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So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

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    So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    Not trying to complain or anything, but recently I have been following and researching the competency and credibility of couple of Excel MVPs, and to my surprise, their knowledge/expertise in MS Excel are no where near an expert, but they do make time and effort to answer people questions (when the question can be answered easily)

    I always thought to becoming an MVP, one must be knowledge and expert in the application (Excel, Access, C++, SQL, etc), and at the same time make great contributions to the community.

    I have been work really hard trying to becoming an expert in MS Excel, but never I dream to become an MVP in the "tools" I use. Now I see people who became a MVP because they answer tons of easily questions but without having the level of expertise. It is kinda discouraging and hard broken to be honest.
    Last edited by teylyn; 01-01-2012 at 12:39 AM. Reason: restored original text

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these day

    This is the wrong forum (Excel general) for that epistle!
    Ben Van Johnson

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these day

    Can't find changing category section in Advanced edit.

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these day

    Quote Originally Posted by JieJenn View Post
    Can't find changing category section in Advanced edit.
    I took care of the move for you.
    Ron
    Former Microsoft MVP - Excel (2006 - 2015)
    Click here to see the Forum Rules

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    @JieJenn:
    "...[I'm] Not trying to complain or anything, but recently I have been following and researching the competency and credibility of couple of Excel MVPs ..."

    Reply:
    1. What prompted you to "follow and research" these MVP's?
    2. What standards are you using to evaluate "competency"? Who has authority to issue such standards?
    3. CREDIBILITY?? I don't understand. What has belief got to do with Excel formulas and macros? They either work or they don't. It's not a matter of opinion. How do you read someone's answer to a question and say you don't believe it will work? Where are your examples JieJenn?

    @JieJenn:
    "... and to my surprise, their knowledge/expertise in MS Excel are no where near (?) [an] expert..."

    Reply:
    1. How do you judge someone else's knowledge base? Did they fail to correctly answer questions that were put to them directly?
    2. What are the criteria for "expert"?
    3. How/when did your knowledge of Excel become so complete, so perfect, so excellent that such a judgement of someone else's competency is warranted?

    @JieJenn:
    "... but they do [make] time and effort to answer people questions (when the question can be answered easily) ..."

    Reply:
    1. This forum is made up of volunteers who give their time freely, at their own convenience, for fun and recreation.
    2. How do you know that these MVP's only answer the so-called easy questions?
    3. What gives you the right to say that someone should/must answer a specific question?

    * How dare you determine, on you own, that because someone did not answer a question, it is because he did not know the answer, hum?

    There are members of the forum who are not what you would call experts, but when they see a question they say, "I know how to do that". So they answer the question and help someone to do his job.

    Or maybe you think that only MVP's are allowed to answer questions, and then only those questions which require a PH.D in Physics + engineering + mathematics + brain surgery. Indeed!

    What are the criteria for "easy questions"? I suspect that they are the one's to which you know the answer.

    @JieJenn:
    "... I always thought to becoming an MVP, one must be knowledge [sic - should be knowlegable] and expert in the application (Excel, Access, C++, SQL, etc)..."

    Reply:
    You seem to think that the forum is giving MVP certificates to members based on the number of posts one makes. Your "research" should have informed you that Microsoft has the right and authority to grant MVP Certifications for their products. (I have an MSCE and each test cost me $100 (I think there were six at the time)).


    @JieJenn:
    "... and at the same time make great[!] contributions to the community. ..."

    Reply:
    1. Define community.
    2. There are, no doubt, several thousand Excel MVP's in the world. Most do their (paid) jobs and go home in the evenings and never log on to help forums to offer (free) help and advice to anyone. Not to mention those "GREAT CONTRIBUTIONS" what ever that might mean.

    @JieJenn:
    "... I have been work really hard trying to becoming an expert in MS Excel, but never I dream to become an MVP in the "tools" I use.

    Reply:
    1. >> I have been work really hard trying to becoming << shoud be: I have been working very hard to become...
    2. >> but never I dream to become << should be: but, I have never dreamt of becoming...
    3. >> in the "tools" I use << Huh??

    @JieJenn:
    "... Now I see people who became a MVP because they answer tons of easily questions but without having the level of expertise. ..."

