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Arnie Rowland

Discussion of issues related to SQL Server, the MSDN SQL Support Forums, the complex interplay between Developers and SQL Server Administrators, and our sometimes futile attempts to have a 'normal' life.

While you don't get a 'Free Lunch', you will get your just desserts...


07/30/2010 UPDATE: Lastest News about the project is here.

UPDATE: Additional Microsoft MVPs have joined the project and we will now be selecting at least two (2) now three (3) qualifying projects each month. The selected first tier project will have the package listed below. The package for the selected second tier project is still being worked out -but will contain at least a MSDN Ultimate Subscription.


In a previous blog entry, I discussed making a package of software, tools, training, and books available to unemployed and underemployed software developers. You may review that post here.


Through the generosity of the following participating MVPs, as well as the listed Sponsors below, we will be offering this excellent package of software, tools, training, and books each month for the remainder of 2010 for a project submitted prior to the selection date.


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’.


Project Criteria:

  • 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.


Awarded for the Selected Projects:


Additional Sponsors:

·         InnerWorkings: Enterprise subscription to the .NET training library


(These additional  product offers will be available in the second tier packages. Second tier packages may not all contain the same products –but each month’s package will be specified in advance.)


An eligible developer may submit project proposal information here.


NEW: An eligible non-profit may submit a project proposal here. These will be posted so that developers may choose to consider the project.


Entries will carry forward, if your project is not selected one month, it may be selected the following month. We recognize that situations will change, so upon selection, you will be asked to verify that you are still unemployed and continue to have the time and dedication to complete the project.


IF you are excited about, and choose to complete the project prior to selection, and you are subsequently selected, you will still receive the package as outlined above.


The July selection will occur on July 30, the selected developer and project will be posted here.

Published Monday, July 12, 2010 1:04 PM by ArnieRowland



Arnie Rowland: Ramblings of a Harried Technogeek : There will be no 'Free Lunch' -just great feelings of accomplishment said:

July 12, 2010 5:12 PM

Jim Danby said:

Just deserts eh? Wouldn't want to eat one of those - too sandy.

July 13, 2010 3:39 AM

Joe said:

Hi Arnie,

Is there a way for clients to get in touch with developers that are intersted in this program and are looking for a project idea? My friend started a non-profit and has some ideas for projects that might be a nice fit for this program.

July 15, 2010 2:09 PM

ArnieRowland said:

That is a good idea Joe. I'll have to take a little time to think about how to implement it, but tell your friend that something will be available by next Monday, (7/19/2010).

July 15, 2010 2:50 PM

Glenn Berry said:

Very nice work getting this organized, Arnie!  Do you need any more MSDN Ultimate subscriptions?

July 16, 2010 2:46 PM

Grant Palin said:

Quite a nice initiative you have going here. You don't specify, so I'll ask: is this initiative open to anyone interested, regardless of their location?

July 16, 2010 4:25 PM

ArnieRowland said:

Good question Grant. The offer is available to any eligible developer and qualifying project in the USA and Canada.

July 16, 2010 5:03 PM

Paul Mestemaker said:

July 20, 2010 4:03 AM

Dmitry Pavlov said:

Also JetBrains provides for MVPs a FREE license for ReSharper and DotTrace:

July 23, 2010 11:07 AM

Arnie Rowland: Ramblings of a Harried Technogeek : Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes ... said:

August 2, 2010 12:21 PM

George Birbilis said:

I was sad to hear that one of the free subscriptions I had given to a friend (their company mostly focused on Java) last year hadn't been used at all. Your idea is very nice indeed

August 5, 2010 10:02 AM

Peg said:

I would be interested in working on a project but have not been able to find a link to proposals that have been submitted.  I wouldn't know the first thing about approaching a non-profit to pitch an idea.  

Any suggestions?  You can reach me at ... <email redacted>

August 10, 2010 4:49 PM

ArnieRowland said:

Projects will be posted here ( as they are recieved. Currently, there is only one project submission for consideration. We expect more projects to be submitted in upcoming weeks. You may wish to revisit the link above periodically.

August 10, 2010 5:13 PM

A. Murray said:

Is anyone aware of a scheme like this operating in the UK? I live in Scotland and would love the opportunity to get invlived in some voluntary work like this.

August 13, 2010 5:23 AM
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