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Good Deed for Those In Need

SQL Server expert and Microsoft MVP Arnie Rowland struggled with how to disperse his valuable MSDN Ultimate subscriptions a few years ago. He ended up giving them to people who pledged to code for non-profit organizations.

That worked out well, so this year he launched a program to award the subscriptions--with a retail value of about $12,000--and more goodies to unemployed and underemployed developers who contributed their talents to a non-profit organization.

Other MVPs and organizations have picked up on his initiative and it has snowballed, growing in scope seemingly by the day. Who knows where it will end up?

Here's Arnie's proposition:

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'.

He started out small, with four other MVPs joining him. Also, several companies offered training, books and other software. He planned on selecting one qualifying project each month.

Recently, his blog listed 15 MVPs who have joined him, along with several more companies. The number of projects jumped to two and then three per month.

"I come to you humbled..." Arnie titled a recent post on his "Ramblings of a Harried Technogeek" blog on SQLblog.com. "I didn't anticipate the level of resonance this has received in the development community," he said. Readers have responded with offers of help and the project may well keep growing. Arnie may have to give up his day job.

Project criteria is listed as:

  • 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.

Developers can submit proposals here.

Non-profits can submit projects here.

His original post is here.

Share your thoughts in the comment section or drop me a line.

Posted by David Ramel on 07/28/2010 at 1:15 PM


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