Back in July this year Arnie Rowland (Blog| @ArnieRowland) had a bit of a brainwave. Essentially Microsoft had given him a few MSDN Ultimate Subscriptions to give away, and instead of just handing them out to a few folks willy-nilly, he decided that the best way forward was to give them out to unemployed or underemployed developers who submitted proposals for projects that would benefit non-profit organisations. This way the developer gets to improve his/her skills and the non-profit gains bespoke software solutions at no cost. Win.Win.
After a couple of blog posts (here and here), Arnie got a lot of support from fellow MVPs as well as assistance from Sponsors. This meant that the list of software being given to the chosen developers was mighty impressive. As of this writing the software package that the developers will receive (on being selected) is as follows:
- Microsoft: Visual Studio Ultimate with MDSN subscription
- Pluralsight: 3 month Standard subscription to On-Demand!™ .NET Training Library
- APress: 3 books of the winner’s choice
- O’Reilly Press: 3 eBooks of the winner’s choice
- ComponentOne: license for Studio Enterprise components and tools
- Microsoft Learning: Vouchers for 2 Certification Exams with Second Shot
- Quest Software: license for Toad® for SQL Server
- BillP Studios: license for WinPatrol’s Host-based Intrusion Prevention System(HIPS)
- Infragistics: licenses for NetAdvantage for .NET, NetAdvantage for Silverlight Data Visualization, NetAdvantage for WPF Data, AND QuincePro
All that software and subscriptions have a combined value of over USD$15,000. Whoa.
- Client is a USA IRS 503(c)3 non-profit, school, or church, OR a Canadian CRA registered charity,
- Solves a problem or satisfies a need for the client,
- Client desires the project and is supportive,
- Uses any combination of .NET 4.0, Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, or Windows Phone 7,
- May be a new software solution, or an upgrade to an existing software solution,
- Additional consideration given projects that will be posted on Codeplex with a GPL license.
Not in the USA or Canada?
Don’t fret, the project is expanding. Thanks to Rod Colledge (Blog | @Rod_Colledge), Greg Low (Blog | @greglow) and Darren Gosbell (Blog) if you are in Australia or New Zealand you can also qualify for Project Phoenix. Rod has put together a blog post on the software packages available to developers/non-profits as well as the criteria being used to identify selected recipients.
So, if you are out of work, looking to improve your skills, give back to the community and reside in the US/Canada or Australia/New Zealand look no further than Project Phoenix. There will be a give-away every week for the rest of the year (at the very least) and who knows, this may just become a regular occurrence…
More links to posts about Project Phoenix
- Arnie Rowland’s list of blog posts about the project including awards to-date
- Eligible Non-Profits can submit a project proposal here
- Developers can submit a proposal here