Last week I was presented with a Microsoft MVP award in Virtual Machines – time to thank all who helped

MVP in Virtual Machines

Last week, on 1st April, I received an e-mail from Microsoft letting me know that I had been presented with a 2010 Microsoft® MVP Award for outstanding contributions in Virtual Machine technical communities during the past year.   It was an honour to be nominated, and is a great reflection on the vibrancy of the UK user group community which made this possible.

Virtualisation for developers, not just IT Pros

I consider it a special honour as my expertise in virtualisation is as a software developer utilising virtual machines to aid my software development, rather than an IT Pro who manages data centre and network infrastructure.  I’ve been on a minor mission over the past few years to enthuse developers in a topic usually seen as only for network admins, but which can make their life a whole lot easier once understood properly.

Continuous learning is fun

In 1676, the scientist Isaac Newton, in a letter to Robert Hooke used the phrase (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/268025.html)

‘If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants’

I’m a nuclear physicist by education, so I am more than comfortable that any knowledge I have is based on the work of others.  Although far from a science, software development and IT is equally built upon the work of others. It’s one of the reasons I despise software patents.

So in that sense this MVP award is a result of all the great minds that have provided virtualisation solutions for me to talk about.  I hope that I have always acknowledged those whose work I have used when blogging or giving presentations, and that I have executed my responsibility to share any knowledge gained as widely as possible.

Thanks to all those who helped – a big thanks to the UK user group community

I reckon this journey started in 2003 when I started attending a user group called the London .Net Users Group (http://www.dnug.org.uk) started by a nice chap called Ian Cooper. The great thing about Ian was that he always encouraged non professional speakers to take the stage at the user group, and my first ever presentation was on 30th September 2003; SQL Server CE 2.0 and the.NET Compact Framework.

In 2005 Ian Cooper was on the committee for the first DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper! day, the free community conference held at Microsoft’s UK HQ in Thames Valley park in Reading.  He encouraged me to take part and so on 14th May 2005 I presented a talk previously given to the London .Net User Group on Simplifying access to multiple DB providers in .NET

From that point on I definitely had the bug; presenting at DDD2, DDD3, groking at DDD4 and SQLBits I and after a break, DDD7, DDD Scotland and DDD8.  What definitely made me keen was the encouragement and infectious enthusiasm of some of the other DDD organisers; Craig Murphy, Barry Dorrans, Phil Winstanley and Colin Mackay.

During the first few DDD events I met the Dave McMahon and Richard Costall from NxtGenUG who made it easy to start presenting at their user groups.  Along the way I’ve met a load of great user group organisers; Guy Smith-Ferrier of the .Net Developer Network, Jimmy Skowronski of GL.Net and the double act of Ray Booysen and Gavin Osborn behind what was Vista Squad and is now Edge UG.

Final thanks to those who suggested virtualisation as a topic ...

Final thanks have to go the people who inspired me to create my Virtualisation for Developers talk.  Toby Henderson (@holytshirt) ensured I took notice of Sun’s VirtualBox, Peter Ibbotson for being a fine sounding board at the Kew Railway over quite a few Adnam’s Broadside and to Guy Smith-Ferrier for allowing his user group to be the guinea pigs for the talk before it was seen at DDD7.  Thanks to all of you I now know much more about virtualisation than I would have thought possible and it continues to be great fun.

Conclusion

If this was an academy award acceptance speech I would have been cut off after the first few paragraphs, so well done if you made it this far.  I’ll be doing my best to do justice to the MVP award and the UK community.  I’m fortunate in having a new employer who considers presenting at user groups as a good thing, so don’t expect me to stop any time soon.

If you’ve never seen me in action, then you can view the original DDD7 Virtualisation for Developers presentation (filmed by the Microsoft Channel 9 team) as part of the full DDD7 video list here, http://www.craigmurphy.com/blog/?p=1591

Also thanks to Craig Murphy’s fine video work you can also view my latest DDD8 presentation on Commercial Software Development, here, http://vimeo.com/9216563

P.S. If I’ve missed anyone out, do feel free to lambast me in comments, it’s your duty.

 

Print | posted on Monday, April 5, 2010 9:14 AM

Comments on this post

# re: Last week I was presented with a Microsoft MVP award in Virtual Machines – time to thank all who helped

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You might want to add that to your cv :P
Left by John[no] Nolan on Apr 05, 2010 9:27 AM

# re: Last week I was presented with a Microsoft MVP award in Virtual Machines – time to thank all who helped

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Damnit, I'm sure the email I sent said No Way, not Yes.

Must be more careful.
Left by BarryD on Apr 05, 2010 9:28 AM

# re: Last week I was presented with a Microsoft MVP award in Virtual Machines – time to thank all who helped

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Congrats, Liam, thoroughly well deserved.
Left by Guy Smith-Ferrier on Apr 05, 2010 7:32 PM

# re: Last week I was presented with a Microsoft MVP award in Virtual Machines – time to thank all who helped

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Well done mate !!!
Left by Toby on Apr 06, 2010 10:57 PM

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