I've written about DreamSpark before, but I must say, what a nice program and great benefits.
As mentioned on my previous blog post "Do you know DreamSpark", "DreamSpark is a Microsoft Program that supports technical education by providing access to Microsoft software for learning, teaching and research purposes.".
I started using it a few weeks ago, as a student. The process of registration and verification is really straight forward, you may use your active windows live id account, such as, hotmail, outlook, live... or any other to create the DreamSpark account. The second step is to get verified. The actual goodies are available for verified accounts, so if you're a Student, a Teacher or an Academic Institution, I would encourage you to, at least, give it a try.
There are a few ways to get verified, I used a School account and that was it, it took me about 5 minutes tops since the account creation until I was browsing the catalog for awesome benefits.
Check the DreamSpark catalog by yourself and tell me if it fits your needs :)
To me, the best benefits are the Azure account, Pluralsight trial account and Xamarin Student account definitely. I'm a Pluralsight user/student since I don't know when, and I must say, as a self taught developer it helped me a lot to develop new skills and get better as a person and as a professional. I would also mention the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA), which I strongly recommend as a learning center, but I will post about it and my experience in some other post. And of course the Xamarin Student account, with this and Visual Studio 2015, you'll be able to make your dreams come true, and who knows, change the world to a better place.
Xamarin and Microsoft's DreamSpark will enable you to jump start your career as a "mobile" developer, by leveraging your c# .net skills. MVA and Pluralsight, will push you for sure in the right way for start, and if you really want to become certified, guess what, you can enroll to Xamarin University (which you can also have a trial).
I've done some Android development using first Eclipse and more recently Android Studio.
Yet, I spend most of my time designing and developing solutions in C# and WPF.
Xamarin came to me as an awesome solution to solve my problem since, I can develop solutions for Android, IOS and Windows using a language which I'm comfortable with.
I'll be posting some tutorials and how to's about Xamarin soon. Just a note, Xamarin is not freeware, you can try it for 30 days, but this opportunity is awesome, since you'll have access to the 3 development environments for free...
For now, I must say that I'm really excited about Microsoft's DreamSpark Program and I will take advantage of it to learn and try all the awesome new possibilities such as cloud and mobile development at no cost.
Actually, this blog is hosted (for free) using my DreamSpark Student Azure Account, and in a near future, I'll add some more functionality and maybe a mobile app ;). I'll be posting also, a quick guide on how to create an Azure account, and spin up a blog or whatever you like in no time, stay tuned for more.
Give it a try, and let me know if I can help you out with something.
May the Geekness be with you