Mass-uploading MVP contributions

You can file this under “better late than never”! Our annual deadline is coming up very quickly, as March 31st is the last day you can enter contributions if you are up for renewal in July 2019. For most of us, that is a 1 year period of April 1st to March 31st but with the monthly MVP awards, there are some who have a longer than 1 year first period before renewal. I know I had a longer period last year for my first renewal…

I have had a change of heart since writing this previous post, about how I enter my contributions. In that post, I indicated that I would enter 1 summarized entry for the year with total blogs written to keep things simple. I realized during this past week’s MVP Summit, having had various conversations with product teams, that they prefer details. So, I am now uploading one contribution per blog post and each one has the appropriate categories of contribution on them. I had not done this in the past because the amount of entries using the website to enter them was going to take far too long to be worth it. I wrote 75 blog posts last year, there was no way I was going to put them in individually!

Then I started to play with the PowerShell commands via the API and I’m now a convert. This post is about how to use the MVP API via PowerShell and upload a CSV file with your contributions.

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And then there were 10…

This post was somewhat hard to write, to find the right tone, to express my feelings succinctly enough without seeming ungrateful for what I’ve just been awarded.

Yesterday, I received the official news from Microsoft that I had been awarded with an MVP Award for the 2018/2019 period, my first “renewal”. Leading up to yesterday, there were a tremendous amount of messages, emails and social media threads among the various channels that MVPs communicate in (some official, some not) where people were announcing they weren’t getting renewed. Included in this were several within my own award category, Business Solutions, within my own peer group of those focusing on Dynamics GP.

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MVP emails gone mad!

At the end of April, I thought I would do an experiment. I kept track of nearly every email that I received as a part of the MVP program for the entire month of May. I deleted nothing. However, some emails such as calendar invites are auto-deleted in Outlook once you accept or decline the invitation, so I may be missing a few. (I know you can change that behaviour in Outlook but I didn’t want to change my normal settings for the sake of an experiment!)

As a Microsoft MVP, depending on how many Distribution Lists (DLs) you subscribe you, you may get a LOT of emails. I was curious to keep track of exactly how many on a random month. May was that month!

There is no “one” reference point since every MVP will customize what DLs they subscribe to, if any, and what other forms of communications their product group prefers to use. For this post, my reference point, I subscribe to 2 DL’s in Business Solutions, which for the sake of NDA I will call “the primary one” we are all told we should follow and one for my own product group, Dynamics GP. Those in Business Solutions will know what I mean.

There are 7 different DLs in Business Solutions, not including ones marked as “Retired”. I also subscribe to 1 Data Platform DL, out of 16 in that award category. There is absolutely no way to effectively keep up with the information if I chose to subscribe to more, let alone what I already subscribe to, so, I must limit myself to a handful of DLs to keep sane!

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What the MVP NDA means to me

When we receive the Microsoft MVP Award, the first thing after “accepting” the award officially is signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Each time our award is renewed, we must acknowledge, accept and sign it again.

That NDA is an individual agreement between Microsoft and ourselves as an individual, not our company or employer, not our family, but us, individually. Additionally, even though all MVPs have signed the NDA agreement, we are not to share NDA information with other MVPs without pre-approval or through authorized NDA channels. I’m getting this part verbatim from the MVP site, by the way, to avoid mistakenly describing something in my own words that aren’t precisely true.

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MVP Summit 2018

I’m fortunate to be attending my 2nd Microsoft MVP Summit, in Bellevue & Redmond, Washington. The first one I attended was in November 2016, shortly after I was first awarded my MVP award. It was pretty overwhelming! I was still getting used to the idea that I was an MVP let alone being able to absorb all of the content presented to us.

There was no MVP Summit in 2017, as the program was reorganized in early 2017 to change everyone to a single renewal date. In doing so, the date for Summit was changed to what I assume is now the permanent time of year from now on.

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