Top IT Organizations
"It's not what you know, it's who you know."
Techies ignore this adage at their peril. Even in the skills-crazed world of database administrators and PHP programmers, networking matters, no doubt about it. One surefire way to connect with others -- and advance your career -- is by joining technology organizations.
Here's our list of top technology groups. Some emphasize continuing education, while others focus on industry issues. All of them can help you meet and develop professional relationships with others in your field, which is an essential part of achieving your career goals.
ACM serves more than 75,000 computing professionals in more than 100 countries, with special interest groups (SIGs) on topics ranging from computer architecture to e-commerce. SIGs often sponsor conferences and produce e-newsletters.
With local chapters everywhere from Birmingham to Milwaukee, AITP helps IT executives, academics and students expand their industry knowledge and connect with peers.
For software developers creating products for use on a "try-before-you-buy" basis, ASP offers members-only newsgroups, help with development and marketing, and ways to connect with shareware brethren.
AWC emphasizes professional growth through networking and career-oriented events, all in an effort to advance the role of women in computing. Local chapters offer guest speakers, technical and motivational seminars, and educational programs.
With a national conference and 40 chapters, BDPA (originally Black Data Processing Associates) brings together African Americans working in information technology for networking and professional development.
CPSR is an alliance of computer scientists concerned with technology's impact on society. The group provides politicians and the public with assessments of the "power, promise and limitations" of computer technology.
ICCA provides a forum for indie consultants to network, learn about business practices and tax issues, and otherwise support each other at conferences and chapter meetings.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society
With more than 100,000 members, the group offers conferences, tutorials, journals and others services to its worldwide membership. It is the world's largest organization for computer professionals.
With chapters from Atlanta to San Diego, NPA helps CNEs, MCSEs and other certified network professionals connect and gain recognition for the discipline of network computing.
STC provides a haven for the technical writers, documentation specialists, information architects, interactive designers and technical writers who work in a field now known as technical communication, serving them with conferences, competitions, and assorted SIGs.
With 20 to 30 events each month, SDF provides a way for Silicon Valley techies, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to network and learn from each other.
Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech)
As a union affiliated with the Communication Workers of America, WashTech fights for techies' rights on issues such as contracting, offshoring and training.
Women in Technology (WIT)
Based in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, WIT brings women together for networking, business referrals and an acclaimed, twice-yearly mentoring program.
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