Is it worth it? I just received a special offer from the ACM--$84 for an annual membership, plus a free subscription to their new magazine, Queue.
> I doubt there's any technical information available through them that I can't find elsewhere.
I had an IEEE membership but dropped it after a year due to ineptitude on their part -- When I had enrolled I failed to submit the appropriate professional/academic information, so they assigned me a grade of "Associate". Seeing this scarlet letter, I submitted all of the appropriate documentation and was upgraded to Member, as seen on cards and mailings thenceforth. Suddenly about 6 months later I was again referred to as associate - they had lost all track of the prior activities, and just rolled back the hypothetical transaction. I sent several queries to them to be informed that they don't have a record of me submitting the materials, and I must have always been an associate - please resubmit. That sort of administration sets off a red flag to me, and it just seemed like a waste of time so I let it lapse. With it I got their Spectrum magazine which was a pretty superficial high level magazine, but was a good read, and also got their software engineering journal which was full of such incredibly dry, theoretical information, that I suspect that no one actually reads it.
I've been asking myself this question for some time now. My impression (backed up by talking to a friend who has let his ACM membership lapse) is that the ACM has a more academic focus, and that the IEEE is more geared to application of technology.
I finally joined the IEEE and have been maintaining my membership ever since. It's something close to $300 canadian per year for IEEE and Computer Society membership and it's barely worth it...
IEEE/ACM claim that they're for "networking opportunities", but since the ubiquity of the Internet, this is no longer a strong selling point.
Here's one opinion to keep in mind, though I don't have any real opinion on the acm myself.
Tayssir John Gabbour
Funny, I too got the membership thing. I liked the online courses but then the contractor I work for also claims to have oneline courses (some 3rd party providing) and the site would not work with debian/kde/firebox. I tried to find out if these course sites would work for me but I haven't yet. I got sidetracked by seeing that membership prices depended on where you lived or where you said you lived. I didn't like that idea at all. I happen to plan on living half or more of the year in Brazil and I'll be having to compete with people from Brazil, Russia, Moldava, India etc. so I don't reckon I'll be making near what I do now. But where do I live? I expect to perhaps come back to the states now and then to take a 3 month/6 month gig. I've lived in Brazil before and I never did that well there. Anyhow, I think they ought to charge everyone the same or base the rate on you income if it will be a variable.
must remain anonymous
Thanks, Tayssir, that's exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. I learned a few years ago that conferences are little more than a money-making scam, and I suspected that was the case here, but wasn't sure.
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