DreamSpark and how it helps Students achieve their goals.

I’ve used DreamSpark over the last 3 years of my University life, mainly for the latest versions of the Windows Operating System and the Visual Studio IDE, more recently I’ve also utilised Project and Visio for University Assignments and the free Windows Store Developer Account registration offered to Students.


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It’s allowed to me to keep up to date with the latest Operating Systems and Development tools, which the price, as a student, makes them hard to obtain without the support from Microsoft in the form of DreamSpark. Giving me these cutting edge resources have allowed me to keep up to date and current in the development world. This grants me a much better looking CV and higher employability upon leaving University.

This year at my university (Lincoln) I’ve been asked to help teach and demonstrate to students on our Social Applications Development module, where we teach Windows Phone Development. Having just updated all our lecture materials to Windows Phone 8 we’ve needed to update all of our lab machines to run Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012 as this is this is the required development platform for Windows Phone 8. This has led to some questions from the students, mainly around not being able to work from home as they don’t have Windows 8 or VS2012, this instantly surprised me, as this meant that the majority of our students weren’t aware of the DreamSpark program and the Student Benefits it brings. So after speaking to the main lecturer for the module, it was decided that I should do a presentation to the students about registering for DreamSpark and getting the necessary tools to get the best grades they could.

     Windows8                                           VS2012

          Windows 8                                                            Visual Studio 2012

My presentation to them walks through the sign up process, and how to activate the extra benefits that an Institution’s DreamSpark Premium subscription can bring. This includes registering for a Windows Store Developer account which would allow them to publish apps.  This is a big drive I’m trying to push as it gives the students a great experience that will be invaluable in their future careers. Publishing an app to the store demonstrates to potential employers that you’ve worked on a project from its inception to delivery and understand every stage of a products development lifestyle. Also, it’s a nice little note on your CV when you can say you have XYZ Apps published with XYZ downloads! Gives you a welcome boost over other applicants.

None of this app publishing, development experience and CV improvement would have been possible without the support from Microsoft and the DreamSpark Program, it provides an extremely important tool to any student who’s passionate about a career in IT industry.


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