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BCS Membership is it worth having?  

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bsc.Smith19
(@bsc-smith19)
Junior Member

Ok here is a question for everyone.

Probably aimed more towards UK based members. I'm considering a membership (student) to the BCS (British Computing Society). However how helpful is it in the forensics industry? Also does it help by having it on a CV or anything like that?

Im looking forward to seeing everyone responses.

Thanks

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Posted : 19/03/2013 4:17 am
hc4n6
(@hc4n6)
New Member

I joined during my MSc, as it was free.

To be honest, never really used it more than any other job seeking website when I was looking for a job.

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Posted : 19/03/2013 11:51 am
PaulSanderson
(@paulsanderson)
Senior Member

I stopped renewing mine years back.

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Posted : 19/03/2013 12:25 pm
mitch
(@mitch)
Active Member

Save your money, and buy a good forensics book. you will get more benefit out of that.

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Posted : 19/03/2013 1:17 pm
hmorgan
(@hmorgan)
Active Member

No.

As far as I can see the only technical skill it demonstrates is the ability to fill in a direct debit form.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 19/03/2013 1:25 pm
PaulSanderson
(@paulsanderson)
Senior Member

OK walked the dog so I have more time to answer.

All I did over the few years I had membership was pay them money and get b****r all back - all though to be fair I didn't try and get anything from it, because nothing I saw really interested me as a forensic bod.

In all of the court cases where I have given evidence (must try and add them up one day but there have been a lot) I have never been cross examined or questioned on my qualifications (other than the quick intro I do - where I never mentioned BCS or IAP. Neither do I feel that the weight of my evidence (or that of the opposing expert) was ever affected by membership or lack of it

Its probably akin to being a member of an expert witness register, i.e. its a bit of poor marketing. I think I paid more to the registers in the years than I got back from them in work and with the glut of forensic investigators I expect this is worse now than when I was a member.

If I were actively seeking forensic work, rather than writing software, I could be interested in some sort of register which actually established that you are a competent investigator (rather than being ISOxxxx registered to tick check boxes). My short experience when I was involved in getting one of these set up was that the room was filled with a few very good guys who were being drowned out by a few very vocal people who probably would have failed anything I would have seen as credible.

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Posted : 19/03/2013 2:11 pm
Jonathan
(@jonathan)
Senior Member

I've been in the BCS for 10 years, though I'm cancelling my renewal this year. Should have done it years ago. I began the process of applying for BCS Chartered Membership a couple of years ago but gave up when I saw the exams concentrated almost exclusively on management/project management and minimally on anything to do with computing. Then there's the BCS magazine, which is frankly appalling. I offered to write an article on digital forensics but they were barely interested. Also, I doubt that anyone's impressed or persuaded of your opinion when they see that you're a member.

Someone above mentioned the BCS jobs portal as an advantage - thing is you don't need to be a member to access it, it's here, and contains just the same jobs as every other jobs portal.

But my short is answer is "no". )

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Posted : 19/03/2013 5:20 pm
mitch
(@mitch)
Active Member

£50 for a 4 year subscription as a student

£30 for Harlan Carvey book

You will get more out of Harlans book, and learn something

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Posted : 19/03/2013 5:50 pm
bsc.Smith19
(@bsc-smith19)
Junior Member

No.

As far as I can see the only technical skill it demonstrates is the ability to fill in a direct debit form.

This has to be my favorite quote so far from everyone thanks hmorgan that made me laff.

Thanks everyone for your views it appears its really not worth me wasting £50 on for the membership.

Another question what are peoples recomendations for "good" or upto date forensics books?

ReplyQuote
Posted : 19/03/2013 8:23 pm
Adam10541
(@adam10541)
Senior Member

Another question what are peoples recomendations for "good" or upto date forensics books?

Google 😉

I'm half serious here, you can find some amazing white papers and other research goodies on the internet for just about anything. There are some fantastic books out there that will give you great information on some forensic principles that won't change, but the reality is that by the time many books even make it to print they are referencing obsolete technology.

I own zero forensic books, I have however many printouts of things I've found on the net over the years and even then they are rarely looked at more than once things move so fast.

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Posted : 20/03/2013 4:50 am
PaulSanderson
(@paulsanderson)
Senior Member

Another question what are peoples recomendations for "good" or upto date forensics books?

Google 😉

I'm half serious here, you can find some amazing white papers and other research goodies on the internet for just about anything. There are some fantastic books out there that will give you great information on some forensic principles that won't change, but the reality is that by the time many books even make it to print they are referencing obsolete technology.

I own zero forensic books, I have however many printouts of things I've found on the net over the years and even then they are rarely looked at more than once things move so fast.

There are a few, almost, must haves though - I have been in forensics data recovery (full time) for over twenty years and have writen file extractors for most file systems but I still like to have File System Forensic Analysis on my desk (not on the bookshelf) there is a wealth of good information on multiple file systems all in one book. Sure you can find most of the info on the web but it is in disparate locations.

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Posted : 20/03/2013 11:45 am
Chris_Ed
(@chris_ed)
Active Member

As you're a student, "Digital Forensics with Open Source Tools" by Altheide and Carvey might be useful )

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Posted : 20/03/2013 1:37 pm
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