I used to be a full member of the NYC ICCA chapter long time ago when I was running Dulin Research Corp. and it was nice to go to the recent meeting and see my old colleagues.
ICCA means Independent Computer Consultant Association. It is probably the only trade organization that is useful — ACM and IEEE are both very academic and I found them both great while I was in college, but they are not very useful to me after I graduated and became a professional.
I am not an Independent Consultant right now, but to me independence does not necessarily mean incorporation or contractual employment. Independence means independence of thought and no undisclosed biases; it means ability to give independent and professional advice to our clients and employers. We are all “consultants” and “contract professionals” — we all have clients, be it another company or our project manager, and we all have contractual, ethical and professional obligations.