We are excited to introduce to you Microsoft’s “Most Valuable Professional,” Mr. Posey, and we hope that you will be inspired by his distinctive career path. In addition to discussing his work as an MVP in-depth and his most intriguing projects, we will also discover what an MVP enjoys doing in his free time.
The interview is divided into two parts. The first part will give us the opportunity to get to know Mr. Posey on a more personal level, while the second part will go into more detail about his actual work as an MVP. What does an MVP actually like to do in his free time and what is his actual job? You can find the answers in this first part of our interview with Mr. Posey.
Interview – Part 1
How did your interest in Microsoft come about? Who or what particularly inspired you?
It was my grandfather who first got me into computers. In the 1970s, my grandfather was the head of computer operations for a Fortune 500 company. Even though I was only about four years old at the time, he used to sneak me into the datacenter on the weekends and show me all the computers.
The thing that really got me involved in Computers was that when I was in my early teens, I used to build and launch a lot of amateur rockets. I had the idea that I might be able to use a computer to improve some of my rocket designs and to better predict where a rocket would land after its flight. That eventually led to me acquiring an old Radio Shack Color Computer (otherwise known as the CoCo). That computer was far different from modern machines in that it booted into Microsoft Basic and did not have a true operating system.
At the time, I had absolutely no idea of how to use a computer, but I read everything that I could get my hands on and used my CoCo to teach myself programming. Incidentally, I still use the skills that I developed back then to write PowerShell code.
Later on, when I was in my late teens my uncle got me a job as a network administrator for a large insurance company. I really wanted to be a developer instead, but gratefully accepted the network admin position instead. It was at that job that I began to acquire Microsoft certifications (starting with Windows NT 3.51) and that ultimately led to my deep involvement with Microsoft technologies throughout my career.
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I have been an MVP for 21 years, across a variety of categories.
When you are not in your MVP role, what do you do for a living?
That’s actually kind of a tough question to answer because I am involved in a lot of different things. First and foremost, I am a freelance technology author and speaker. However, I am also into some things that most people would probably never expect, such as farming and agriculture.
Since 2015 I have been actively training to be a commercial astronaut. At some point I will be flying on a mission to study polar mesospheric clouds from space. Beyond that however, I have completed quite a bit of lunar mission training and even some underwater spacewalks. In a few weeks I am going to be trying out a next generation EVA spacesuit on a simulated lunar surface doing various range of motion tests and trying out various geological sampling techniques to see how well the suit performs.
What did you originally want to be when you were younger?
From the time that I was a small child I have wanted to be an astronaut. That isn’t to say that there were never any other career goals. There was a point in my childhood when I wanted to be a race car driver. There was also a point in my teenage years when I wanted to be a software developer. Even so, the desire to be an astronaut never went away and I am super thankful to have been selected as a commercial astronaut candidate. It has been a dream come true.
Who do you follow to stay up to date on Microsoft?
In all honesty, there isn’t anybody that I regularly follow. I try to stay current with as much of the Microsoft documentation as I can (learn.microsoft.com). As far as staying up to date on new developments, I periodically do a Google search on various terms (Microsoft, Microsoft 365, etc.) and tell Google to only show me the results from the last week.
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What does an MVP like to do most in their free time?
The one thing that all MVPs have in common is that they spend time sharing their knowledge and helping others, so certainly some amount of free time is spent on such activities. Even though I definitely consider MVP activities to be important, I try to maintain a healthy work / life balance and not spend all of my free time sitting in front of a computer.
When I am not working I enjoy adventure travel (I have been to all 50 states and over 70 foreign countries), racing speed boats, scuba diving, and going to the beach. Of course I also make it a point to spend as much of my free time as I can with family and friends.
Thank you so much for your time and sharing your exciting journey as an MVP and becoming an astronaut! Part 2 will follow soon!
Aline & the Lookeen team