In this series we will put focus on the few individuals that stand out from the crowd, the Episerver Most Valuable Professionals (EMVP).
Through the EMVP program, Episerver recognizes individuals that go above and beyond in the community by sharing their knowledge and inspiring others. The EMVPs are typically either developers or digital strategists - or perhaps both.
Their EMVP status is reviewed and renewed annually by the EMVP Board. EMVPs are given special treatment at Episerver events, personal licenses for free, direct access to all key Episerver staff, an annual EMVP Summit and much, much more. If you want to learn more about the EMVP Program you can find out more on world.episerver.com/emvp. If you know someone you feel deserves EMVP status, write a nomination and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org (EMEA) or email@example.com (US).
Meet Marija Jemuovic, 33 lives in Belgrade, Serbia and works for Episerver Swedish partner Mogul where she manages a team of 8. Marija has a master’s in computer science, has been working with Episerver technology since 2010 and 3 years ago her contributions to the Episerver community was recognized, granting her EMVP status.
What's a typical day in the life of Marija?
Although I work as a tech lead for customer projects and have the team management at hand, I try to spend as much of my day as possible coding. You can't help your customers unless you stay in touch with what's going on in the code base. I also do a lot of customer communication and architecture.
Did you purposely strive to become an EMVP?
It just kind of happened. We started a new project where the customer wanted to try out Episerver 7 - even though it was still in preview, so we had kind of a sink or swim situation. That drove me to start asking a lot of questions in the Episerver World forums - and after a while I found out that I could easily answer many of the forum questions, having a head start on the technology. That was great motivation to start sharing my knowledge, and I started to blog, arrange Episerver meetups locally in Serbia - as well as answering tweets.
After a while I received a letter from Episerver that my efforts had been noticed and that I should keep up the good work. It was a great pat on the back and motivated me to put even more effort into it - and eventually that lead to my EMVP status.
How does your manager and company feel about you spending time maintaining your EMVP status?
They see great value in having an EMVP in the company. It's very good marketing for us and they fully support me in my community contributions!
What kind of mindset does it take to become an EMVP?
Definitely the mindset where you have this community contribution in mind. You want to share your knowledge with other people - in a way you are helping others and even if you don't get the EMVP recognition, your mindset should still be to improve things for everyone: document, exemplify, clarify...
What is it like to be an EMVP?
Obviously, it's quite a prestigious thing. You get lots of respect within your own organization - and you have very good ground when talking with clients as well. You still need to keep being humble. You are not a know-it-all yourself.
At the same time, it opens a lot of doors for you. It has opened doors in my career path in Mogul and I have met lots of very interesting people at the Episerver conferences - having direct access to all the key Episerver brains is a great way to learn about the direction of the technology.
On top of that, many of the companies working with Episerver technology value the EMVP status a lot. And I get a lot of job offers with EMVP in the job description.
What's the best thing about being an EMVP?
The EMVP Summits! Team building with other EMVPs - and the combination of fun and really useful insight into the technology and vision.
At these events, I have met so many great people and have made a lot of friends - both in the EMVP circle - but also in the Episerver staff.
We have been on a cruise between Oslo and Copenhagen. We've been to luxury mansions overlooking the Zion national park and we've inhabited our very own castle in Sweden. My favorite was in Utah following an Episerver Ascend event in Las Vegas.
And finally, do you have any advice for developers or digital strategists that want to aim at EMVP status?
I would recommend that they focus on new technology subjects, the old ones are very well documented and blogged about, typically pretty good material. I'd recommend they try out something and then blog about it.
I would also suggest everyone to immediately subscribe to all the forums and blog posts. Maybe you don't start answering forum questions or writing blogposts right away - but then you start reading and you get into it. And after a while, you start preparing your own blog space. It's worth noting that the community has been quite active with meetups worldwide recently. And everybody is always asking for new topics and good speakers - so you might want to contact your local organizer, attend a meetup and find a good topic to speak about.
For more information and to learn how to become an EMVP, please visit world.episerver.com/emvp