The price of being a developer with some know how

As a professional working with Web and Cloud, I have a good array of resources which I would like to be able to use as a individual hobbyist. After creating a super solution for a customer, I start thinking; it would be sweet if I could do this for my hobby projects.

For example, I have been working with Azure for a while now. I love the way, we at work set up the solutions for the customers. Little bit of clicking in the portals(s), little bit of PowerShell. At the end of the day you have a automated system (more or less), that does exactly what you want it to do. Granted it did take more time then you would have liked, and does have bugs in some obscure cases, but in the end things does work (stable).

Now, I would like to take advantage of the knowledge I gained there and started looking at how much would it set me back. When doing it for work, you do have a slightly bigger budget to play with. Just a simple VM/AppService in Azure (OK, I do want something like A2 or A3 at least) breaks my budget. Sure I can use Free App Service Plan, but I want to be able to have custom domains, and maybe a little more horse power (I am a developer, can you blame me)…

After try to calculate with the amazing Azure Pricing Calculator, the price tag per month for my wish list is four times my budget for the whole year. It results in; “Well maybe some other time”.
Sure enough, as a MSDN developer, you get some credits to be able to learn and play around with Azure, but in the long run they are not enough for me to be able to really use the platform personally. But then these credits are meant for learning and not hosting…

I would love if I could get some credits on Azure for personal use and a MSDN type subscription to be able to experiment and use the software personally, without have to buy software for more money I make. I have no problem in giving attributes to for the services I use. But I guess that is a curse I have to live with, not be able to implement a super solution for a hobby project because I cannot afford it.

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