Ever thought of getting a programmer? Ever thought what would be if you don't have to ask Google for programs you need, because you can create them on your own? Yes, great! However Microsoft stuff is not everytime great, but in this case they realy got a great invention. Maybe some of you already know Dreamspark, but I am writing the lines for those who have not yet used it, because they thought they are not studying on the correct university or not old enought.
Dreamspark is a project for young people to start into their future without any limitations. The problem ever was: Young people don't have enought money to realize their dreams, because they do not have enought money to buy themselfes a copy of Microsoft's Visual Studio. In 2005 Microsoft recognized that problem and offered one good solution to everybody: The Microsoft Visual Studio Express Editions. But time showed that there were some disadvantages, at least for young people who are coming from an university or high school and trying to start into a job where they need a Integraded Development Environment (IDE) for the worls mostly used operating system called Windows. For example it was hard to use certain database functions or teamwork solutions with the Express Editions. And for this Microsoft did another great step towards supporting young students on their career in the computing business. Dreamspark is the name of the project. With Dreakspark young people got the possibility to gain Professional versions of certain Microsoft products for free. For example: The Visual Studio. Working together with certain well known international universities they created a system where you can identify yourself as a student just with your matriculation number or something similar.
However I as a future student also wanted to use that service because in the field of informatics you wont get around using the Visual Studio. So I decided to try Dreamspark. But after a first look I recognized that my future university was not listed in there. However I did not give up because Microsoft wrote that every student world wide should be able to use the service, so I did some research on that. And at least I found an solution: ISIC. The International Student Identify Card is a kind of personal pass which is accepted by many international organisations as a indentification of yourself as a student. You have many avantages with using that card, like travelling to other countries cheaper or getting some proposals for less money or using the Visual Studio Professional for free. (Well... nearly for free, because you have to pay around $ 12 for the card, but it's nearly a present for what you get!)
So I suggest using this chance, it's a pretty fair offer of Microsoft. There are more advantages than just database services and inegrated Software Development Kits, like the complete MSDN Libary and a better IntelliSense.