The MVP (Most Valuable Professional) Global Summit is a multi-day event that is hosted in Bellevue and at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. With a large catalog of technical sessions and a variety of networking opportunities, the MVP Global Summit enables MVPs to connect with other MVPs, build relationships with Microsoft product managers, and provide feedback on Microsoft products and technologies.
blue-infinity MVPs Marius Constantinescu and David Martos (pictured) were in attendance from 3-6 November. We sat down with David to find out what’s been going on.
Hi David, I trust you had an interesting trip to Microsoft?
Hi Kirk, yes it was a long trip but a memorable one for me as I met some great people. Personally, I had the chance to talk with ‘famous people’ who I follow online or I am active with in SharePoint forums. Those people are similar to me, in my ‘family’, but suddenly sitting next to them is like being amongst “gods”! Hearing from other people that they are using Office 365 and Azure to get businesses running in the cloud is really neat.
Wow, that sounds like a highlight. Obviously there’s a lot of knowledge at such events. Tell us about the sessions you attended?
That’s right, there are about 3000 MVPs now worldwide and to serve those who attended, Microsoft organized private sessions of 10 or so people and also larger forums of up to 200. I appreciated the interactivity of the smaller classes. There was an MVP showcase on November 2 when MVPs from various tech groups showcased their work. We also had asp.net sessions streamed over the internet for the first time ever, using a Google product called Hangouts. That was neat. Talking to people from the various product groups is very interactive. They really want to hear what the MVPs have to say. They think of us as a primary voice to the wider community, so they value our thoughts - whether it is talking about how a new feature is exposed in SharePoint, or concerns about an upcoming technology.
What were some of the presentations like? Was it rock ‘n roll Microsoft style?
Well, not exactly. Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft ran a Q&A session however he unfortunately didn’t give an inspiring speech as such. He tried to take a selfie! Of course, we learned some things but I can’t divulge too much. We listened and made notes but it’s all fast paced and in English, kind of like being in an American bar.
In terms of the insights you can share, what would they be David?
Well, our concerns around OneDrive are now addressed by the recent partnership with Drop Box but there were no big announcements as such. .NET is going to be Open Source. The SharePoint group was pretty friendly and sharing more info than in previous years. We get to see a lot of preview stuff but we are under a non-disclosure agreement. There's big stuff coming, and Microsoft allows us a "head start" so that we can be ready to start talking about the new things as soon as they are publicly announced. But I can’t tell you if Windows isn’t going to change into black and white, for example!
Ha-ha! Was it a good time for you socially and where did you stay?
Sure, I was able to meet up with my other MVP buddies since I left Spain, so we escaped the American cuisine at Redmond for a night in Seattle. We stayed at Bellevue although the summit was held in Redmond at the 100 building campus with 3 lane bus carriage ways and shuttle system.
Sounds like you just about went into orbit. Did you observe or take anything else away from the event?
Yes, I received a GoPro camera, given to Office Division MVPs. I also saw a demonstration of Miracast, a device to device wireless content streaming standard, similar to Bluetooth. We couldn’t buy a Microsoft Band as we would have liked as they were permanently out of stock! Otherwise, I'm honored to be a Microsoft MVP. It's super that Microsoft has a program to recognise active people in the SharePoint community. The Summit allowed me to catch up with other MVPs from around the world, meet old friends, talk to the guys at Microsoft who are making decisions on the next versions of products, and learn about what's next.
David Martos is Lead Consultant Microsoft Solutions at blue-infinity