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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. 




About the author



Owain is an Umbraco MVP, an Umbraco certified master and works on Umbraco projects on a daily basis. When not coding, he enjoys running, spending time with his wife and building lego! 

He is also a GitKraken ambassador and helps look after the website.

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Where to find Owain

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