This posting is not about code or anything. Skip it if you are searching for that ;)
I had a rotten day yesterday. I was tired from an extremely busy and stressed-out working week, I slept badly, and I was developing a severe cold while it finally looked like nice weather here. I was visiting my mum – who was relating about the funeral of my niece the day before. She had passed away out of the blue at 46, just four years older than me. This made me ponder about my own future, my dad who passed away at 48 (when I was only 15), stuff like that. A cheerful mood indeed.
In the godforsaken town my mum lives there’s hardly wireless internet, so I saw two or three MVP renewals trickling in, but could hardly respond. Nor was I really in the mood for it. Next stop were my parents-in-law, who live in the same town a couple of blocks away (yeah so I married the Girl Next Door, sue me ;) ) for a family BBQ. Fortunately no sick or dead relatives talk here, but to compensate for that I had developed a splitting headache. Picture the scene? “One of those days”.
So while I was listlessly munching away some BBQ stuff I wanted to show my Windows Phone 7 to my Android-using brother in law (his Facebook App was broken again) and for some reason noticed a revolving live tile with a twitter message congratulating new and renewed MVP’s in general and if everyone else could please check their spam folder? So I connected to my father-in-laws Wi-Fi network (he’s a bit more up-to-date than my mum), and still not believing anything I let my phone sync my gmail spam folder and picked it up again 10 minutes later or so.
I almost dropped my phone and I suppose I made some kind of strangled sound. I don’t quite remember, I think a few neurons fused out that moment ;) - just that my wife looked at me with that special worried ‘what the hell is wrong with YOU?’ look. I just showed her my phone. It read:
Congratulations 2011 Microsoft MVP!
Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2011 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in Windows Phone Development technical communities during the past year.
She passed it to the people present and they all started to congratulate me. Still not believing it, I managed to retrieve my phone and contacted our local Windows Phone 7 DPE Matthijs Hoekstra (using – how fitting – Windows Phone 7 Live Messenger integration, or maybe Facebook chat, I did not quite pay attention to that) to check if no-one was pulling a sick joke on me. He confirmed it was the real thing and he was already wondering why he did not hear anything from me – it was more than 2.5 hours since the mails got out.
I can assure you even Windows Phone 7 auto correction had a hard time with my trembling hands (sneezing in the process does not help either), but I finally managed to get out
… and then my phone nearly exploded with congratulations, it was just impossible to keep up with it and thank everyone in person. It’s a bit lame, but hereby: thank you all for your good wishes and congratulations. I especially thank my fellow developers from #wp7nl who have nominated me. I hope to prove being worthy of this honor.
Just remember this: I will not deny being very proud of this, but I am still just Joost. I am an ordinary developer just like you, who got enthusiastic about Windows Phone 7. I like to tinker, code, write (and write about code), help out other people who got stuck if I can, share ideas and knowledge, on a user or developer level. Just because I have fun doing that, and I learn a lot in the process of doing so, too. Apparently I did this in a way that pleased some people within Microsoft to such an extent that they decided to praise me in public this way. I appreciate this very much, but I never was, nor will I ever be, a divine oracle of Windows Phone 7. Nor have I transcended to some god-like being.
So please don’t approach me differently because ‘wow he’s now an MVP’ right? Still ‘just Joost’, who will help if he can.