Meet Community Champ S. Somasegar
Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Developer Division, S. Somasegar, is not just a champion of the MVP community: he makes a point of taking every opportunity to sit down with MVPs to hear what they have to say.
Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Developer Division, S. Somasegar (or “Soma” to many), has a great appreciation for the role MVPs play in the advancement and adoption of Microsoft technologies. Soma is responsible for developer tools and services at Microsoft, including the programming languages and runtimes designed for a broad base of software developers and development teams, the Visual Studio line of products and services, and the .NET Framework. His team also oversees the MSDN online service that enables a deep connection with the Microsoft developer audiences.
To help foster and strengthen community and customer connections, Soma often looks to MVPs. “I think of MVPs as ambassadors to Microsoft and to the work we do here—the products and services we deliver,” he explained. “They are what I call ‘the honest people.’ They tell us what is good and they tell us what is not so good, serving as a trusted connection for the engineering teams, helping both to guide the direction of our products and to help other customers successfully utilize Microsoft platforms and tools.”
“As community leaders, they create awareness of our products and technologies,” he continued. “They generate excitement and enthusiasm. And, more importantly, they are often the first set of people who get a chance to play around with the products and technologies and use them. Then they take that knowledge and share it with the rest of the community—whether for instance it’s through sample code, blog posts, books, or archetypes they generate.”
Each year at the MVP Global Summit, the Microsoft Developer Division hosts a special Developer MVP Recognition Dinner. (You can see the full list of this year’s award recipients here.)
If Soma isn’t traveling, he often personally hosts the dinner. “I take any opportunity I get to spend time with MVPs around the world and to hear what they have to say: I find their perceptions of what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and how we stack against the competition to be quite illuminating and insightful. Their knowledge and feedback are super valuable,” said Soma.
At the recent November 2013 MVP Global Summit, Soma made a point to stop by the event and speak to MVPs just before flying out for international events. He also discussed the importance of the MVP community to Microsoft, and you can see the video on this site.