Students with any interest in Information Technology or Computer Science are going to be joining a world dominated by Cloud Computing. And of course the major cloud service providers (CSP) would all love to see the young people embrace their cloud platform to host the next big thing like Facebook, Instagram or SnapChat. The top three CSP all have free offerings for students, hoping to win their minds and hearts.
But before you jump right in to cloud computing, the novice student might want to start with some basic fundamentals of computer programming at one of the many free online resources, including Khan Academy.
Microsoft is offering free Azure services for students. There are two different offerings. The first is targeted at high school students ages 13+ and the second is geared towards college students 18+.
Microsoft Azure for Students Starter Offer is for those high school students that are interested in building applications in the cloud. While there are not as many free services or credits as being offered at the college level, there is certainly enough available for free to really get some hands on experience with some cutting edge technology for the self starter. How cool would it be for your high school to start a Cloud Computing Club, or to integrate this offering into some of the IT classes they may already be taking.
Azure for Students is targeted at the college level student and has many more features available for free. Any student in computer science or information technology should definitely get some hands on experience with these cutting edge cloud technologies and this is the perfect way to do it with no additional out of pocket expense.
A good way to get introduced to the Azure Cloud is to start with some free online training courses Microsoft delivers in partnership with Pluralsight.
AWS Educate. Not to be outdone, AWS also offers some free cloud services to students and educators. These seem to be in terms of free cloud credits, which if managed properly can go a long way. AWS also delivers an educational program that can be combined with an AP class in Computer Science if your high school wants to participate.
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) also has education grants available for computer science majors at accredited universities. These seem to be the most restrictive of the three as they are available for Computer Science Majors only at accredited universities.
GCP does also offer training, but from what I can find I don’t see any free training offerings. If you want some hands on training you will have to register for some classes. The plus side of this is that these classes all seem to be instructor led, either online or in an actual classroom. The downside is I don’t think a lot of 13 year olds are going to shell out any money to start developing on the CGP when there are other free training opportunities available on AWS or Azure.
For the ambitious young student, the resources are certainly there for you to be the next Doogie Howser of Cloud Computing.