Woody Allen once said, “I’d never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.” For IT professionals, however, joining an organization with like-minded individuals, or at least those in the same industry, can be a boon on many levels.
IT associations run the gamut in terms of focus areas, membership requirements and rates of participation — there’s pretty much something for everyone, no matter whether you’re an independent consultant in New Castle, Del., who wants to stay up to date on IT industry goings-on or a help desk professional in Prague who wants to become a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE).
Additionally, IT professionals can extend their social and professional networks, as well as engage in professional development opportunities, by joining an association that focuses on an area in which they have an interest but cannot pursue on the job, such as a programmer who wants to have a better grasp of network security or ethical hacking.
On the flip side of the coin, IT associations offer professionals the chance to interact with people who “really get it.”
“From a technical standpoint, it’s a great way for these professionals to get together and discuss different ways to implement the technology they’re dealing with, whether it’s a .NET user group, a Java user group or whatever,” said John Estes, Robert Half Technology vice president. “On the programming side, there’s a certain element of science to what they do, but there’s also a strong element of…
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