There are many benefits to joining trade associations or organizations including professional development ad networking. Professional associations often provide newsletters, magazines, and web sites with information on current industry trends. Many associations also offer online classes, training seminars, and national trade shows. Other benefits may include mentorship opportunities, discounts for certification exams, and job boards. To truly benefit from joining any organization, you should determine what you hope to achieve from the experience prior to joining.
Leading trade and professional organizations for Web Designers, Web Developers, and Webmasters:
The HTML Writers Guild
The HWG was founded in 1994 as the World Wide Web’s leading training organization for the Web design community, with over 150,000 members in more than 160 countries world-wide. In 2001 the Guild joined with the International Webmaster’s Association to form IWA-HWG, the professional association for the growth of the professional web design company and individual.
International Webmasters Association (IWA)
IWA, a non-profit professional association, is the industry’s recognized leader in providing educational and certification standards for Web professionals. IWA’s initiatives now support more than 100 official chapters representing over 160,000 individual members in 106 countries. IWA’s accomplishments include the industry’s first guidelines for ethical and professional standards, Web certification and education programs, specialized employment resources, and technical assistance to individuals and businesses.
The World Organization of Webmasters
The World Organization of Webmasters is a non-profit professional association dedicated to the support of individuals and organizations who create, manage or market web sites. WOW provides education as well as certification, technical, employment and member advantage services to thousands of aspiring and practicing web professionals worldwide.
National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP)
Unlike most associations, NAPP is dedicated almost exclusively to training and education. NAPP delivers training and tutorial content in all kinds of ways. Possibly best known for their award-winning magazine Photoshop User, and their live one-day training seminars, NAPP also helps thousands of Photoshop users with their specific questions via their online Help Desk. NAPP also holds a major trade shows twice a year called Photoshop World Conference and Expo.
The Usability Professionals’ Association
The Usability Professionals’ Association supports usability specialists, people from all aspects of human-centered design, and the broad family of disciplines that create the user experience in promoting the design and development of usable products. One of the organization’s goals is to increase the body of knowledge about usability and user-centered design through professional education, meetings and conventions and other professional interchanges.
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C’s mission is to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines. Since 1994, W3C has published more than ninety such standards, called W3C Recommendations. W3C also engages in education and outreach, develops software, and serves as an open forum for discussion about the Web.