By Alan Earls
While it is an old truism that "joiners" get ahead, in an age of specialization and jam-packed schedules, it's hard for most professionals to get or stay active in an association related to their field of work. While storage pros do have some specific associations "for them" like the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), there are also a number of other, more general organizations worth looking into for career advancement opportunities.
Most of the established IT-focused organizations have had to face up to new ways of doing business in the last few years. That means more things available via the web and often relatively few people at meetings. But there's still no better way to meet colleagues and engage in useful shoptalk.
Consider contacting one of the following groups:
The Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) includes employers, employees, managers, programmers, and others. The organization seeks to provide avenues for all their members to be "teachers as well as students." In particular, AITP says it tries to link members with others in the IS field "in an effort to become more marketable in rapidly changing, technological careers." For more information, see http://www.aitp.org/
The Society for Information Management (SIM) is an organization that includes CIOs, CTOs and "emerging IT leaders," as well as other key IT professionals. SIM provides education opportunities and a network of peer resources at: http://www.simnet.org/.
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), founded in 1947, is the "grand-dad" of IT organizations. Members include over 80,000 computing professionals and students world-wide. ACM also includes a few storage-relevant SIGs such as the Information Retrieval group that focuses on all aspects of information storage, retrieval, and dissemination. For information, see http://www.acm.org.
The Association for Women in Computing (AWC), as its name implies, is dedicated to the advancement of women in the computing fields, in business, industry, science, education, government, and the military. For more information, see http://www.awc-hq.org/.
The Computer Measurement Group (CMG), is an organization focused on the measurement and management of computer systems. It's Web site can be found at: http://www.cmg.org/.
About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, Mass.