Case Studies

Experts Exchange Expedites Your Career in Tech

Even with a successful speaking and publishing career, Scott Helmers uses Experts Exchange to maintain his expertise.

6
 min
September 13, 2021

About Scott

Scott Helmers is Experts Exchange’s primary Visio expert. He is a partner at the Harvard Computing Group (HCG), a software and consulting firm that assists organizations with understanding relevant technologies and making decisions about business applications and processes. He co-invented TaskMapTM, HCG’s Visio add-in that allows anyone to document the important aspects of any business process. Due to his extensive expertise in Microsoft Visio, Microsoft has awarded Scott Most Valuable Professional (MVP) status for Microsoft Visio annually since 2008. He is the author of three books on Visio. Early in his career, he worked in product management and support for Wang Laboratories, one of the leading computer hardware companies during the tech boom of the 1980s.

Scott has worked with clients based in Afghanistan,Egypt, India, Ireland, Jordan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore,Canada and the United States on projects involving knowledge management, specification of new IT systems, process mapping and redesign, and technology training.

How Experts Exchange Accelerated His Career

Scott became a member of Experts Exchange in 2000, but it wasn’t until 2007 that he got actively involved in the community. At that time, he was developing HCG’s process mapping add-in for Visio and as he was looking for assistance with Visio technical questions, however, he discovered that he was answering more questions than he was asking.

He found that he enjoyed sharing his growing knowledge of Visio with other members of Experts Exchange by answering users’ questions and writing in-depth articles, and he quickly rose to expert status as a result. After contributing regularly throughout 2007, he was nominated to become a Microsoft MVP. Microsoft granted him MVP status for Visio in 2008, making him part of a very select group. Because MVP status is only given to “community leaders who’ve demonstrated an exemplary commitment to helping others get the most out of their experience with Microsoft technologies,” Scott attributes his nomination in large part to the Experts Exchange platform which allowed him to demonstrate his expertise and gain visibility.

Being granted the MVP status by Microsoft was a game changer for Scott. It led to an initial book deal with Microsoft Press that has since resulted in three books about Visio, including Visio 2016 Step by Step. As a result of the popularity of his books as well as his clear and engaging teaching style, Microsoft has hired him to speak at conferences and host webinars for thousands of users, and he is a course author at LinkedIn Learning.

What Keeps Him Coming Back

Scott remains an active participant and supporter of Experts Exchange. He shared, “Experts Exchange is a significant part of my professional life. As much as I might know about a couple of topics, there’s always more to learn. What amazes me about the Experts Exchange community is how much so many experts know about so many topics -- it’s mind boggling, really, when you look at the range and depth of the assistance that’s available. It’s a community that helps newcomers grow while also furthering the established careers of professionals like myself.”

In the process of answering user questions and crafting tutorials, experts like Scott are able to sharpen their skills on a daily basis, and in an environment where their help is well received. Additionally, this community is a great springboard for launching your own personal brand, which can lead to other professional growth and career opportunities.

Even though Scott is an Expert, he still relies on Experts Exchange to troubleshoot other technology problems that may arise. He’s confident that when he does have a question about something, he will get a high-quality response from someone willing to walk through the problem-solving process with him. In an ever-changing industry, it’s a lifesaver. And because he finds the answer he needs there nine times out of ten, it’s his go-to.

In this way, Experts Exchange is more than just a question and answer exchange for Scott— it’s a community. He’s able to engage with it by reading newsletters and articles, networking with other members, and attending meetups.

Conclusion

Scott Helmers was a qualified expert in his field who needed a high-visibility platform on which to demonstrate his knowledge. Experts Exchange was that platform. Without it, he may have gone unnoticed by the individual who ultimately nominated him for MVP status. Even with a successful speaking career and three published books on Visio, Scott uses Experts Exchange to maintain his expertise, network with others in his field, and giveback to the community that helped grow his career.