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What Sitecore MVP Status Means To Me

Today I was given the highest honor that any Sitecore Professional can get – I am a Sitecore MVP!

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Sitecore MVP 2020 Technology

The Sitecore MVP Program is well known throughout the industry. This award is given to a select few every year who have gone above and beyond to help the Sitecore Community. It is such a great honor and I am very happy to be in such great company. MVPs are the best and the brightest. I regard many of them on a genius level.

My road to MVP has not been easy. I studied Computer Science in college and I have worked in tech for over 20 years. My Sitecore career began in 2010 when I was hired as a Courseware Developer at Sitecore.

At that time, I had a lot of development experience but no teaching experience. Over the next few years, I studied Instructional Design and I made a lot of good improvements to Sitecore’s Training Curriculum. I was even promoted to Education Development Manager where I managed the production of Sitecore Training and Certification Exams for Sitecore 6.4 – 8.0.

Shelley Sitecore Training Summit Rome 2013
Sitecore Training Summit Rome 2013

When I parted from Sitecore in 2014, I was devastated. I was also facing many expensive health issues and I was on medications with terrible side effects. I have always had a moderate stutter and I went to speech therapy for 25 years. One of the side effects of my medication was stuttering and my moderate stutter became incredibly severe. Anyone who worked with me back then can attest to that. I lost 6 jobs in 3 years.

I auditioned to become a Pluralsight Author in 2015. I did it by spending hours repeating the same line over and over until I could say it with perfect fluency. One. Line. At. A. Time. Editing took forever but, I did it anyway. I needed the income in case I lost another job.

Getting Started with Sitecore Helix

I finally reached out to my childhood speech therapist and we got together for a few sessions to help me get through my blocks, repetitions, and facial ticks associated with stuttering. We had not seen each other in 15 years and I am very thankful that she was there for me in my time of need.

My husband took over editing my Pluralsight courses and he started sitting in as a director when I recorded audio. He really helped ease my tension and I finally started to be able to read more than one sentence at a time. At this point, I can generally read an entire script without stuttering. He is amazing and I am very proud of what we have accomplished together!

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, Walt Disney World August 2019

The past year has been monumental. I finally found a home as a Lead Developer at TBG. I worked with Pluralsight to produce my own Unofficial Sitecore Training. My first course, Getting Started with Sitecore Helix, was published in October 2019 (the Friday before Symposium, I will never forget it!). It was an immediate hit and I went to Symposium to promote it. The response I got was astounding. Suddenly, people recognized me. MVPs were coming up to me congratulating me for all my success. I’m not going to lie, I had myself a big ugly cry the day after Symposium 2019 ended. I was so proud and so relieved that it was over and I felt overwhelmed at the culmination of all my years of hard work.

Today I gladly accept this prestigious honor. Thank you to everyone who nominated me, voted for me, and supported me along the way. I am forever grateful.

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1 thought on “What Sitecore MVP Status Means To Me

  1. Great post! Persistence and dedication pays off.

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