Fellow SQL Server MVP Arnie Rowland (blog | twitter) has done a great job organizing an interesting effort to help unemployed and underemployed software developers to improve their skill set, while also helping a deserving non-profit organization, school or church solve a problem. The background to this is that Microsoft periodically gives MVPs a number of MSDN Ultimate subscriptions that we are supposed to give away to worthy individuals or organizations. Many MVPs have a hard time deciding the best way to give away these subscriptions, so they often end up being given away in the raffles that many user’s groups have at the end of their meetings. That seems kind of random and haphazard to me…
Instead, as Arnie puts it:
To recap, we are inviting unemployed or underemployed developers to propose a software project for a non-profit agency, school, or church. The idea is that we will provide a package of the latest software, tools, and training resources to help you improve your skills, get up to date with current technologies, gain practical experience, potentially earn a recommendation for your efforts, and in general, enjoy the feeling of accomplishing something useful for others. We are not giving out a ‘free lunch’, just supporting your efforts to personally gain from your own ‘sweat equity’.
You can get much more detail about this program in Arnie’s post here. I am donating two of my MSDN Subscriptions to Arnie’s project. Arnie Rowland is very well known and well regarded in the SQL Server Community for all of his efforts in mentoring new MVPs, and organizing the community of Answerers and Moderators on the MSDN Forums. I certainly appreciate his efforts over the years!