For a while now I've been considering joining the British Computer Society - now that I expect my career to evolve in the IT sector. I'm already a member at some Open Source specific organisations, such as the OSC and the OpenDocumentFellowship, but I'm sure getting a better understanding of the global view of the IT sector could be a great education.

I've come across the BCS on multiple occasions - my Dad is a member - and thoroughly respect it as a collective of some very important and authoritative names in IT. I read through its published articles frequently. So should I join?

At the moment my role is Systems Administrator on a Linux Server Setup that I manufactured of Open Source components in 2006. There are now two organisations with the server in place in the same form that I installed it with, and a few more who are on a long-term migration strategy. Implementation has recently been held up due to PCI DSS work I've been doing. My role I hope to improve to include project management, and as I become more familiar with the capabilities of the small organisation I work for - to help expand the business to fight for bigger and better contracts.

I think the networking ability that BCS membership affords me more than covers the cost of membership - but I'm interested to know other peoples' views. Are you a member? If so, why? And if not, why not?

I'm also interested in the Open Source Working Group at the BCS (though I believe it to be geographically based in London, and I'm in Manchester). If anyone's from the Manchester Branch, I'd love to hear your view too.

One think that does impress me is that the Manchester Branch WebSite uses Drupal... one less hurdle to overcome in my quest for FOSS domination! :)