As the DC ACM embarks on another hopeful year, we find ourselves exploring new collaborative initiatives. The DC ACM is connecting with other organizations to create professional development opportunities for ACM members in the DC metro area. One common initial question asked of me as I introduce our community is “What is the DC ACM?”
We are the DC area chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery. The ACM is a professional association for computing professionals and students. It has a broad membership of over 100,000+ members, internationally. The organization’s mission is to create professional development opportunities for our members. Professional development includes networking opportunities, educational opportunities, and conferences.
Many members first hear about the ACM in college, as universities with computer science departments naturally have student ACM chapters. For example, several DC area universities, have student chapters, including Howard, George Washington University, American University, and George Mason University. Universities connect with the ACM because it offers many resources tuned to academic research, for example digital libraries of published academic papers.
A vast number of cities have professional chapters which members can join after graduation. The DC ACM, founded in 1958, is one of these professional chapters. Today, we are an active community group. We openly organize events on our meetup group, communicate on social media (@dcacm), and include non-acm members at our events.
Locally, we create professional development opportunities for our members. Our group creates opportunities through events; we also connect with events from other organizations in the DC area that are of value to our members.
The DC ACM has evolved quite a bit since 1958. Members who have been around for decades, since the early days of computing, have shared numerous stories of what computing communities were like prior. Why have we changed? Our groups adaptations are intended to complement the elevation of grassroots IT communities and emerging startup companies in DC.
DC ACM members are very technical, possess in-depth practitioner knowledge, and generally hold degrees in computer science or related fields. Our group has many entrepreneurs, managers, practicing lawyers, programmers, and IT architects. This diversity is an outcome of how many members begin their careers by learning computers and engineering in college, and over time professionally branch out as their professional endeavors develop. As a result, the DC ACM has a wide network of individuals beyond programmers.
Our board consists of five members: Amar Zumkhawala, Chair; Shahnaz Kamberi, Vice Chair; Bob Downs, Treasurer; Ronnie Dasgupta, Secretary; and Ray Van Dyke, Member-At-Large.
As chair, I encourage interested individuals to join (http://dcacm.org/join) and stay in touch. Please consider either joining our meetup group, subscribing to our mailing list, or following us on twitter from our join web page.
Contact the chair of the DC ACM at firstname.lastname@example.org