Been long since the last time I wrote something here. From the time that I got awarded as a Microsoft Regional Director, so many people asking me; What is Regional Director? Are you now working for Microsoft? What are your responsibilities and duties? and many other questions. For me, it was a bit of mystery at the very beginning as well, and it took me a while to figure it out. So I thought better to write about it.
Common Questions about Microsoft Regional Director
If you are reading this post you may have one or more of the questions below. I’ll do my best to respond to that;
- Is Microsoft Regional Director a role and position in Microsoft?
- What is the responsibilities and duties of a regional director?
- Can you be an MVP and RD (Regional Director) at the same time?
- Is regional director the person who decides and nominates MVPs?
- What is the difference between MVP and RD?
- How can I become an RD?
The line of questions never ends actually. let’s first see what is the regional director.
What is the Microsoft Regional Director?
The very first time I’ve heard about this was when I got nominated for this! Honestly! I had no idea that such a thing exists. Or even If I came across it suddenly probably I thought the same thing that this is a role in Microsoft, and that is why I didn’t pay attention to it more. I’ve been lucky and fortunate enough to become a Microsoft Regional Director, and then I started to learn what it is. Let me explain to you about my findings 🙂
Microsoft Regional Directors are the community members (not Microsoft employees) who have good coverage of the technologies across Microsoft and also other vendors in the market. They look at products and technologies from a high level and architectural point of view, and their role is combined with the influence they have on the community. There are about 170 Microsoft RD worldwide.
Well, that is my definition of this role, which is a bit abstract. let’s understand it a bit more;
Regional Directors are NOT Microsoft employees
Yes, you heard it right. RDs are not Microsoft employees. The title of Microsoft Regional Director is a tricky title, and misleading too. I can assure you that RDs are not working for Microsoft. Some RDs may, later on, apply for some positions in Microsoft and start working there, which that means then they will lose their RD status. exactly similar to MVP. Everyone can go and work for Microsoft. So being an RD doesn’t mean you are a Microsoft Employee. Now that I am an RD, I still do my day to day job, I am a consultant, I am working for RADACAD, and I don’t get paid from Microsoft 🙂
Regional Director is Different from MVP
RD and MVP are different titles and have different scopes too. I’ve been an MVP for 8 years, and still am an MVP. I haven’t lost my MVP status, not yet! As an MVP I should be expertise in one area and field. Which I believe you know what is my area (BI, Power BI). I should be doing community activities such as writing blogs and books, speaking in conferences and events, running user groups and conferences and etc, which I do it often. But an RD isn’t just focused on one product or technology. An RD should have good knowledge and experience across multiple technologies and even multiple vendors. For example; through my many years of working with BI systems, I worked with Microsoft technologies, IBM, Informatica, Cognos, Tableau, QlikView, and many many other tools and vendors. This experience helps me to see the product features from a higher point of view; From an architectural point of view. That is the area that I can help Microsoft with my feedback.
An RD can be an MVP too. There is nothing wrong in having very specialized activity in one of the product fields, and also having the architectural view of the toolset. I am fortunate enough these days to have both titles.
I had an interview with Mark Ginnebaugh at Ignite 2018, and he mentioned parts of his RD activities compared to MVP activities. It is a good interview to watch:
Regional Directors are Influencers for the Community
Being an MVP means that you run user groups and get some people in the community connected together, and sometimes connected to the product team. However, RD is a level higher in creating the influence. As an RD, I have to find community leaders. I have to find people who can lead the community by all means; writing blogs, posting videos, running user group and conferences, and etc. Not essentially mean that I have to nominate them as MVP. But to encourage them to continue the good job that they are doing.
For me, this part of RD responsibility been always active from the time that I been an MVP. I helped community members to rise and start leading. I nominated some of them as MVP, which all of them were well deserved for the award, and I helped some of them to run events and organize meetups. I believe in one sentence in my whole life; If I help others win something, I am a winner too.
I always believe in this and continue my whole life based on it.
Some people asked me that; do I or any other RDs have an influence on choosing MVPs? Of course not! We don’t even know who got nominated. We can only nominate people to become MVP. But other MVPs also can nominate you, you can even nominate yourself! RDs are to help you to go on the right path, but they are not the one to give you the award.
How to become a Regional Director?
If you read the post till this point, then you already know the answer. To become an RD, you should work hard and influence the community by all means you can, you should have a good architectural view of the subject matter. and the bottom line is: Don’t do these to become an RD! Yes, you heard it right. Do these just if you like it. Do these for the community. As I mentioned, I did not know about RD before I get nominated. This is the same advice I do to people who want to become MVP. My answer is always just to keep doing the good work, You’ll get there someday. Being an MVP or RD, is not about the destination, It is all about the path, Enjoy while doing your activities.
At the end I should say thank YOU, everyone who believes in me, nominated me for RD, MVP, or any other awards that I received. Thanks to every single one you; my blog readers, either here or at RADACAD. You are giving me the power and courage to continue what I do every day. I wish the very best to all of you. Hope this blog was a good read for you 🙂 till the next chat; Be happy and healthy!