back to article Pleased to meet you. I'm Joe Bloggs, MVP, vExpert, Cisco Champ

Vendor schemes that put users on a pedestal are sprouting like never before. But what's in it for those who win these laurels? Apparently it doesn't necessarily draw in the customers.... “It does give you a certain cachet,” says Microsoft MVP Carol Wapshere, although “other techies and my employers tend to be more impressed …

  1. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I was a member of Borland's TeamB for a while. Perks included a license for everything, and once a year a flight to their California HQ. Oh and moderator rights on their News Server which allowed me to exercise my inner demon occasionally :)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No matter how many letters you put after your name the only real qualification is how well you do the job.

    I have had people with degrees and a string of letters after their names that were unable to complete a simple test of ability. I have also had people that were self taught that completed the test in record time correctly. Guess which I employed.

    1. Tim 11

      In general, I'd agree about letters after your name but I must admit, seeing MVP does make me sit up and listen

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I don't hold much truck with MVP status. I was nominated many a time for MVP status butwas refused everytime.

        The reason? Simply because I refused to toe the line which the MVPs had to follow. For example, I tried to show people how to use pointers in VBA and I was told repeatedly that pointers were impossible to do by the MVPs. I even gave them code for a linked list and a binary tree but they still wouldn't have it.

        I came to the conclusion that these MVPs were utterly clueless and I made sure that I didn't support anyone else on the Microsoft forums so that I wouldn't have to deal with those clowns ever again.

        Anonymous because I want a quiet life. Please understand.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Lucky for you and the applicants then.

      My bosses are clueless and hire clueless CIO's and engineers because they have the correct diplomas and hippy acronyms splashed in their resumes, and they're outspoken and good liars. Never mind if their MCP certificates are from NT era, they have to google how to setup a basic AD and WEP is just fine for the wireless.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Speaking from the other side, basic level higher education and climbed up the ladder the hard way. There's nothing quite as frustrating as having to explain basic core principles to someone who has spent a couple of years in one of our hallowed educational institutions. I've met and learned from some incredibly smart people but sadly for every inspirational person I've been in awe of, there's one too many chumps just riding coat tails because they managed to scrape a 2:2 at uni and someone said there was money in IT for people with letters after their name.

  3. ducatis'r us

    over qualified

    Scanning the headlines quickly, I read that as Cisco Chimp, which seemed appropriate....

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And I bet they all can't wait to add them to their LinkedIn profiles...

    Nobody cares...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You down with MVP?

    As a fairly Microsoft-y person I find most MVPs to be pretty unhelpful. They're generally only interested in their core technology and don't stop to consider what customers really want rather than how awesome _their_ solution would be.

    There are of course exceptions to the rule - James Bannan and Ben Armstrong spring to mind here - but many MVPs seem to be in it for the cachet rather than the technology.

    The best thing I heard recently was an MVP and author who declared that he wasn't "hands on" with the tools any more, so someone else should fix any technical issues.

    Anonymous because there aren't that many MVPs around, after all.

  6. Otto is a bear.

    T'was ever thus

    Have you ever noticed that in business that people who know the latest buzz words, and have the latest job title, or certification tend to get paid more. Prepare for it to get worse.

    A lot of organisations use unskilled resource staff or software keyword scanning to select applicants. The idea that a certification to them means that you have evidence that you can do the job. Experience counts for nothing. Even once you work for a company, don't be surprised when your performance, next job and promotion are tied to evidence based appraisal systems, where you have to show you have done internal courses, CBT or whatever, before you are even considered.

    Being an old lag, I know that just because you have a bit of paper doesn't mean you can do a job, just that you can pass a test. When I select people for interview, I look at people's experience, and test their understanding when I interview. The trouble is, resourcing select the candidates, and they do it by buzz words and certificates.

    1. Gwaptiva

      Re: T'was ever thus

      Also, the risk with any kind of certification in IT is that people forget that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

      Plenty of people know their stuff without ever bothering (or being given the resources to bother) with the tests, paperwork, brown-nosing, or whatever else it takes to be noticed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: T'was ever thus

        @Gwaptiva, that is why anyone we employ in any technical roll must pass our in-house tests. It means that we can get the job done to the highest standard even if it isn't PC.

  7. jpwarren

    It only means something to some people

    Any of this recognition is just that: something people can recognise you for. It only matters as much as the people doing the recognising. Lots of people don't care, and if you want those people to notice you, getting MVP or vExpert won't help you. Think of it like winning the local darts comp.

    I've done plenty of certifications over the years, in different technologies, and vExpert feels different in that it's about what you contribute to the wider tech community, outside of even VMware. People are incredibly positive and supportive of each other! Being dubbed vExpert gives perks, yes, but it also comes with expectations and obligations to give back. The most lauded people are those who do the most for others, not for themselves.

    I like that the vExpert program has established a set of community norms so that even if people are inspired to chase after the vExpert label just for the label, to earn it means doing a bunch of stuff that benefits the tech community at large. So, regardless of your motivations, we all win, which makes for a nice change.

    It's also totally voluntary, so if it's not your cup of tea, don't join in.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those that can do....

    ...those that can't hang around on forums and blog about it!

    I know I'm probably going to get flamed back to the stone age for that but, meh. Also, yeah, yeah, I know this a forum, but 2 posts a year does not an MVP make!

  9. Anonymous Coward
  10. Charles Manning

    Preschool Diplomas

    Now that even pre-schools are holding "graduation ceremonies" with the little juice suckers wearing mortar boards and gowns, anything but fully accredited university/polytech paper is meaningless and even the value of those is waining.

    As many have pointed out, qualifications of any type just get you a toe in the door. After that it is ability and word of mouth that matter.

    I don't remember when I last showed anyone my degree certificates. It has maybe been once or twice in the last 20 years.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Preschool Diplomas

      I don't remember when I last showed anyone my degree certificates. It has maybe been once or twice in the last 20 years.

      I've been a programmer for nearly 25 years and I've never shown a certificate to an employer. Not that there'd be a lot of point. None of mine relate to computing. Even better - the highest qualification I have is an old style OND. That added a certain piquancy to the couple of times I had to help interview candidates where our minimum entry requirement was a good degree :)

  11. OzBob

    Things have moved on from the 90s

    when MCSE stood for Must Consult Someone Experienced. But even now I am dealing with DBAs and Application Administrators who have no critical thinking or analysis skills, despite a better academic qualification than me.

    To wit, the conversation I had today...

    Unix: "We need you to generate application load similar to a Production run, to allow us to benchmark the server and allow you to tune the application".

    DBA: "how?"

    Unix: "By creating test data or copying existing data and duplicating it"


    Unix:"By taking a copy from another system and restoring it to the test system"

    DBA: "how?"

    Unix: "You're just playing the thicko card to avoid having to do this, aren't you?"

    DBA: "how?"

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