Free Dev Tools Software for Your School’s Lab or Classroom

The notion of “developers conquering the world” is not new. Programming is the “it” profession with the demand for coders outstripping supply. For those choosing this career path, they are earning a higher starting salary upon graduation than those pursuing other applied science programs.

As a result of market demand, we’ve seen an explosion of coding schools and boot camp programs opening up. But we probably have a long way to go until we really fill the need. Today, it is taking longer to fill these dev positions and it is estimated that 1.4 million computing jobs will be available by 2020 (and only 400,000 computer science students available to fill those positions).

Free Licenses for Your School’s Classroom or Lab

Given the heightened need to train more developers, engineers, mathematicians, etc in today’s market, ActiveState has an Education Partner Program that provides free software to classrooms and labs. We’ve made our software available for free to schools around the world for a number of years recognizing the importance of giving students an opportunity to work with tools used in the “real world.”

We get requests (almost daily) from students and teachers wanting a Komodo IDE license for their class or lab. My personal favorites are those requests from high schools. I think it’s extremely important to get kids programming as young as possible. Just recently Project Lead the Way and Verizon announced its plans to give students at 150 middle schools in the US access to courses in computing science. These kinds of programs are vital in giving exposure to the profession. And if you want to start introducing the building blocks for programming even earlier, there are a number of apps available on the market for kids as young as Kindergarten.

Our Education Partner Program

Our academic program is pretty simple–teachers and university instructors can install our software in their classroom or lab for free. While Komodo licenses are available to any classroom (from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and beyond), our software is more suitable for high school and post-secondary (university, college, etc) students.

One of the key advantages to using Komodo in the classroom is that it supports multiple languages (PHP, Python, Perl, Tcl, Go, Javascript, NodeJS… the list is too long to mention here) and it will work on computers running Mac OS X, Windows or Linux (so it’s pretty suitable for most environments).

While Komodo is the primary software requested, we also offer our Perl Dev Kit (PDK) and Tcl Dev Kit (TDK) as tools available for installation at qualified education institutions. Additionally, if you need to use Python, Perl, or Tcl in your classrooms, you can apply to install the community edition of ActivePython, ActivePerl, or ActiveTcl as well. PDK, TDK, and the languages all work well hand-in-hand with Komodo.

And while students themselves won’t get Komodo IDE for free, they do have two options if they’d like to install Komodo on their own computer: they can use Komodo Edit–our powerful, free, open source editor that provides basic editor functionality; or, for those looking for some extra functionality (such as code refactoring, debugging, source code control integration, unit testing, etc.), Komodo Personal is a perfect fit. It provides the same functionality as the professional version of Komodo IDE, but at a very discounted rate.

If we’ve piqued your interest, which we hope we have, we encourage you to visit our education partner page and apply to join the program.

Title image courtesy of Colin on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

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