As of 11:02 AM EDT today, I am a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional).
Despite this article's title, the award is technically in the category of "Office Apps & Services." Some number of years ago, Microsoft combined all the Access, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook MVPs into this single category.
I presume the award is mostly based on my writing here at nolongerset.com. With that in mind, I'd like to take some time to reflect on my journey to this point.
A reasonable person might ask, "Why, in 2020, would someone start writing a blog about a 25-year-old software development platform?"
It's a good question.
- It's what I know. I've written and maintained dozens of Access applications over the past 14 years. I've bumped into many of Access's limitations. I've found creative ways to work around most of them. I've learned to live with the others.
- It's a stable platform. If you developed an Access application using Access 2007 and did not touch it for 14 years, there's a very good chance it will run in Access 2019 without requiring any modifications.
- It's not going anywhere. Reports of Access's demise are greatly exaggerated. The plain fact is there are simply too many critical business applications running in Access today for it to disappear anytime soon. Excel replaced Lotus 1-2-3 by making it easy to move between the two platforms. There is nothing on the market today remotely close to providing the same sort of compatibility with Microsoft Access.
In short, I feel like I have knowledge worth sharing for a platform that's still worth investing in.
Why Every Day?
I've been on Jonathan Stark's daily email list for several years.
He argues that it's easier to stick to a daily habit than a weekly or monthly habit. He is right...it is easier to stick to a daily habit. It's also a lot more work than writing weekly or monthly.
Here's the thing, though. It's hard to move the needle on the internet if you only produce new content every seventh day or every thirtieth day. Especially when you are writing about a mature technology with decades of existing content.
And so I decided to just start writing, never really knowing where it would lead.
I would like to close by thanking a few people by name that helped make this award possible.
Jack Stockton, for nominating me and taking an active interest in my nomination as it moved through Microsoft. I don't know what it took from his end, but I appreciate all of his efforts.
Karl Donaubauer and Wayne Phillips, for inviting me to present twinBASIC at the Access DevCon Vienna conference this past spring.
Philipp Stiefel, one of my first five followers on Twitter, and who I strongly suspect introduced my writing to the Microsoft Access MVP mailing list.
Allison Wolfe, my amazing wife who supported me from the very beginning, even when she couldn't understand why I would want to write about software every single day or, more incredibly, why anyone would want to actually read my writing about software every single day.
And second-most importantly, YOU, dear reader, for helping prove to my wife that there are enough other weirdos on this big blue ball to justify the time I spend writing every day. Without you, this website would be nothing more than the world's saddest diary.