Rob Farley

Rob Rob Farley has been consulting in IT since completing a Computer Science degree with first class honours in 1997. Before moving to Adelaide, he worked in consultancies in Melbourne and London. He runs the development department in one of Australia's leading IT firms, as well as doing database application consultancy and training. He heads up the Adelaide SQL Server User Group, and holds several Microsoft certifications.

Rob has been involved with Microsoft technologies for most of his career, but has also done significant work with Oracle and Unix systems. His preferred database is SQL Server and his preferred language is C#. Recently he has been involved with Microsoft Learning in the US, creating and reviewing new content for the next generation of Microsoft exams.

Over the years, Rob's clients have included BP Oil, OneLink Transit, Accenture, Avanade, Australian Electorial Commission, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Royal Borough of Kingston, Help The Aged, Unisys, Department of Treasury and Finance (Vic), National Mutual, the Bible Society and others.

Did you mean to come here? My blog is now at

15 September 2006

Value of being valued (MVP)

Yet another interesting post from Lemphers David. I know some people who consider MVP status something to be achieved. It certainly seems to have the highest ratio of usage on newsgroup forums - and by ratio I'm meaning "most people who have MVP status mention the fact". People don't tend to write what degrees they have, or their professional organisation status, and although many people mention their Microsoft certifications, the proportion of Microsoft certified people that do isn't nearly as high as the number of MVPs that have "MVP" written after their name. So clearly it's something that people ought to be proud of.

But as Dave (and Darren) clearly state (and I agree), it shouldn't be something that people pursue. It's not an achievement, it's an award. I like Kate Winslet's line in "Extras", when she says "If you do a film about the Holocaust, you're guaranteed an Oscar. That's why I'm doing it - Schindler's bloody List..." Sometimes I think people try to do things that make them get noticed for MVP status.

MVP status isn't like that, or at least shouldn't be. When I look at the MVPs I know, they're largely really helpful people, and are genuinely nice. I think if you're a scumbag, you're not actually that likely to get one. Presumably the fact that Microsoft have to know who you are, and ask your peers a bunch of questions too... well, this should filter out people who don't have the right personality.

I don't know if I'm going to get MVP status one day or not. There's also a part of me that worries that if I do, I might not live up to the standard of MVPs. These guys tend to know a lot, and they're almost always people that are online ALL the time. I like to be helpful, and will always do what I can to help colleagues, peers, whoever with their questions -but I don't spend hours each night looking for questions to answer on newsgroups. My blog isn't even that much of a 'resource', despite what I tell the people in my usergroup.

So what do I think of the MVP program? Well, I think it's good. Really good. I think it's a great way of recognising people who are _valued_ by Microsoft. I love the stories of people like Dave Lemphers, Angus Logan and Rocky Heckman, who were MVPs that got hired by Microsoft. That's a great endorsement of the MVP program, the fact that Microsoft likes these guys enough to actually hire them!