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One of our organisers, Fatos Ismajli, an undergraduate of Kings College London, attended a presentation at his former uni about the importance of societies to graduates. Guest speakers from three organisations, the IEEE, the BCS (Chartered Institute for IT) and the IET (The Institution For Engineering & Technology) all made presentations about what they offered to graduates and how they could help with career progression.
Being an active member of a community is an excellent way to network with fellow developers, share information and potentially even acquire new jobs. Obviously the GDC should still be your number one J but these other societies could also be valuable resources.
Here is a brief summary on each, but for more detailed information you should definitely check them out:
The IEEE is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. They run competitions, award scholarships, allow students access to an extensive library and have several special interest groups, including a computing society. They also have a general news site (http://spectrum.ieee.org/) and their IEEEXtreme competition is a world-renowned programming contest: (http://www.ieee.org/membership_services/membership/students/competitions/xtreme/index.html).
More information here: http://www.ieee.org
The IET was Founded 140 years ago and is the world’s leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community. They also run competitions, awards and scholarships.
More information here: http://www.theiet.org/
Finally, the BCS. They champion the global IT profession and the interests of individuals engaged in that profession for the benefit of all. The Institute fosters links between experts from industry, academia and business to promote new thinking, education and knowledge sharing. Again they run competitions and scholarships.
More information here: http://www.bcs.org/
One more noteworthy society that weren’t present at the event is the ACM (Association of Computer Machinery), who are one of the largest groups dedicated to computer science. They produce a large catalogue of specialist publications and also run several SIGs like the IEEE.
More info here: www.acm.org
I hope this brief guide to graduate friendly communities helps, I’m sure there are many more out there, but these are some of the most well known.
If you have any questions about any of the above or require careers advice don’t hesitate to give me a shout at email@example.com.