I somehow forgot to include this in my original post, but here is a slide deck that walks you through the entire process and specifies how to take advantage of your various MSDN benefits: http://cid-e796c9484df4baa3.office.live.com/view.aspx/VS%202010%20Presentations/2010%20msdn%20training%20for%20developers.pptx

First caveat I am going to issue is this: I am not a sales or licensing expert so I cannot sell this product to you, or tell you what you own or how much it would cost to buy.  I CAN however, connect you to someone who can help you if that is something you need.  As a technologist who regularly leverages MSDN as an end user, I can help you ramp up on what you might be missing out on, as well as figure out how to access everything you are entitled to.  So, on to the post…  OK, so this year I have come to an astonishing realization.  Most, if not all, of the customers that I visit in the Midwest have MSDN and DO NOT use it! This is stunning to me, because as a developer I simply couldn’t function in a truly productive way without using my MSDN benefits.  Also, financially it’s also quite a deal!  Not using your MSDN subscription is like walking into Best Buy, having them hand you gift cards you can spend on almost anything you need with no strings attached, and then just pitching them in the trash and spending your own money instead!  Crazy right? 

So let me start by explaining what MSDN is, because no, I do not simply mean the general MSDN library website you may hit every day to look at documentation, knowledgebase articles, etc… The Microsoft Developer Network Subscription service is what I am referring to.  It is a bundle of software and services that may get purchased with Visual Studio by you or your employer.  It includes a number of VERY valuable resources and products such as:

 

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MSDN

 

Just to call out a few of my favoritest (it’s a word!) features:

  • TFS Server and CAL for development, test and production use.  That’s right, you heard it. You can now use TFS for production use with your MSDN subscription at NO EXTRA COST.  Want to know more about TFS, check out our website, then email me for more information and to setup a demonstration. It’s what I do.
  • Production rights to Office Ultimate, if you have MSDN with Visual Studio Premium or Ultimate.  Having Office OneNote alone makes it worth MSDN, for real. It’s the Ultimate Planner and note taking tool that I was introduced to back in my Business Analysis/Requirements gathering days.  I couldn’t survive without OneNote. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend giving it a test run.  You’ll never use Notepad for note-taking again.
  • Support incidences – as in you can CALL SUPPORT if you get hung up on something in development or test environments. Don’t sit in forums all day, tearing your hair out trying to solve issues you encounter with our tools or programming languages anymore. USE your benefits.
  • E-Learning – FREE training. You’re always looking for free training aren’t you? No more excuses, here it is! New courses are being added fairly regularly, and you will find a wide variety of topics are covered including Windows Security Essentials, SharePoint Services .NET Framework, Visual Studio 2010 Testing Tools, Active Directory and more…
  • Unlimited priority support in the MSDN forums. That’s right, the place you probably go anyway. You get special treatment. It’s like having a Flash Pass at Six Flags only WAY cooler.
  • And remember - many benefits, like eLearning and support incidences regenerate every year you have MSDN, but they do not rollover. Azure benefits are reset every MONTH!  So you snooze, you lose. Don’t be that guy, or gal.

There is a lot more to MSDN, I’m really just enticing you with some of my favorite features. Feel free to check out the rest of the benefits you may be passing by on the MSDN Subscriber benefits site.  And hey, if you’re not impressed then maybe you know everything already, and you never encounter issues with Visual Studio, Office, .NET or any of the other tools you use day to day to get your job done. Right, I thought so.  Check it you, and if you suspect you *might* be entitled to it, find out for sure and then get signed up.  You won’t regret it. 

Also, turns out we’re having some live Webcasts to help people understand the value of MSDN as well. Join us, we have cookies! But since it’s a webcast you won’t actually get to have any. Sorry about that Smile with tongue out

Date

Time

Join the Meeting

Tuesday, May 24

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (CST)

Register Here

Thursday, June 2

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (CST)

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Tuesday, June 7

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (CST)

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Tuesday, June 14

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (CST)

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Tuesday, June 21

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (CST)

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Tuesday, June 28

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (CST)

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