    Reply:
    1. Presumption: This seems to be based on the notion that the forum is issuing certifications; and, that quantity is the sole qualification (geez). An error in logic and fact as explained previously.
    2. >> tons << a bad metaphor in this case, though, unfortunately, expected.
    3. >> easily questions << should be: easily answered questions. Again, what is the standard for an easy answer?
    4. Should questions requiring only a simple or easy answer be ignored? Or maybe the answer should be diliberately convoluted and complicated in order to impress the questioner with the knowlege of the swelled head of the one who answers?

    @JieJenn:
    It is kinda discouraging and hard broken to be honest.

    Reply:
    >> kinda << bad english
    >> hard broken << should be HEART BREAKING
    ----------------
    How sad that JieJenn seems to have such an exhaulted and exaggerated opinion of his/her own abilities that it leads him/her to question the motives and abilities of members who only want to help others for the sheer fun of it. It is painfully evident that he/she reads through the daily posts calling every question and answer offered simplistic and idiotic. And all because it is not the answer he/she would give or expect. Actually, I'm surprised that JieJenn doesn't post in order to correct all the incompetence and foolishness posted.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by protonLeah; 12-31-2011 at 02:12 AM.

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    Quote Originally Posted by protonLeah View Post
    @JieJenn:
    "...[I'm] Not trying to complain or anything, but recently I have been following and researching the competency and credibility of couple of Excel MVPs ..."

    Reply:
    1. What prompted you to "follow and research" these MVP's?
    2. What standards are you using to evaluate "competency"? Who has authority to issue such standards?
    3. CREDIBILITY?? I don't understand. What has belief got to do with Excel formulas and macros? They either work or they don't. It's not a matter of opinion. How do you read someone's answer to a question and say you don't believe it will work? Where are your examples JieJenn?

    @JieJenn:
    "... and to my surprise, their knowledge/expertise in MS Excel are no where near (?) [an] expert..."

    Reply:
    1. How do you judge someone else's knowledge base? Did they fail to correctly answer questions that were put to them directly?
    2. What are the criteria for "expert"?
    3. How/when did your knowledge of Excel become so complete, so perfect, so excellent that such a judgement of someone else's competency is warranted?

    @JieJenn:
    "... but they do [make] time and effort to answer people questions (when the question can be answered easily) ..."

    Reply:
    1. This forum is made up of volunteers who give their time freely, at their own convenience, for fun and recreation.
    2. How do you know that these MVP's only answer the so-called easy questions?
    3. What gives you the right to say that someone should/must answer a specific question?

    * How dare you determine, on you own, that because someone did not answer a question, it is because he did not know the answer, hum?

    There are members of the forum who are not what you would call experts, but when they see a question they say, "I know how to do that". So they answer the question and help someone to do his job.

    Or maybe you think that only MVP's are allowed to answer questions, and then only those questions which require a PH.D in Physics + engineering + mathematics + brain surgery. Indeed!

    What are the criteria for "easy questions"? I suspect that they are the one's to which you know the answer.

    @JieJenn:
    "... I always thought to becoming an MVP, one must be knowledge [sic - should be knowlegable] and expert in the application (Excel, Access, C++, SQL, etc)..."

    Reply:
    You seem to think that the forum is giving MVP certificates to members based on the number of posts one makes. Your "research" should have informed you that Microsoft has the right and authority to grant MVP Certifications for their products. (I have an MSCE and each test cost me $100 (I think there were six at the time)).


    @JieJenn:
    "... and at the same time make great[!] contributions to the community. ..."

    Reply:
    1. Define community.
    2. There are, no doubt, several thousand Excel MVP's in the world. Most do their (paid) jobs and go home in the evenings and never log on to help forums to offer (free) help and advice to anyone. Not to mention those "GREAT CONTRIBUTIONS" what ever that might mean.

    @JieJenn:
    "... I have been work really hard trying to becoming an expert in MS Excel, but never I dream to become an MVP in the "tools" I use.

    Reply:
    1. >> I have been work really hard trying to becoming << shoud be: I have been working very hard to become...
    2. >> but never I dream to become << should be: but, I have never dreamt of becoming...
    3. >> in the "tools" I use << Huh??

    @JieJenn:
    "... Now I see people who became a MVP because they answer tons of easily questions but without having the level of expertise. ..."

