Is the IEEE Computer Society worthwhile?

I just got a piece of snail mail inviting me to join the IEEE Computer Society. My first instinct was to toss it in the trash with the other junk mail. But before I do, I thought it might be worth asking if anyone else is a member and wants to give a thumbs up/down.

Is it worth the $90 a year?

4 thoughts on “Is the IEEE Computer Society worthwhile?

  1. I’ve been a member for 25 years but the articles are more towards the academic side rather than the practical. As I’m sure you know, the IEEE is involved in a lot of the standards for computers and the internet and it’s sometimes interesting to see what’s going on there.

  2. I’ve translated papers for it and other IEEE publications. I don’t see much of direct usefulness to what you are doing, but you might enjoy some of the papers out of general technical curiosity. Then again, you could probably spend the 90 bucks more profitably elsewhere.

  3. I will echo what Knox says…the articles in the accompanying magazine are definitely more academic in nature, and the organization as a whole is geared toward the professional and academic side of computing. There are some great training benefits if you want to learn about development, corporate IT, project management, etc. I am not sure that it has much to offer the enthusiast crowd.

  4. I’m pretty sure that Ed is talking about the Computer Society and not the IEEE itself, although the renewal I just paid online was for $113 ($50 Computer Society + $63 affiliation fee from IEEE for non-IEEE members). I’m not sure what the nature of the first-time offer is that is going around now.

    Basically, the Computer Society membership provides a print subscriptiion to Computer magazine.

    I keep tear-sheets from the magazine (and also subscribe to the Computer Society digital library, not the IEEE one which is outrageously expensive). For the just-received November 2007 issue I found the following worth saving:

    Martin Thomas on “Unsafe Standardization” with regard to safety and dependability – I ordered the book he is reporting about
    Steffen and Narayan, “Full Life-Cycle Support for End-to-End Processes”
    Curbera, “Component Contracts in Service-Oriented Architectures”
    Petrenko,, “Teaching Software Evolution in Open Source”
    Sharkey, “Automated Killers and the Computing Profession” a bid deal concerning new professional ethics and the increasing military use of lethal robot technologies

    I think Joe’s comments are apt. I tend to find that I get more out of my ACM membership and Digital Library subscription.

    One thing that might be a compensating benefit is the number of on-line courses that are available to members of either organization, as well as access to books 24×7.

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