What Does it Take to Be an MVP ASP.NET?

A couple of days ago I received an e-mail from a visitor to my site. He wanted to know a couple of things about the design and architecture of my site.

He asked about things like how I format the code in my articles, how I include and link to my images and if I was using the QueryString with Data Controls to determine what article to display on my site.

So far so good; happens about 10 times a week and usually I send a speedy reply, detailing some of the things that drive my site and refer people to my latest book that explains some of this in full detail. However, this time I noticed that the signature said that the sender was an MVP (Most Valued Professional) and a an MCT. Being a little surprised that an MVP would ask these kind of basic question that could have been answered in 2 seconds by using the View Source command in his browser, I sent him a reply, detailing the things he asked about, and in turn asked him in what area he was an MVP.

He said he was an MVP in ASP.NET and MCT, MCPD, MCP, and MCTS for that matter. Lots of acronyms, making me even more surprised about his basic questions.

So, I asked him:

"How come you ask basic questions like 'How do you format your code' if you are an ASP.NET MVP? A 2-second look at the code would have revealed that. ;-) "

And then things went wrong. He replied that he didn't have to prove to me he was an MVP ("I an MVP and not waiting your certificate to be an MVP or not." were his exact words) and that he only wanted help with some tricky things.

Apparently, he felt attacked by my question. I politely replied saying that I wasn't trying to be rude, but that I just didn't understand it and was hoping he could shed some light on that. Haven't heard from him since.

Now where did we go wrong? Did I cross the line and asked something I shouldn't have asked? Or did he feel attacked because he was caught asking for things he could have known or found out himself in a split second? I am not an MVP myself, and I don't know the criteria to become one. But is it really possible you're an ASP.NET MVP without knowing the View Source command in the browser? Be an MCPD without a solid understanding of CSS to format block elements? Don't they teach the use of the Query String anymore during MCTS trainings?

I can hardly imagine that but it's either that, or I was dealing with someone with a thin skin (long toes as we would say in the Netherlands).

Do you know an MVP ASP.NET or are you one yourself? Can you shed some light on this issue? Do you know your CSS and View Source commands?? Then don't be shy and post your comments below this blog post. Oh, and if the original poster is reading this: feel free to join in as well. Like I said, I didn't want to be rude; I was (and am) just curious....



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On Thursday, July 19, 2007 5:19:33 AM Navdeep said:
Hi Imar,

I am not a MVP or any certified professional.
I agree with you. It was just a curiosity that triggered question from your side. I would have done the same and after am still curious to know why that question came from *him*. I think the answer lies in his last response. Sometimes we don't have courage to ask basic questions. Internet is a medium where identity is not revealed and we feel comfortable discussing them.
When he was confronted with the question ( which he may have been avoiding in person), he felt little awkward. I will suggest him to calm down and should discuss here on this thread. He is not alone with such an issue. There are many who feel the same way but just does not come out in open.

On Friday, July 20, 2007 3:29:41 PM Gonzalo (gbianchi) said:
Hi Imar.. never posted on your site but the subject look interesting.. you know that this kind of things happens everywhere... people with big tittles know a little about the subject...
there is a page in how to convert to mvp (http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/mvpexecsum) and also there is another blog with a couple of interesting do and don't (http://weblogs.asp.net/rmclaws/archive/2005/04/03/396941.aspx). The subject is interesting, but usually I found out that a lot of MVP are more commercial partnerts rather than people that really know about the subject...
this could be probably the case..
On Monday, July 23, 2007 6:34:38 PM Imar Spaanjaars said:
Well, in the mean time I spoke to the OP again. He's a bit pissed off that I asked my question as if he was someone who knows nothing.

Personally, I wouldn't mind such questions if they were directed at me. I could easily explain why I would ask such a question, and things would be OK.

It's probably a personal thing; some people have vulnerable egos, others have thick skins. It's no so important.... ;-)

On Wednesday, July 25, 2007 3:42:12 PM Tahir Naushad said:

I am an MCSD and was selected by Microsoft as the MSP/MVS (Microsoft Student Partner/Microsoft Most Valued Student) but I don't know about tons and tons of things about .NET. However, I am not ashamed to ask questions because not asking is worse than not knowing. The issue is not that someone does not know something but when someone is not working hard enough to learn something.

I would suggest the MVP person that start asking a lot of questions from everyone you think know more than you. There is no shame in that.

Everyone including Imar gained knowledge by asking questions. Sometime you ask from yourself and try to find the solution on your own by reading books, articles, documentation etc and sometime you ask other people who you think know more than you. Hard work is the key.

On Tuesday, August 07, 2007 8:51:20 AM Mike said:
Frankly, I surprised that you are not yet an MVP, Imar.  But in the meantime, have you checked the official list of MVPs to see if your questioner appears there? https://mvp.support.microsoft.com/communities/mvp.aspx?product=1&competency=Visual+Developer+-+ASP%2fASP.NET

It could be that the questioner earned their MVP status from their Classic ASP contributions to the community, and is only now moving towards ASP.NET.  I know of at least one whose contribution to "the community" in terms of Classic ASP is unquestionable, but as far as I know, hasn't spent a huge amount of time with ASP.NET yet.  However, the person I have in mind would, I am sure, not been offended by your curiosity...
On Tuesday, August 07, 2007 6:55:56 PM Imar Spaanjaars said:
Hi Mike,

Well, I never doubted the guy's technical skills. I mean, I didn't know anything about him and I really didn't care at the moment. I just asked a simple question and was surprised that my honest question seemed to offend him so much. Long toes.... ;-)

Oh well, whatever..... ;-) It's not important......


On Tuesday, January 08, 2008 4:42:32 PM Anubhav said:
Some people acquire knowledge only by reading books, some by practically applying the things. Programming is an art which can only be learnt by practically applying the concept, and its real fun...

When any specialized computer proffessional is doubtful about "NURSERY CONCEPTS", I would really doubt his practical knowledge.

Acquiring a qualification doesn't certify any body to be a good / skilled programmer.

Have your say......
On Monday, February 11, 2008 1:26:10 AM testking said:
Anyone can use a testking or other exam and get the certification, but the experience make the difference..
On Monday, February 11, 2008 6:28:23 AM Imar Spaanjaars said:
It's not about MCTS, MCT, MCPD, MCP and so on, but about being an MVP, something you are asked to become. You can't become an MVP by taking an exam.

On Thursday, January 29, 2009 10:33:53 AM Pawan Kumar said:
HI Imar
I know one thing , are you a CEO(Microsoft), apple Chief ot a small developer when you want to know something be polite and do not showing anything but simple make a simple generous request.
It will work in all situation.


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