In January this year, I received the MVP award for my contributions to the SQL Server community, joining an amazing group of people from around the world, each of which contribute to the community in their own unique way. Be it running user groups or websites, writing blogs or speaking at events, each of these people contribute their own time to make our community the vibrant and dynamic success that it is today.
This year, Microsoft rewarded MVPs with 3 MSDN Ultimate subscriptions to give away in any manner of their choosing. Each MSDN Ultimate subscription grants access to Visual Studio Ultimate, SQL Server, Windows Server and almost all other Microsoft software. I’ve wrestled with many different ideas on how best to give these away, none of which I was really happy with; each of these subscriptions retail at ~ $12,000 USD, so it’s not an easy decision.
Recently, I was inspired by MVP Arnie Rowland’s decision to create Project Phoenix, a program in which under/unemployed people are granted software, books & training materials in return for devoting their time to develop solutions for non-profit organisations. In Arnie’s own words ...
"...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..."
The program, based in the US, has been an amazing success, and looks to be gaining in strength. A truly inspirational idea from Arnie, and exactly the type of thing that makes me proud to be a fellow MVP.
I asked Arnie about the possibility of running something similar in Australia, and he enthusiastically supports the idea, so today, I’m announcing Australia’s own Project Phoenix, and to kick start the program, I’ll be donating my own 3 MSDN subscriptions. In coming weeks, I’ll be announcing more details, including qualification/award rules, and a formal application process. For now, this is a call to arms;
- If you’re an Australian non-profit organisation in need of software/database development services, email me a description of the services required and your location,
- If you’re from an organisation willing to contribute books, software, hardware or training, email me the details of what you’ll contribute,
- If you’re an MVP willing to contribute your MSDN licenses to this program, email me,
- If you’re a successful software developer willing to assist the award recipients in their development efforts, email me the support services you can provide