How to become an MVP in Excel [case study]
This is the story of Vijay Agarwal, who received MVP Award from Microsoft on 1st of April.
Some of you know that I am a recipient Microsoft MVP award. It is an award Microsoft gives to software community leaders & contributors. Often people ask me, “Chandoo, how do I become an MVP?”. So today I want to tell you how you can become an MVP.
Around first week of April, I got an email from Vijay,
My self Vijay Agarwal from Delhi and I am a big fan of your site/articles. With blessing of God and inspiration from legends like you, I am pleased to inform you that yesterday evening I have been awarded Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award by Microsoft for my contributions in Excel.
This is the link of Microsoft site where it has been updated.
I congratulated him immediately. It is always a pleasure to see people succeed and get recognition for their efforts. I also asked him if he can share his MVP journey to inspire all of us at Chandoo.org. Vijay being an awesome guy, wrote and send it promptly. So here we go.
My ‘MVP’ Journey
1st April 2014, the day, which I would never forget in my life as Microsoft has awarded me Most Valuable Profession Award (MVP) for my Excel skills which undoubtedly is the ‘Nobel Prize’ in Microsoft community.
Can a person ever think of such a feat…,
- who spent his childhood in a very small town of Haryana (a state in India)
- who completed his graduation in Hindi medium only
- who never heard or saw a computer before his graduation
- who touched a computer only after completing his CA in 1993
Really really it’s a long story, how and when I fall in love with Excel even I don’t remember. I believe it was 1998. Being a Chartered Accountant and good in mathematics/logic I found myself spending more and more time on it and within few months, I was the ‘Excel master’ in my company. I never had any type of training on any of MS product, whatever I learn that was just by reading Excel help (its too good, that is written by experts, never ignore it), doing and doing and helping others. In the mean time, I moved to ERP/SAP line and also got lot of proficiency there, but, yes Excel was always with me. Till 2009, I used to get people coming to me for Excel queries, and used to got calls from my colleagues of previous companies.
I was not much involved on any type of forums on internet till 2009, then I became one of the members on http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office in 2010 and started to see people answering very tough/complicated questions. There are people who are more experienced and legends on these forums and moreover very good in Macros, me not a technical person, I hardly used macros, but being good in logic I started to answer questions even which people thought is possible through macros only, by building logic and providing non-macro solutions. It was not frequent, but my response also got “marked as answer”, and it was in 2012 last quarter that I was tagged as Star Contributor, after that I just got addicted to solve more and more questions, and the result is in front of you.
I don’t prefer Macro/array solutions much and always try to find some simple Non macro/non Array solutions which I believe users like.
I remember one quote of Steve Jobs here.
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
While answering questions I try to make things simple and follow these rules.
- Will my solution meet the requirement of user
- Can it be more simplified/compact and made better
- Is there any alternate solution for this
- Is it user friendly
- Would it be better to provide Screen shots/File Link
- To the point/brief
- And then I try to follow all above rules while answering questions
I believe one should have passion/belief for a subject and then he will automatically find the time/ways for it. MVP is not the destination; I do it because I love it. It gives lot of satisfaction when one get compliments for your responses. There is no short cut to hard work. Do what you love and love what you do so that you don’t feel bored/burdened.
Beside Excel I am fond of yoga, give motivational speeches and travel.
I am thankful to God for giving me such a beautiful life.
Thank you very much Chandoo for giving me an opportunity to write on your blog.
I learnt and learning a lot from Chandoo.org
keep it up, God bless you.
Thank you Vijay
Thanks Vijay for sharing your story and inspiring us. I agree with you that as long as we make our life about learning & sharing, it will be challenging and beautiful. Thanks for taking time to write for us. Many congratulations once again on the much deserved MVP award. Wishing you many more years as MVP.
If you enjoy Vijay’s story, please say thanks to him or congratulate him.
More on MVP Award
- Chandoo becomes MVP
- Hui becomes MVP
- Microsoft MVP Award website
- Chandoo.org Forum (to share your knowledge or ask a question)
My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.
Thank you and see you around.
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