Hacking new technologies can be time-consuming … and expensive. So to help students create technical projects or learn how to use new tools, social coding site GitHub and a handful of technology partners have created the GitHub Student Developer Pack that provides access to 14 developer tools for free.
The project has been in the works for over a year, said John Britton, education evangelist at GitHub. The company already provides a free “micro account” to students, which provides them with five free private code repositories; this plan normally costs $7 a month. (GitHub’s normal free plan requires all such “repos” to be public). Now it’s expanding on that offer with limited free access to tools like Stripe for payment processing and DigitalOcean for cloud hosting.
Many companies offer free services to students who aren’t shy about asking for them. But Britton says most companies make these offers on an individual basis, because it takes time and effort to manage an entire student services database.
“Students would write and ask GitHub for tools—a lot of companies are happy to do it, but it’s ad-hoc,” Britton said. “It’s an administrative burden. We thought, ‘If we’re going to do the administrative work anyway, why not offer other tools as well and take the admin responsibility?’”
Over 100,000 students have already used a free GitHub account.
While it’s a charitable move on GitHub’s part, it won’t just benefit students. Once aspiring coders and engineers have grown accustomed to certain services, they’ll likely stick with the ecosystems they know when the free trial expires. That means more customers for companies like Stripe, which is waving fees for students on the first $1000 in revenue processed.
It will also benefit teachers who want to teach a class in something like game development. If they want to use the Unreal game engine, for instance, teachers can tell students to sign up for a GitHub Student Developer Pack, which will save each student almost $20 per month.
See also: GitHub Gets Its Science On
Students must sign up through GitHub and show proof of student status such as a university dot-edu email address or a student ID card. If neither is available, GitHub says an enrollment letter or transcript will work as well. Any student aged 13 or older can sign up for an account.
Participating companies will rely on GitHub’s student verification. So once students sign up through the company, they’ll get coupon codes or unique access links and can begin to use the full suite of services.
The offerings are as follows:
- Atom: A free text editor from GitHub
- Bitnami: Business 3 plan ($49/month for non-students) for one year
- Crowdflower: Access to the Crowdflower platform (normally $2,500/month) and $50 in worker credit
- DigitalOcean: $100 in platform credit
- DNSimple: Bronze hosted DNS plan ($3/month for non-students) for two years
- GitHub: Micro account (usually $7/month) with five private repositories while you’re a student
- HackHands: $25 in credit for live programming help
- Namecheap: Free domain name registration on the .me TLD and one free SSL certificate for one year
- Orchestrate: Free developer accounts for students (normally $49/month)
- Screenhero: Free individual account while you’re a student (saves students $10/month)
- SendGrid: Free student plan for one year (saves students $5/month)
- Stripe: No fees on first $1000 in revenue processed
- Travis CI: Free private builds (normally $69/month)
- Unreal Engine: Free access to the service (usually $19/month)
Lead image by HackNY