    Reply:
    1. Presumption: This seems to be based on the notion that the forum is issuing certifications; and, that quantity is the sole qualification (geez). An error in logic and fact as explained previously.
    2. >> tons << a bad metaphor in this case, though, unfortunately, expected.
    3. >> easily questions << should be: easily answered questions. Again, what is the standard for an easy answer?
    4. Should questions requiring only a simple or easy answer be ignored? Or maybe the answer should be diliberately convoluted and complicated in order to impress the questioner with the knowlege of the swelled head of the one who answers?

    @JieJenn:
    It is kinda discouraging and hard broken to be honest.

    Reply:
    >> kinda << bad english
    >> hard broken << should be HEART BREAKING
    ----------------
    How sad that JieJenn seems to have such an exhaulted and exaggerated opinion of his/her own abilities that it leads him/her to question the motives and abilities of members who only want to help others for the sheer fun of it. It is painfully evident that he/she reads through the daily posts calling every question and answer offered simplistic and idiotic. And all because it is not the answer he/she would give or expect. Actually, I'm surprised that JieJenn doesn't post in order to correct all the incompetence and foolishness posted.
    You're right.

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    JieJenn,

    As I am sure you are aware the MS MVP team find a lot of MVPs by virtue of their contributions on forums such as this. We can only hope that they should have the good fortune to stumble upon your post above so as to raise your profile.

    Quote Originally Posted by JieJenn
    I have been work really hard trying to becoming an expert in MS Excel
    Along the way I would try and learn some humility.

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    I think @JieJenn asks some interesting questions that (s)he doesn't know the answer to. I see no major issue with asking "why is someone awarded a certain title and others are not?" I remember reading on the MS MVP site how they have a process in choosing MVPs. It's not a hap hazard draw, but built on merits and the input from current MVPs (the peers). Not every MVP is proficient in all aspects of Excel. Some are obviously masters of forumlas, others of charts, while others do wonders with vba. I don't think that @JieJenn is saying that he is better than the average MVP and therefore is questioning why (s)he is not given such a status. That's why I think that Ben's response was a little overkill.

    Here on this forum, we recently had a discussion on the point system, especially negative reps, and what the rules are for becoming a Guru. There were lots of opinions and it was a respectable discussion of different points of view. I don't think anyone should be penalized for their thoughts, but rather their actions. If @JieJenn questions the abilities of a person titled as an MVP then it either means that the process of chosing MVP is not transparent enough or @JieJenn is uninformed about the process. If there was a way to check 'why' someone was chosen then anyone could guage themselves accordingly. In a few weeks, my status on this forum is automatically expected to be upgraded to forum guru, not because I am some Excel Wizard but because I will have fullfilled the criteria. Does that mean I am at the same skill level as Ben or some of the other forum gurus? Short answer... not by a long shot. At the end of the day, we are all here to help and be helped. Titles don't really mean much...
    Please consider:

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    JieJenn,

    please do not edit your posts when they have received replies. It breaks the logical flow of the discussion.

    I have restored the original text of your thread.

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    Just in case anyone is interested, here is what Microsoft has to say about "How to Become an MVP"

    Congrats to all the past and current MVP.

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    Quote Originally Posted by abousetta View Post
    I think @JieJenn asks some interesting questions that (s)he doesn't know the answer to.
    Really? I can't see any questions at all, just an attack on a couple of unnamed MVPs, and MS' selection process by implication, without any justification given.

    I don't think that @JieJenn is saying that he is better than the average MVP and therefore is questioning why (s)he is not given such a status.
    To me the last part of the post sounded like precisely that, whether or not it was intended as such.

    That's why I think that Ben's response was a little overkill.
    Agreed. If I were still moderating, I'd probably have deleted most of it.

    Titles don't really mean much...
    Also agreed. Being a 'forum guru' or 'MVP' doesn't make you any better than you were before, though it is always nice to be recognised for your efforts.
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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    I agree that this thread should never have been started in the first place, and if it was an attempt at gathering insight, it was poorly constructed. Having said that, I am not disputing the great support MVPs provide all of us (title or not), but at the same time MS has done a pretty good job of keeping a cloak and dagger approach to their decisions. Reading the link I provided above doesn't add much light on the subject except that an MVP might be everything from someone who is a community leader to an author of books on a particular subject to person who frequently lectures at (or leads) conferences. They themselves admit that the process is kept relatively secret and very flexible. Even the MVPs' individual pages are very short on information on what sets them apart from the rest. If I were an uninformed person (which I most certainly am) about the merits of each individual MVP, then how am I expected to know what accomplishments each MVP has done over the past year. Even a small list of accomplishments like:

    * Posted over 1000 responses on community sites
    * Moderates 4 website dedicated to helping with people solve Excel-based problems
    * Teaches 3 classes a week for under-privaleged individuals for free
    * etc.

    when someone reads that then they can see how they stack up against these MVPs. Currently, the one way I can tell what an MVP's merits are is by being in a forum that they post on.

    Finally, since the MVP website does not contain the screen name used by the individuals then its often hard to make the connection.

    In closing, I am all for titles as long as its clear what they mean and how someone can one day attain them. I am all for recognition (and if the MVP committee is listening) I have no objection to receiving this wonder title one day as it would go nicely along with my other titles.
    Last edited by abousetta; 01-02-2012 at 06:39 PM. Reason: typos

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    I think you are missing the point. MVP is an award given in recognition of contributions, not a title or rank - it should not be an end of itself, nor is it a competition. The fact that one person is an MVP and another is not does not mean that one is better than the other - there are many incredible Excel talents who are not MVPs. I suspect that part of the reason for the secrecy is to avoid precisely this - people saying well I have 100 more posts than him so why am I not an MVP?

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    Well how is someone to know what the contributions are if they are kept secret? Of course since MS awards it then they can give it whomever they want to, but then what does it really mean if we don't know the details of the path taken to reach it. I have worked in organizations where it wasn't exactly clear why one person is promoted over another, and this secrecy didn't exactly bread love and commitment to the company. How do you recognize someone's work and publicly give them an award for it but then claim that the details of that work is secret.

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    Again, it's an award, NOT a promotion. It's more like an employee of the month (or year, since it's annual) - do you expect to see a catalogue of accomplishments next to one of those?
    Also, the contributions are not in any way secret - only the evaluation process is.

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    What a complete div!!!

    Dom
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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    The other thing to consider is this: what field do you work in every day? Mine is financial and accounting. No doubt I can help someone with those type of questions or challenges in my sleep since I have been using Excel in these areas for over 20 years. But...if it is an engineering, statistical, VBA question, all bets are off. I have always said that Excel is so powerful you would need and engineer, accountant, statistician, mathematician, etc. to begin to use 50% of its capabilities.

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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    Going back to the original post ...

    I have been following and researching the competency and credibility of couple of Excel MVPs
    I'm not sure how or why you would or could do that. With the best will in the world, it is: not easy; very difficult; impossible ... you pick.

    I sure don't know what everyone's background, experience, specialist knowledge, contribution to fora, and so on, is. I focus on the Excel Forum but I have checked in on others and seen familiar names ... but I'm not following or stalking them

    So, some people contribute to multiple fora, some use their MVP title, others don't, some seem able to spend countless hours answering questions and moderating. I enjoy being able to answer questions but I also gain from the answers from others, either a variation on a theme or shorter or more efficient or simply out of my league.

    It's just not easy to give an objective, or even subjective, assessment of anyone's contribution ... you need a really high level and wide view of the world which I'm guessing most of us don't have. I have formed "opinions" about the "capability" of many of the people who contribute to this forum, but I'm not sure how balanced or accurate it is. Looking at their reputation points is also an indicator of their contribution in this forum but, like I said, they probably do just as much in several other fora of which I have no visibility.

    From my experience of doing performance management and development for my IT support teams, it is quite clear that an individual's assessment of their performance, and that of others, doesn't always match reality ... and was often a source of dissatisfaction, no matter how much effort was put into managing expectations.

    So, I think the message is: keep plugging away, develop your own knowledge and experience, and share that as much as you can in as many ways as you can ... and the gods in Microsoft may shower you with their recognition and awards.

    I've been intending to share my opionion, for what it's worth, for a while ... but it's been a bit of a trial posting anything just recently, so it's had to wait.

    Regards, TMS
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    Re: So I guess everyone can become an Excel MVP these days

    What a good answer, I am new to the forum and have learned so much just reading other peoples problems and then studying their solutions. Here where I work, I am considered and Excel Guru because I know more them my peers, but am a long shot from know what I need or want to know. Titles are important to some people, and not to others. One thing I would like to add is the more I learn the more I realize there is to learn. So I want to say thank you to all the people who give their time on this forum. THANK YOU.

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