I feel like I should be a member of the IEEE. I am, this year. Throughout my career, it's been an on-again, off-again relationship. Even when my company reimburses me, sometimes I feel that it's not worth it.
What I want it to be
- Teach me about new developments in my specialty. There are some gems, but it's harder to find from IEEE publications vs. trade publications like EE Times or EDN. Part of it is because I can't find a Society/Publication that aligns well with my specialty (see Gripes, below).
- Teach me about interesting developments in other specialties. The articles need to start from a basic level, not trying to prove how sophisticated and complex the author can be. I am not finding this from the IEEE. Something like Scientific American or Discovery magazines might be a more accessible resource.
- Represent my professional interests. The IEEE-USA tries to do this, and I'm a member. But membership is optional, and I wonder how many USA EEs belong or are even familiar with it?
What IEEE should do
- Give a primer to members on how the IEEE works.
I have sort of figured these things, but why doesn't the
IEEE come with a "user's manual" to address these dead-on?
- What is a Region and what's a Chapter?
- What is the difference between their publications Spectrum, Proceedings, and Transactions?
- There's no Society for Digital IC (RTL & Gates) engineers! I just can't figure this one out. There are certainly Societies for semiconductor process, circuit design, and packaging. But what Society should a plain-ol' ASIC engineer belong to? Why isn't there a perfect fit for such a common EE discipline?
- The price/performance of an IEEE membership really seems out of whack. Why does it cost me (or my company) over $140/year, when the main benefit is a magazine subscription or two? Why, I can subscribe to EE Times for free and get far more practical news and technical information! Where is all the IEEE money going? To some huge bureaucracy in New Jersey?
What do you think about the IEEE? Do you belong? Why or why not?