Back when the MVP program first started, I was a developer at American Express.  I was writing code in VB1 and VB2, and the forum was on Compuserve.

I answered questions regularly, and earned an MVP award.  I kept it up, and remained a VB MVP for three years.  Then, when the dot-com explosion came, I stepped out and took my shot, first at fine.com and then at Acadio.com (which I co-founded).  I simply didn’t have time to participate in the forums, although I did miss the interaction.

Earlier this year, I started to contribute again to the newsgroups, this time to the C# forums.  It is fun and I enjoy it.  I also applied to work at Microsoft.  The dot-com bust had crushed my former employers and I had grown tired of the politics surrounding the government-sector consulting that I was doing. 

Well, Microsoft took me on, and I’ve been with one of the IT groups for a number of months now.  However, I did not reveal this fact on the forums.  I didn’t want folks asking me questions about their MSDN accounts, or asking me to justify a language feature in C#.  Microsoft is a big place. 

However, I got a call about a week ago.  Apparently, I had been nominated for MVP in C#.  What an honor!  However, since I was an employee of Microsoft on the day I was nominated, I had to refuse.  Microsoft employees are not eligible for this award.

Such is life. 

But it is time to reveal my employer.  So from now on, my signature line on the newsgroups will have the characters [MSFT]. 

Let’s see if I start getting the PSS questions…