December 20, 2013

Salesforce MVP - Are you a good candidate ?

Since nominations for Winter'14 MVP are open, I got into discussions with many people regarding few repetitive points, like:

  1. How can I become a force.com MVP ?
  2. How do you become force.com MVP ?
  3. I'm awesome community guy, nominate me as MVP !
  4. Many people voted for me, why I was not selected as MVP ?
Lets take each point in bit detail.


#1 - How can I become a force.com MVP ? 

To start read official developer force MVP page. My fellow MVP Ankit has written a great post that covers it in depth, read it here - How Can I Become A MVP (Force.com)

On top of it, I would like to add a few things

Create a global reputation


This is most important, people should be able to recognise and appreciate your community work not only in your city, state or country, but across wide salesforce community world wide !

Be original and awesome


Common practices to get noticed are:
  • Saying "I agree" on discussion boards answers. 
  • Re-blogging what is in salesforce docs, or trivial topics like "how to create trigger" 
If you really want to solve a problem and help community, do research write down your findings when replying on discussion boards. Best would be to share your troubleshooting research to solve a problem, which we all do many times, i.e. stumbled upon a problem, no solution found anywhere on google, forums etc. This is a very good candidate to blog, as its not reiterating the same solution.

Open Source contributions


Creating good library or tools using Apex, Visualforce or something your love like Java, Ruby or Node.js etc, like Kevin did with awesome nforce library, which is a Node.js wrapper on top of Salesforce REST API, its pretty authentic and clean library which really helped many in community.

Meetups 


One helps community by organising meet-ups, presenting in them and attending as well. Those who are organising meet-ups, its really a huge help to local developers to connect and learn, but its not the only criteria to impress. 

#2 - How do you become force.com MVP ?


This is again something too frequently asked. Following are major areas of my contribution so far: 

Blog: I started contributing to community, by writing my research in troubleshooting various day to day problems in my blog (www.tgerm.com), soon it became an exciting habit and good way to memorise how we fixed a particular problem. Its started in 2009 and is having 160+ posts around Salesforce. 

Open Source: I learned a lot of coding and best practices by reading lot of open source code, since my Java days 10 years back. The same inspired me to share my work and solutions whenever possible, I started and shared a bunch of good projects with Google Code (which was popular few years back) and later on github. I was author and committer to some key and major projects like
  • Apex Fast XML DOM (AUTHOR): I remember W3C DOM API and wanted similar interface to interact with Spring'10 dom classes like Dom.XmlNode. So created a developer friendly wrapper on top of Spring'10 dom classes. This wrapper was featured in Salesforce developer newsletter and used by me and many in community.
  • Tolerado SOAP web service wrappers for Salesforce (AUTHOR): This project aimed to give easy and fault tolerant wrapper over Salesforce SOAP web services using both Axis and WSC. It got good response from community and was used in many enterprise B2B integrations with Salesforce. Other highlights include
  •  Force.com ESAPI (Committer): Its a great framework to enforce CRUD/FLS and other validations using Apex.
  • Salesforce Lookup Rollup Summaries(AUTHOR): This project tried to remove common pain of writing triggers to rollup lookup fields, as roll-up summary fields are only available on master-detail relationships. I used it myself to save my time and save my clients money. It was recently taken to a whole new level by Andrew Fawcett (FinancialForce.com CTO and fellow MVP), he gave an easy to use front on top for admins, its out as installable package for you to try as well, learn more here.
Meetups and Dreamforce: Presented on latest ongoing stuff in salesforce world in meet-ups many cites in India and outside as well. Presented in Dreamforce'12 DevZone about Force.com platform and developer productivity. Find more in my slideshare account here.

Coauthor of Force.com Tips and Tricks book: Wrote this with my fellow MVP Ankit Arora, its available on Amazon and all other major book stores.

Developer challenge participation: Participated in many salesforce developer challenges. Got honourable mention in Force.com sites challenge in 2009. Won 3rd prize in Salesforce developer challenge 2010 for my location sharing application.

#3 - I'm awesome community guy, nominate me as MVP !

Before asking for nomination, its better to judge yourself on above point #1. I am pretty passionate about force.com platform, and closely follow the good work around. If you are doing good work, your aura will enlighten me and I would have proceeded with nomination without your ask. 
In general if you are asking a nomination, please give me good evidences of some quality community work based on above point #1

#4 - Many people voted for me, why I was not selected as MVP ?

Answer to this question lies in above points #1 and #3. Check if you managed to win a good global reputation in bigger salesforce community, leaving your own employer, city, state and country aside.  
Remember fake voting might work adversely, as it will piss off the panel. 

So...

Key is to just focus on good community work. If its really helping people, they will vote for you and give good feedback during reviews.