It’s important to get as much hands-on experience as possible when you’re trying to learn a new concept. For technical developers, this is especially true. But let’s be honest: most students need to save as much money as they can! Fortunately, many popular applications offer discounted or free access for students.
Let’s take a look at 20 useful tools that students can either get for a discount or for free. Our list includes:
Let’s have a quick look at each of these tools, focusing on what they do and what discounts they give. We’re going to look at the Github offering first, since many other developer products tie in with their Student Developer Pack deal. After we consider Github, we’ll look at the other tools in alphabetical order.
Student Deal: Free Access (Limited)
GitHub is a Git hosting service. Along with its educational program and Student Developer Pack, it allows students five private repositories. The pack includes Atom, AWS Educate, Bitnami, CrowdFlower, DigitalOcean, DNSimple, HackHands, Microsoft Azure, Namecheap, Orchestrate, SendGrid, Stripe, Travis CI, Udacity, and Unreal Engine. (Many of these are covered in this article.) Some usage limits for GitHub apply; you’ll find them on the site. To claim your free account, click the Get your pack button. This will redirect you to the registration form.
Student Deal: Access and Credits
AWS Educate provides access to the AWS (Amazon Web Services) cloud, free training, and collaboration resources. All students have access to the AWS Educate Student Portal and Online Labs, along with $35 in AWS credits. To apply for AWS Educate, visit this link. Github Student Developer Pack members receive an additional $15 in AWS credits, giving them a grand total of $50-$115 for this site. (Please note: All prices in this article are USD. Some prices may be different than the ones we’ve listed, depending on where you are located.)
Student Deal: Free Account
Bitbucket is a hosting service that uses either the Mercurial or Git revision control system. For students, Bitbucket offers a user account with unlimited private repositories. This lets students create a centralized team account and share code with other users. To get this deal, you have to sign up here with a valid university email address or apply for a university account.
Student Deal: Free for 1 Year
Bitnami is a library that can be easily installed in your laptop or on a virtual machine; it can also be hosted in the cloud. It’s used to install cloud applications in a single click. Users can build development environments, automate backups, resize servers and more.Github Student Developer Pack members receiveBitnami’s three-server Business plan (normally $49/month) free for one year.
Student Deal: Free Access
CrowdFlower handles some aspects of data analytics, such as sentiment analysis, in a way that integrates people and technology. It works by combining machine learning, human power (via a humans-in-the-loop process) and training data to enrich data sources.Github Student Developer Pack members receive unlimited access to the CrowdFlower platform.
Student Deal: $50 Credit
DigitalOcean is a cloud hosting service. It offers five popular Linux distributions that can be automatically pre-installed upon server deployment: Ubuntu, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, and CoreOS. What’s more, a multitude of application stacks can be installed, including LAMP, LEMP, MEAN, and Docker.Github Student Developer Pack members receive a $50 platform credit.
Student Deal: Free personal plan
As the name suggests, this company offers easy-to-use DNS management services, including one-click domain connections and a robust API.
Github Student Developer Pack members get the personal hosted DNS plan ($5/month) free for two years.
Student Deal: $25 Credit
HackHands makes live programming help available 24/7. Create a request explaining your problem, and an expert programmer will help you solve it. You pay by the minute for help received.Github Student Developer Pack members get a $25 credit.
Student Deal: Free Tools
Intel gives students free access to selected software development products. This includes many professional-grade applications, including:
Intel Parallel Studio XE Composer Edition: high-performance compilers, libraries, and parallel models. Intel Parallel Studio XE Cluster Edition: adds a threading and vectorization advisor, a memory/threading debugger, and more to the Composer Edition. Intel System: includes tools and libraries to code on Intel architecture, perform system-wide debugging and tracing, and optimize and analyze your code. Intel Video Pro Analyzer: inspect, debug, and optimize the entire video decode and encode workflows.
Student Deal: Free Access
JetBrains offers free professional developer tools to students. This encompasses all their desktop products: IntelIJ IDEA, AppCode, CLion, RubyMine, DataGrip, PHPStorm, Pycharm, and WebStorm. To get your discount, you must sign up using the provided registration form. An .edu email address, ITIC/ISIC membership, or some form of official documentation is required.
