Thomas Ardal is a Danish Reconnect member and founder of elmah.io, a cloud-based error logging and uptime monitoring product for ASP.NET, MVC, Web API, ASP.NET Core, and more. He was awarded Microsoft MVP in .NET in October 2015.
Building and working on a service like elmah.io has been like “a dream come true” for Thomas, as he had been wanting to run his own company for years and by developing a highly technical product, he is able to “play with new Microsoft technologies all the time.”
Thomas appreciates being a Reconnect member as it allows him to attend occasional sessions and connect with the MVP community. Back when he was an MVP, he enjoyed attending online sessions, so it’s great that Reconnect offers its members interesting talks as well. Thomas regularly attends these talks and uses the community to help him promote the products he is building.
Overall, Thomas appreciates being recognised for his work in the .NET community, and while his priorities shifted meaning he couldn’t dedicate the time needed to the MVP program, it is still great to be attached to the community.
In terms of other projects and organisations, Thomas does a lot of open source work, indeed some parts of elmah.io are open source and use OSS too. Contributing features and bug fixes to the community is an integrated part of his work on elmah.io.
Back when Thomas was an MVP, he worked primarily as a consultant, a title which came as a “big selling point.” By attending the online sessions and conferences arranged for MVPs, he was able to keep up with new technologies and hear about them before everyone else.
Thomas advises new MVPs to “choose one of the available MVP areas and stick to it.” As they are typically only awarded the MVP within a single area, spreading out their expertise makes it harder to earn a renewal. He also advises new MVPs to arrange .NET user groups and/or speak about Microsoft technologies at conferences. And finally, he says “don’t be afraid to propose yourself as an MVP. As long as you feel that you’re doing great work within an area, it shouldn’t matter where the request comes from.”
Looking ahead, Thomas will continue to make elmah.io “the coolest error management system for .NET." He still spends most of his time on coding, so would love to be able to rejoin as an MVP some time in the future.
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Thomas Ardal is a Reconnect Member from Denmark. He was awarded Microsoft MVP in .NET in 2015. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasArdal.