Not long ago, I wrote an article about the ups and downs of the Microsoft MVP Award, and even more recently, it was the subject of a Perspectives in Tech podcast episode. It’s been on my mind a lot lately, and I’m wondering if it’s not time to put my money where my mouth is.
To sum up: I feel there are a lot of folks who’ve made a significant contribution to the PowerShell community who don’t get much formal recognition. That’s a shame, because recognition – from a meaningful source – is a huge motivator. The existence of recognition programs like the MVP Award, can create a de-motivator for someone who feels they’re contributing but not being recognized.
I liken the MVP Award to the MVP Awards offered by some major-league sports, such as the NFL. It’s a moment-in-time recognition for outstanding performance, and the fact that you one it, even once, stays with you forever. But it’s not a recognition for an outstanding career. Major league sports and other fields often have a “Hall of Fame” for that.
So I got to wondering – based in part on a tweet someone sent – if the PowerShell community couldn’t also have a Hall of Fame.
I got to thinking about the criteria other Halls of Fame have for their inductees. They generally focus on long-term, sustained, substantial contributions to the field. One platinum-selling record doesn’t get you in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame; a lifetime of contributions does. Maybe something like that would be useful, and could live in the same world as the more of-the-moment recognitions like the MVP Award. Complementing it, not seeking to replace it (because it does indeed serve a valuable purpose).
I want to emphasize that I’m “pulling a thread,” here. My goal is to try and create some consensus and agreement, and if there simply isn’t one, then I’m not going to try and move anything forward. So I’d like you to read the res of this very carefully before you go clicking on links ;).
First, I’ve set up https://halloffame.powershell.org. Now, I don’t want PowerShell.org to “own” this in the way Microsoft owns the MVP Award; PowerShell.org is merely paying to host the website. I want us, the community, to own this.
Second, I’ve set up what I think the induction criteria might be, and I’ve proposed a community-based nomination and selection process for that. I’ve tried to be very clear and transparent in the criteria, so anyone can look at it and see “what it takes.” But it should be discussed.
Third, I’ve actually struggled a bit with the Selection Committee criteria. Most Halls of Fame are pretty opaque and elitist, and I don’t think we want that. But I also don’t just want “votes” to count. People are too conditioned already to “just click Like!” and I’d like this to be a bit more thoughtful than that. That needs to be discussed.
Fourth, I’ve set up a discussion thread on PowerShell.org, and I’d like your constructive, actionable feedback. If you don’t like something, that’s fine – suggest a replacement. And be thoughtful about it: this is meant to benefit the entire community, and you need to make proposals that can gather widespread support.
Fifth, I’ve outlined a means by which the community (not me) can evolve this in the future. I’d like to follow that same process – gaining at least 150 votes, or whatever – to “approve” the initial rule set.
Schedule: let’s do comments and revisions through the end of April 2020. That’s a bit over two months to discuss, as there’s no hurry. I’ll incorporate what I can into the website, and then we’ll have a petition to approve it by the end of May.
A Request: please use social media to campaign for or against this, depending on how you feel about it. However, please keep commentary on the discussion thread linked above. I can’t really draw together a dozen Twitter threads, and I think everyone should have a voice here.
Broad intentions: because my draft website may not have captured my intentions, I want to state them clearly:
1. Create something to permanently recognize long-term, sustained, significant contributions, whether those exist in a single form or come across multiple forms.
2. Create something the global community can evolve to meet its needs over time.
3. Create a transparent system such that anyone can see what’s expected and aim for it.
4. Create a meaningful recognition that represents a large, global group of like-minded individuals. This perhaps can’t carry the weight of a Microsoft brand name (what could?), but I want it to carry as much weight as it can. I don’t know that I’ve hit the mark on this and would appreciate thoughts along those lines.
If my draft has missed on any of these, I’d appreciate help in re-aligning.