Toys for Tots, Holiday Cheer, & Charlotte SQL

Melissa Connors

Published On: December 19, 2017

Categories: Community, Volunteering 0

In my Giving Tuesday post, I mentioned that SentryOne was kicking off the giving season and planning some fun holiday season events. This post highlights some of those things, but for Lori's (b|t) well-being, there are no links to the karaoke event.

Toys for Tots : #SentryOneServes

On December 1st, we kicked off a toy collection to benefit Toys for Tots. The Toys for Tots organization dropped off collection boxes at SentryOne, which we placed in our pub for good visibility. Many employees donated to fill the boxes. SentryOne contributed bicycles to the collection, and a group of people assembled them.

SentryOne's Toys for Tots Donation Boxes SentryOne's Toys for Tots Donation Boxes

Some people (Brad, Director of Marketing, followed by Chris, Agile Scrum Master) took the bicycles for a spin around the office. They claim this was to test the safety and quality, but I'll let you decide for yourself with this image:

SentryOne's Toys for Tots Donation Boxes *Testing* the Toys for Tots Bicycles

Thank you to everyone who contributed at SentryOne and Toys for Tots for working with us on the boxes and picking everything up at the end. We're grateful for being able to provide these gifts for the children.

Holiday Cheer Decorating Contest

While kicking off the Toys for Tots drive, we also asked people to decorate their office spaces with holiday cheer and winter celebration themes. There were some lights, wreaths, nativity scenes, and elfed versions of Bob Potter and Greg Gonzalez on the doors. Bob and Greg were the judges, BTW.

During our annual holiday party last week (held at 8.2.0 in Charlotte this year), Bob announced the winners. Missy (Accounting Manager) and Sara (AP & AR Specialist) won the grand prize for their fantastic Gingerbread House offices!

Missy and Sara's Award-Winning Gingerbread House Missy and Sara's Award-Winning Gingerbread House

I sat outside their doors during part of my visit to the office last week. The photos don't do it justice. It was sparkly, glittery, and full of holiday cheer!

Charlotte SQL

A group of SentryOne's Microsoft MVPs assembled to speak at the Charlotte SQL User Group meeting. It was an open panel, allowing attendees to ask technical and other professional questions to the group. I don't remember all the technical questions, but there seemed to be much interest in cloud, testing, and what the panel sees happening in the industry.

What's the deal with being an MVP, anyway?

One question that stuck out in my mind was about "How does one become an MVP, and how has it changed your life?". There was a common theme among answers from the panel. While they all appreciated the access to people, products, and discussions afforded to MVPs; their lives did not change. They were blogging and speaking at events before the MVP award and would have continued to do that without the award. It wasn't about becoming an MVP to them; they were following their passion and doing what they enjoyed. The time they put into learning and sharing made them well-known in the industry. Consequently, that effort added value to their careers without the award.

Conveniently, Kevin recently blogged about "How Can I Become a Microsoft MVP?". A major takeaway from this question was "don't set out to become an MVP". If speaking, blogging, and volunteering is what you want to do, then do it. You may receive MVP award-level recognition for it, but it shouldn't be why you do it. If being a prominent blogger, speaker, and volunteer isn't what you enjoy doing anyway, you're not going to have a good time pursuing an MVP award.

Pictured from left to right: Kevin Kline, Principal Program Manager (b|t); Aaron Bertrand, Product Manager (b|t); Andy Yun, Senior Solutions Engineer (b|t); John Martin, Product Manager (b|t); Richard Taylor, Director of Engineering (t); and Mike Wood, Product Manager (b|t)

But wait... we have more MVPs!

We actually have two more MVPs who were not able to attend; Greg Gonzalez (b|t) and Allen White (b|t). Allen was unable to join us in the office last week because he was busy singing in the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus!

See you next year!

This serves as my final blog post of 2017. We've had an exciting year at SentryOne and I've enjoyed sharing these events with you. There's much more to come in 2018! Please have a safe and happy New Year. --Melissa

Melissa (@MelikaNoKaOi) is the Product Education Manager at SentryOne. Melissa has over a decade of experience with SQL Server through software performance and scalability testing, analysis and research projects, application development, and technical support.