-mails about user group meetings, events, and suffered as I practiced my presentations on them.
I would also be neglectful if I failed to say thanks to everyone in the various user groups I attend. BSDA, BUG.Net, Steel City SQL, SOA Society, TechBirmingham and others opened their doors to me and gave me chances to give back to the community. I should also say thanks to the various user groups across the south east, such as Atlanta, Orlando, Tallahassee, and Huntsville (to name a few) who opened their doors to me.
To all the readers of my blog I also need to give thanks. Your participation via comments and e-mail feedback helped keep my blog alive as a source of ongoing information for the community.
Next I want to thank my daughters, Raven and Anna, for putting up with Daddy being gone weekly to user groups, having his nose constantly in a book or laptop, or having to travel and spend time in hotel rooms while Daddy was in code camps. (Don’t worry, they didn’t suffer too much, they invented popcorn and “chick flick” night to compensate, and with Mommy’s help easily found the shopping malls.)
Finally, and most importantly I need to thank my wonderful wife ‘Ammie’, for taking care of the household while I was giving presentations, for bringing me dinner at my computer while I worked on blog posts, and for putting up with all the late nights I’d crawl in bed after getting immersed with some fascinating new technology and losing all track of time. Thanks honey!