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Discussion on: Are you a member of a professional organization related to computing or software development? Why or why not?

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Leighton Darkins

I was a member of the ACS (Australia Computer Society) and Engineers Australia for a couple of years (one year for free, because I was studying, and the others I paid my own way).

I found the value proposition of the organisations to be lacking. Overall I ended up paying a lot (both membership dues, and significant amounts on professional development required to keep my membership) and receiving nothing* in return.

In my experience Employers weren't super fussed by whether or not I was a member of such a society. The events run by the organisations were sub par, especially when compared to what the independent Meetup and conference scene was doing for free or a fraction of the price.

Overall my feeling was that if I wanted free beer, as well as learning and networking opportunities then the local Meetup scene was 100% free, and had a large crossover with the professional societies in both people, content and opportunities.

Having said that, I've not reviewed my thoughts on these organisations in some time, so I could very well be convinced that it's worthwhile. Particularly organisations with tighter focus and a smaller demographic.

*well, not nothing, be certainly not enough.