Exactly four weeks back (29th July 2016 to be precise), Salesforce announced the Summer’16 class of Salesforce MVPs and I’m truly humbled and honoured to be on that list. It’s been an interesting and exciting few weeks since then, first – it took a while for the news and the recognition to sink in. And since then, it’s been all about setting time aside to learn more and getting used to various aspects of being a part of the MVP ranks.
With time passing by, that euphoria has somewhat settled – so it’s take time to reflect on what it means for me to be a Salesforce MVP, the journey so far and what lies ahead. The opinions are purely my own and a reflection of the collective thoughts on the experience of being recognised as a Salesforce MVP.
How are Salesforce MVPs chosen?
Being a MVP (aka ‘Most Valuable Professional’) is perhaps the biggest honour awarded to a chosen few Salesforce community members for their contributions. This post from Holly Goldin – Senior Manager, Salesforce Community Programs does a great job of detailing out the complete process and what Salesforce looks for in prospect MVP candidates.
While the above post is an official version, Bob Buzzard – a Salesforce MVP and one of the most well-respected names in the Salesforce ecosystem, wrote a brilliant post about the various facets of ‘The MVP Life’ . I whole heartedly agree with both these posts and as Bob mentions – “It’s not easy to earn or keep”.
To put things in perspective, there are ~250 Salesforce MVPs. By an approximate count, Salesforce maintains it has more than 2.5 million developers (and admins) in the community. The ratio comes out to be 0.0001 – which speaks for itself!
Not A Means!
The first and foremost thing that one should realise – being a Salesforce MVP isn’t a means – it’s not a shortcut to success and it’s simply not meant to be that way. It’s isn’t a means to that next big job offer or launching your own company. I’m sure that each and every Salesforce MVP has worked incredibly hard to get to where they are. If anything, the MVP title is a testimony to their efforts, passion and contributions to the community that come along the way.
Nothing more, nothing less!
Nor An End!
“I want to be a Salesforce MVP” – I’ve heard this phrase many times when I ask people about their career ambitions at Salesforce Developer and User Group meetups or even during interviews. IMO, this isn’t a goal that one should be setting for oneself, rather it’s all about contributing back to the community in your own special and unique way. Of course, there are perks to being a Salesforce MVP but if you’re contributing to the community with those as the end objectives, you need to adopt a fresh perspective.
Becoming or being a MVP isn’t an end. Rather, it instills an ever so stronger belief in the community and one’s responsibility towards the same.
So, what is it then?
For someone like me, who loves exploring and evangelising technology to the broader audiences, being a Salesforce MVP is an important milestone in my ongoing journey for several reasons. First, it gives me a platform to step up my community efforts (e.g. this) and make a greater impact at the grass root level.
Secondly, it puts me among a group of awesome peers – all of whom are focused on continuously improving the community in more ways than one.
Third, it provides an opportunity to be more closely involved in the Salesforce ecosystem with various stakeholders and provide feedback to influence the future of certain products/ features for everyone’s good.
All in all, it’s all about continuing the journey I’ve already been on for the last several years, albeit with a greater sense of responsibility and on a much bigger scale.
It’s NOT About The Numbers!
I strongly believe being recognised a MVP isn’t just about numbers – whether it’s the number of questions answered, how many meetup events you organise, how many conferences you speak at etc. Rather, it’s all about the overall impact you have as an individual and as a thought leader in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Every single person who’s chosen as a Salesforce MVP has demonstrated thought leadership and excellence in certain ways, which can’t always be quantified in terms of numbers alone.
It’s NOT A Matter Of Time!
As Bob mentioned in his post, “Becoming an MVP is not simple, nor is it fast. You need a body of work behind you, not just a flurry of activity around nomination time.” If you’re relatively new to the community and making contributions, that’s a good start and one should continue building upon it sans expectations.
On the flip side, if you’ve been in the ecosystem for a while but not made any substantial contributions to the community, it does not matter if you’ve been around for ‘x’ number of years and it really does not matter whether x in this case is 5, 10 or more.
I’ve been fortunate to be a part of couple of similar MVP fraternities – Appcelerator Titans and the now-defunct HP webOS Ambassador program. However, based on the few weeks that I’ve spent as a Salesforce MVP, I can certainly say it’s a lot more involved, demanding as well as fulfilling engagement than anything that I’ve experienced earlier. So, I’m definitely looking forward to it!
Wrapping it up
I’ve no qualms in admitting that being recognised as a Salesforce MVP ranks right up there among the top accomplishments in my career so far. While it’s an unparalleled honour, it’s also a huge responsibility and I’m looking forward to this exciting chapter in my ongoing journey.
If you are reading this, you’ve directly or indirectly been a part of this incredible journey. Thank you for being a part of it and together we’ll continue to make the Salesforce community better!