Student Deal: Reduced Yearly Rates
MATLAB is a high-level technical computing language and interactive environment for algorithm development, data visualization, data analysis, and numerical computation. It’s a versatile tool; it can be used for machine learning, signal processing, image processing, computer vision, communications, computational finance, etc. MATLAB code can be integrated with other languages (to deploy an application on the Web) or it can be used to process large data sets.
MATLAB offers two products specifically for students:
- MATLAB and Simulink Student Suite includes MATLAB, Simulink (a block diagram environment for multidomain simulation) and ten add-on products for $99 per year.
- MATLAB Student - access to MATLAB only, although additions can be purchased separately. It costs $49 for one year.
Student Deal: Free Services and Tools
Microsoft gives student free unlimited access to many of their products via Microsoft DreamSpark. This includes SQL Server, Visual Studio, Windows Server, and other programs. To download these products, you have to create a student account and verify your student status. This can be done by:
- university email address,
- school network credentials,
- verification code,
- ISIC card
More info about student licenses is available here.
Additionally, students can gain access to a suite of Microsoft Azure cloud services and developer tools, including the Visual Studio IDE, through the Github Student Developer Pack.
Student Deal: Free Products
Namecheap offers affordable registration, hosting, and domain management.Github Student Developer Pack members are offered one-year domain name registration on the .me TLD (normally $18.99/year) and a one-year SSL certificate ($9/year).
Student Deal: Price Breaks Website Link
Navicat is a desktop database design and management tool. It works on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms. Each Navicat product is dedicated to one database vendor: SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, MariaDB, or SQLite. However, Navicat Premium allows users to connect to all these database types. The company also produces Navicat Essentials (a compact version for simple database administration) and Navicat Report Viewer (a viewer for navigation report files designed in Navicat Report Builder).
As a student, you can get an unlimited non-commercial license. To order it, visit Navicat Non-Commercial Licensing Program. The prices for a non-commercial license vary according to product. To check pricing, visit the Navicat store.
Student Deal: Free Account
Orchestrate is a complete database portfolio that includes search, time-series events, geolocation and graph queries through an API. You can host your data on a public cloud, such as in CenturyLink data centers, or use Orchestrate Enterprise’s dedicated clusters.Github Student Developer Pack members receive a free developer account (normally $49/month).
Student Deal: Lots of Free Emails
SendGrid provides email infrastructure as a service. This powerful cloud-based solution can send transactional and marketing emails to hundreds of customers. It additionally enables the creation of reports based on timeframe, email category, ISP, geography, and device type.Github Student Developer Pack members are allowed 15,000 free emails each month. (Free accounts are usually limited to 200 emails per day.)
Student Deal: Waived Fees
Stripe is a tool for web and mobile payments. It uses a customizable payment flow that works across desktop and mobile. And you don’t have to design payment forms from scratch, as templates that you can fit to your needs are provided.Github Student Developer Pack members are eligible for waived transaction fees on the first $1,000 that Stripe processes.
Student Deal: Free Builds
Travis CI is a continuous integration platform for open source and private projects. Github Student Developer pack members receive free private builds (normally $69/month).
Student Deal: 50% Discount
Tower is a Git client for Mac with an easy-to-use and intuitive graphical interface. It includes single line staging, submodule support, and file history. Tower additionally supports undo and version roll-back features, and it allows the creation of drag-and-drop branches. Students who send a copy of their valid school ID to Tower receive a 50% discount. More info about buying a Tower license is provided here.
Student Deal: Free Account
Application Link (Chrome or Safari only)
Vertabelo pioneered online database modeling, and it offers an extremely fast design process and easy collaboration. It supports PostgreSQL, MySQL, MS SQL Server, Oracle DB, SQLite, and IBM DB2. One person can edit the model; others can see the changes in near real-time.
In Vertabelo, you can practice all you have learned. In particular, you can:
- Download a DDL script of the designed database model.
- Generate a ready-to-use ORM layer for your application using jOOQ, SQLAlchemy, Propel, or Vertabelo Mobile ORM for iOS and Android.
Vertabelo offers free academic accounts for students and teachers. An email address with your university or college’s domain is required. To sign up, visit the academic registration form.