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How to get disqualified as an MVP

Jamie Cansdale is not an MVP anymore - his title wasn't renewed this year. "So what" you may think. "Who on earth is Jamie whatever?".

Jamie is the guy that created TestDriven.NET (formerly known as "NUnit Addin") - one of the most successful free addins in the VS line, that, to my knowledge, has just roughly same amount of people using it daily as those that use NUnit - which is a lot.

So why am I writing about this? Because I think someone made a mistake.  Here is the notice Jamie got when his MVP was not renewed:

"Unfortunately your community participation rate over the past year (in any of the communities including VSIP and ASP.Net) is well below the required level. Even if we were to look beyond the MVP code of conduct concerns I don't believe we could justify reinstating you based on participation."

There are two parts to this:

  • Jamie is a community leader, like it or not. His tool drives a big community which his tool enables to exist - those people that want an easy way to run unit tests inside Visual Studio .NET. He is part of that community and writes in his blog about these things.


  • The "MVP code of conduct"  is a mysterious beast. My best guess as to what that sentence means would be to the fact that in previous versions, Jamie enabled TestDriven.NET to run in all versions of VS.NET, including the Express ones (which are free). To be clear, the Express version of VS does not support building plugins for it, so Jamie hacked his way into glory and created something that would actually run in the Express, giving Developers everywhere a chance to run unit tests even if they couldn't afford Visual Studio Professional. Since then he was forced by MS legal to take that ability down, unfortunately.

So, I think the main reason Jamie isn't an MVP anymore is because he "hacked"  the express SKU's, and not being active in the community is just a pretty way of not saying that.

Legal issues aside, Jamie "fixed" a mistake Microsoft has made - not putting unit tests inside all versions of VS.NET - and for that he deserves much recognition  - an MVP award for community is exactly what it's about - having that passion that also helps other people do what they need with the tools they have.

Microsoft could have been more clear and come out and say it out loud: "you're not an MVP because you misused our product and we don't like that".

Unit Tests in VS.NET are a big issue. How big? There was a petition about this a while ago, which Microsoft failed to pay attention to, It's right here. It's written by Peter Provost, who's now a Microsoft Employee in the patterns and practices group (written before he joined MS I believe). I think Peter believes in what he wrote today just as much as he did then - maybe he can help push this forward?

Good Agile, Bad Agile

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