A few years back, Microsoft gave MVPs MSDN Subcription cards they could pass on to others. The cards gave recipients access to a full-year MSDN Ultimate subscription - a $12,000 value.
At the time, I was nominated for MVP but not awarded. So an MVP gave me one of the cards. He told me he believed I would be an MVP one day and then I would know what it's like to help make someone's dream come true. He was right. Earlier this year I also received three MSDN subscription cards. I gave one to a local community volunteer who does a ton of free work for local non-profits, a second was a prize at a Richmond SQL Server Users Group meeting, and a third was given away as part of a contest held right here on my blog.
Enter Project Phoenix
Arnie Rowland (Blog | @ArnieRowland) set out earlier this year to put his MSDN Subscription cards to good use, and he enlisted the support of several MVPs in this effort. In his first post on the topic, Arnie wrote There will be no 'Free Lunch' -just great feelings of accomplishment. The idea is elegant and awesome, and Arnie says it best:
This year, I will be seeking proposals from unemployed (or under-employed) developers that would use the tools to improve their skills with .NET, SQL Server, and Windows 7 Phone. The proposals should be for a project for a non-profit -either a new project or an upgrade to an existing project. In addition to the Microsoft MDSN Ultimate subscription, Pluralsight will provide a three month subscription to the training content available in their On-Demand!™ .NET Training Library, O'Reilly Press will provide three (3) books of the winner's choice, APress will provide three books(3) of the winner's choice, ComponentOne will provide Studio Enterprise components and tools, DevExpress will provide a one year subscription for DXperience Enterprise w/CodeRush, RedGate will provide a license for ANTS Performance Profiler, and Quest Software will provide a a license for Toad® for SQL Server.
The idea is to provide the recipient access to all of the tools needed to improve his/her skills, an opportunity to gain practical experience, the potential to earn a recommendation and/or referral –and to positively contribute to society as a form of 'give-back'. No free lunch, just sweat equity –the kind that makes us all feel good for the effort.
What a great idea!
If you're unemployed or under-employed, Project Phoenix is offering a win-win scenario for you and deserving non-profits.
An eligible developer may submit project proposal information here.
An eligible non-profit may submit a project proposal here.