April 1, 2009

MVP Award – April 2009 Cycle for Exchange Server

mvpToday started out like any other – wake up with my son on my head (yes he does that), got pulled out of bed by my wonderful wife, stand in the shower, get dressed (don’t visualise that as it’s not nice and this is a family site), drink tea, drive to work, review Technical issues, and have my blood pressure raised by the newest idea that someone has come up with the “kill” my Network.

Managed to get to the afternoon where I had my PDA (also known in many circles as a Annual Review or Appraisal) which was highly productive (and it seems that I am employed for at least another year). Thereafter I returned to my desk and decided to have a quick look at my personal e-mail account to see what was going on in the world (not that my personal e-mail account contains that level of detail, but I think you all get what I mean).

I was surprised and shocked (can you be both?) when I saw the following e-mail from Microsoft:

Dear Andy Grogan,
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2009 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others.

The Microsoft MVP Award provides us the unique opportunity to celebrate and honour your significant contributions and say "Thank you for your technical leadership."

It is customary at this point to state that I am honoured and the like – but in all honesty I am more than that. Of course I am honoured that people have seen fit to nominate me, and moreover the fact that Microsoft agreed – but this is a very, very special day for me and I am finding it difficult to express how I feel.

You will have to forgive the following as it does get a little “deep” but I promised myself that if I ever managed to get to this position I would ensure that I dedicate a post to the people whom really deserve the credit.

Firstly there have been a number of people within the Exchange community whom have really been there for me – people like Elan Shudnow, Dean Uemura, James Chong, Oz Ozugrlu, Rui Silva, Glen Scales (whom put up with silly programming questions from me) and Kevin Ball (I am sure that I have missed some great people – but you know who you are). All of whom are MVP’s in their own right, but were great people to speak with and bounce ideas off – but most of all have been a source of motivation.

Secondly over the years I have had the pleasure of speaking with a few people in the Exchange product team, the main protagonists being KC Lemson and Nino Bilic – both of whom are consummate professionals and open to feedback and suggestions.

Thirdly I want to thank all the people whom have taken the time to read, comment on and use my Blog. Your ideas, problems and suggestions have kept the content going. I would also like to express my thanks to the people over at MSEXCHANGE.org whom gave me a break by making me a Trusted Source and Moderator for the forums – over the next year I will be making far more of an effort to be over there helping people out.

Fourth – I would like to thank my wife Ria, whom has suffered at the hand of my computer endeavours for over 7 years – she has supported me, understood why I do the things that I do (3am on the phone to someone in America looking at a dead Exchange installation just because its fun) and given me the freedom to write – she is my sole mate.

(Is this sounding like the Oscars yet?)

And Finally I would like to thank my Dad. Many of you whom know me, will also know that in 2007 my Dad passed away from Cancer. My Dad was my best friend – and although he was from a generation where computers were akin to “the work of the Devil” (being an Irish man from the rough part of Kilkenny in the 1940’s) and did not understand a single thing that I said to him when he asked “How my day was” – he inspired me to start my Blog.

At the time I wanted to give something back to the technological community, but I was conscious of failing (I am not a literary genius and indeed despite my many years in IT and working with Exchange – aside from my A’Levels I have no formal IT qualifications) so I did not want anything that I started to waste away on the Internet…

He told me that if I did not try it of course – it was doomed to fail – and indeed he said the only way in which it would succeed is if I put work into it. He believed that I had some form of ability and said that I could use it to express myself in a way which people could relate to and most importantly get help from.

My Dad was a great guy – he would probably call me an “eejit” for the last paragraph – but from my point of view it needed to be said (written?) – I have wanted to publish the following picture of Dad and I for years – today seems appropriate:


So to round up – one final thanks to all of you – you have been brilliant – however, from my perspective – Dad – this one is for you…… x

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