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Topic # 136601 3-Dec-2013 01:01
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Today was my first day as part of the DPE (Developer and Platform Evangelism) team at Microsoft NZ.  One of the cool things we do there is run lots of free training for developers and IT pros, as well as run regular competitions with awesome prizes up for grabs.

Right now, until 15th December, there is a competition running and an Xbox One, 20 mobile wedge keyboards, and 20 wireless desktop packages are up for grabs.  To qualify for the competition prize draw you simply need to complete some free developer training modules and let us know.  Even if you don't come away with a prize, you still come away a winner :)

Its pretty easy to enter, what you need to do is this: sign up for the Microsoft Virtual Academy site; log in and add a couple of developer training modules to your learning plan, and complete them; send in a screenshot of your learning plan showing the completed modules.

For the T&Cs and more detailed instructions, check out Thiago's blog post on MSDN.

Some of the courses on Microsoft Virtual Academy include:

Absolute Beginner Level:

 

  • C# Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners
  • HTML5 & CSS3 Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners
  • Windows Phone 8 Development for Absolute Beginners
  • Gaming Engines for Windows 8 Jump Start
Intermediate, Advanced Level

 

  • Advanced Windows Store App Development with HTML5 Jump Start
  • Programming in C# Jump Start
  • Developing ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Applications Jump Start
There are several more courses, and the catalog is being continuously developed so its worth keeping an eye out for new content.

Link: See Thiago's blog post on MSDN.
Questions?  Post here and I'll try to answer them, or hit up @NZThiago and/or myself @NZRegs on twitter




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  Reply # 946010 5-Dec-2013 12:18
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Remember to get your entry in before 15 December if you want to be in the draw for the Xbox One!




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  Reply # 949483 11-Dec-2013 16:14
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Do I have to sell my soul? not much is free today and if they ever learnt I ma an IBM technologies programmer ... man they might fry me




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  Reply # 950526 11-Dec-2013 17:40
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Its worth taking a look through some of the training videos, especially the Win 8 ones as they give an insight into the capabilities of the OS - Also some pretty good JavaScript ones there as well. I would also recommend the Visual Studio (dev and testing).





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  Reply # 950636 11-Dec-2013 20:45
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no, you don't have to sell your soul - we're not offering any Java courses!

kidding aside, your info is collected and put into a database when you sign in but there are no credit cards required and you get the choice whether you wish to opt-in to further emails from the MVA site.

If you're interested, there is a link to the privacy policy at the bottom of the page.




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  Reply # 950841 12-Dec-2013 10:28
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Regs: no, you don't have to sell your soul - we're not offering any Java courses!

kidding aside, your info is collected and put into a database when you sign in but there are no credit cards required and you get the choice whether you wish to opt-in to further emails from the MVA site.

If you're interested, there is a link to the privacy policy at the bottom of the page.


While I am a developer who develops in Java, and Lotus notes and ..... I have also had an investment in VBA, VB , Basic etc since Dos 6.x or Windows 3.1 - (i have trouble remembering back that far).

We looked at becoming MS partners or similar about 7 years ago but got told we had to meet certain sales criteria and or promote their product above others - which didn't suit us as we wanted to use the best tech for the situation, not a one size fits all.

Having said that, to go further down the track than the free stuff there must be costs somewhere presumably - and I am not wanting to get to a point where we suddenly have to commit to MS at the expense of other options. For our clients we give a best technology for your needs, not this is the tech we will use as we are tied in type solutions.

Shane





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  Reply # 951001 12-Dec-2013 15:02
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One of the others will provide a better answer, but being a MS partner and developing on the MS Stack are two different things.

The MVA (Microsoft virtual Academy) offers training on a range of technologies and is useful for those doing their certification exams. It is also useful for those who wish to learn how to go about developing using a certain piece of the stack - for example Using Visual Studio for developing Windows 8 apps.

For the home developer there are the free development tools, Visual Studio express versions, SQL Server Express and Team Foundation Server Online.

For the corporate developer there is the MSDN subscriptions which unfortunately do carry a very large cost (in my opinion only) per developer. Unfortunately, there isn't (as I pointed out in another post elsewhere) a version of the development stack that is not tied to MSDN for small to medium sized businesses.

There is also access to a very good cloud infrastructure environment called Windows Azure - not sure if there is a free portion to this, but I know with the MSDN subscription ones gets an amount of access each month.

There are a lot of good Microsoft partners or affiliated development organisations that are willing to provide developer training and also provide their expertise in and around various different technologies and of course there are plenty of good online places to go to ask questions and get solutions such as the MSDN Forums.





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  Reply # 953001 16-Dec-2013 11:55
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TwoSeven:
For the corporate developer there is the MSDN subscriptions which unfortunately do carry a very large cost (in my opinion only) per developer. Unfortunately, there isn't (as I pointed out in another post elsewhere) a version of the development stack that is not tied to MSDN for small to medium sized businesses.


Actually, there is.  For a small business, it would probably be quite beneficial to sign up as a Microsoft partner (free) and then get a MAPS Development and Design subscription.  ~$700 per year, gets you Exchange, Office, SQL, Win8, Server 2012, CRM, SharePoint, and three Visual Studio Pro with MSDN Development and Design subscriptions.

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  Reply # 953059 16-Dec-2013 13:29
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There is also Bizspark
http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/

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  Reply # 953062 16-Dec-2013 13:37
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Regs: no, you don't have to sell your soul - we're not offering any Java courses!

kidding aside, your info is collected and put into a database when you sign in but there are no credit cards required and you get the choice whether you wish to opt-in to further emails from the MVA site.

If you're interested, there is a link to the privacy policy at the bottom of the page.

well I signed up - now to find time to complete the courses :)

Thanks for the info

Shane





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  Reply # 953100 16-Dec-2013 14:39
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TwoSeven:

For the corporate developer there is the MSDN subscriptions which unfortunately do carry a very large cost (in my opinion only) per developer. Unfortunately, there isn't (as I pointed out in another post elsewhere) a version of the development stack that is not tied to MSDN for small to medium sized businesses. 



you can buy Visual Studio Professional without MSDN (and with a perpetual license instead of subscription) but not the Premium or Ultimate editions:

http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9841102

When you buy Visual Studio with an MSDN subscription, you get access to almost all the products for testing, or development, and monthly azure credits so you can run services or servers in the Windows Azure cloud.

One of the reasons for the larger cost of the "Ultimate" or "Premium" editions is due to the features bundled with the product.  If you were to go and buy a full testing suite or code analysis tool, for example, you could be shelling out a lot of cash separately.

If you want to have ALM but not all the automated testing tools, there is also "Visual Studio Online" which gives you source control (or works with GIT), collaboration, project data - backlog etc, and its free for the first 5 users and also works with the express versions of visual studio.




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