I am card-carrying member of the Association for Software Testing (AST). AST memberships cost $50 USD per year, and are about to go up to $85.
I also pay ~ $100 a year for my membership in the American Society for Quality (ASQ), which traditionally I have found a sponsor or employer to fund, but you never can tell what next year will bring.
Meanwhile, the Agile Alliance has lately sponsored several events I am involved in (the tech debt workshop and the Great Lakes Software Excellence Conference) and I am considering join them, at $100 a year, as a matter of principle and good faith. They also have programs that might align well with my interests.
That would be $285 per year in memberships. That’s a lot more than my family pays for the zoo and the nature center.
What associations do you belong to? (ACM, IEEE?) And how do you make the return-on-investment vs. good citizenship decision?
I’m a member of the British Computer Society which costs me £92 a year ($160-170 USD). I could have saved almost half of that by joining as an associate and got the same benefits, but wanted the professional membership. I’m a member of a couple of their special interest groups. (SIGIST, for example).
I’ve never asked an employer to sponsor this. Perhaps I should.
At the moment I’m feeling maxed out in terms of both financial and time commitments, so I’m not inclined to join anything else. If there was an association very strongly aligned with my interests where I felt I could make a difference though, then I’d probably change my mind.