New Benefits Added to Visual Studio Dev Essentials Program

Visual Studio developers who are part of the Essentials Program now have access to more than $300-worth of Azure credits over a year, as well as the addition of mobile development courses from Xamarin University.

The Visual Studio Developer Essentials Program made its debut in November last year, but membership is already above 400,000. The addition of two new benefits, Azure credits and Xamarin University, should entice more to the program.

What makes VSDE so valuable is the technical resource offerings packed into it as it exist now: Visual Studio Community Edition, Visual Studio Code, and Team Foundation Server Express, which is a solid foundation for developing projects. It comes with a five-user Team Services account and access to the free tiers for App Service, HockeyApp, and Application Insights, and a number of trial tools that can be readily downloaded.

Probably the most valuable features of the VSDE is the wide variety of training resources, which includes three-month subscriptions to Pluralsight and WintellectNOw course, immediate access to Microsoft Academy offerings, and HackHands Live Programming help, as well as priority forum support. New now is the additon of Xamarin Universtity, which can be a boon to budding mobile developers.

VSDE members also now have access to a set of Azure credits. Translated to dollars/month, members get $25/month, which is enough to provision and deploy a single S0 Standard Azure SQL Database or run a D2 Windows VM for 95 hours.

VSDE membership is free. Yep, that's probably the best part. Details here.

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