In parts 2 and 3 of our Get to know your XNA MVPs feature, we welcomed and interviewed two of the most recent additions to the team, John Defenbaugh and Michael McLaughlin, and now we’re concluding the feature with one veteran. Recently I had the opportunity to interview veteran XNA MVP George Clingerman, perhaps better known as his Twitter handle, @ClingermanGW.
Clingerman has held the status of MVP since the tail end of 2007, and has remained an integral part of the community throughout that time. Reflecting on his commitment, he claimed “I had absolutely no idea what I had just gotten. I had never heard of the program before and had no idea what it meant.” In 2006 Microsoft announced XNA and detailed how they were becoming increasingly frustrated with large studios not taking risks with their games. In order to find someone who would, they turned the reigns over to the little guy – independent developers. Immediately Clingerman leaped at the opportunity and purchased the domain XNADevelopment.com, where he offered, and still does, detailed tutorials, sprites, and other invaluable resources for the community.
Continuing from where part 2 left off in the Get to know your XNA MVPs feature, we’ll be welcoming and interviewing another of the most recent additions to the team XNA MVP. Recently I had the opportunity to interview Michael McLaughlin, better known as Bob Taco Industries on AppHub Forums and @mikebmcl on Twitter.
In parts 2-4 of our Get to know your XNA MVPs feature, we’ll be welcoming and interviewing two of the most recent additions to the team, as well as one veteran. Recently I had the opportunity to interview John Defenbaugh, better known as @SigilXNA on the AppHub Forums and Twitter.
I’ve always been curious as to how many of our MVPs got their start in the XNA community, and as I conversed with more and more of them I quickly began to realize that they all come from a diverse set of backgrounds. John Defenbaugh is no different. A childhood love for tinkering with games is what initially sparked his interest. “I’ve been tinkering with games ever since I first started programming, but didn’t do much seriously with it until college. I got involved with a collaborative online game that turned into a business opportunity when some of the developers got hired to build a game for a Japanese university,” Defenbaugh said.
Despite having a programming background, he decided to pursue an MBA, eventually getting hired as an analyst for a management consulting company, in turn leaving his work with videogames on hiatus. It wasn’t until he picked up the original Xbox that sparked his interest in development again. “I heard about XNA, and was looking for an outlet to do more active development and learn something new, so I decided to start learning it.”
With the recent addition of three XNA MVPs last week, we’ve decided to not only welcome and introduce them to the community, but shine some light on what it means to be a Microsoft MVP. This will be a four part series, with the following three parts consisting of the back stories for the two inductees and one veteran.
Microsoft’s MVP program has been around since the early 90’s. Its purpose is to allow for talented individuals who have demonstrated their knowledge, real-world experience, and impartial, objective feedback to help people enhance the way they use Microsoft’s technology. They also grant Microsoft the opportunity to share highly focused feedback from the community. While MVPs are independent of Microsoft, they work closely with the company as a conduit for information to be passed freely between the two parties. Their expertise spans over ninety areas of technology, but we’ll focus on those who work in the XNA field. It should be made clear however, that they are not Microsoft employees, nor do they speak on Microsoft’s behalf.