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Becoming an Umbraco MVP

It's been a couple of months now since I was awarded an MVP award at Codegarden and I thought I'd post a blog about how this has made me feel. 

What I am going to say now may come as a surprise, but before I start, don't get me wrong, I am honored to be awarded this amazing title from Umbraco but this blog is something I just needed to get out there.

It is both a blessing and a curse

David Jones

A bold statement maybe but let me explain. 

Titles have a lot of meaning to some people and less to others.

I have been feeling a lot of pressure on me since I was awarded MVP and also getting my Certified Master Developer certificate. 

I read a really great article the other day about thinking beyond the conventional by Nik and I realised, all this pressure that I am feeling - yip, stress inducing at times - is self imposed. No-one, especially in the Umbraco Community, is putting pressure on me to perform or be anything more than I already am.

When I decided I really wanted to be part of the Umbraco community I never dreamed that I would be collecting an MVP award, especially in my first year of community activity. 
But, as an MVP and Certified Master Developer, I feel I am now expected to deliver mind blowing solutions to problems. I feel that I can't post quoestions on Our or Slack as much because, "Hey, you're an MVP - look, the badge proves it". 

The Curse

Maybe this pressure is because everyone else I know that is MVP, I look up to. They are big names in the Umbraco Community. I think they all do amazing work and I can pin point why they have been awarded an MVP, but when I look at myself, I can't pinpoint that 'thing'. 

Then, before you know it in comes Imposter Syndrome again, swaggering through the door with a size 12 boot and it gives me a good kick down the spiral staircase of self imposed pressure.

  • I feel I should be contributing more to Our or the core CMS.
  • I should be answering questions, not asking them.
  • I should be building projects where the user experience is on point, not questioning whether this is the right way of doing something or not. 
  • My code should be top notch and I should be able to knock a site together in hours, not days or weeks.

These are just some of the things that go through my mind. Stupid, I know. 

The Blessing

The award and the training has opened doors for me which I never expected. I'm going to be heading up the Umbraco team in my workplace and will be concentrating more on the Umbraco projects that come in through the door.
I have dedicated time in my week set aside for learning, reading, breathing all things Umbraco - e.g. tuning in to UmbraCoffee every week and reading articles each month.
I've had numerous job offers from other agencies and companies, which I have kindly declined as I'm super happy where I am but it's nice to be wanted.
I've met some fantastic people within the Community who all came up to me after the MVP awards at CodeGarden and I now speak to on a regular basis. #h5yr
I get to host this site on Umbraco Cloud, for free. 

So there are plus sides which I really should focus more on but negative thoughts usually weigh more than positive thoughts. 

So what do I do?

Well, one option is to contribute more, start asking questions and admitting that I will make mistakes when building projects. I should just accept that if people judge me for asking 'stupid' questions then so be it. All this is easier said than done though.

Do I hand back my MVP award and say thanks, but I don't think I deserve this? Ok, I'm not that stupid, I do like having the award on my desk and like I said at the start of this blog, I feel honored to have it - I just wish I know what my 'thing' is. :)

Am I alone in feeling like this after being awarded something? I'd love to hear from you. 




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Where to find Owain

Twitter: @ScottishCoder
Linkedin: Owain Williams
Our: Our Umbaco