Do you want to
WELL THEN…you should go to some tech meetups all over the Bay Area! But there's so many, you protest!
As a summer intern in SoMa, I attended up to four meetups a week sometimes because I loved the lively discussions with engineers, evangelists, designers, students, and meeting people from all over the globe. I relished office visits, swag, raffles, talks, workshops, and just the atmosphere in general.
I have been to most of the meetups listed here, and heard of all of these—you can probably tell the ones I enjoy and recommend based on emoji usage!
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With an endless supply of meetups (not just tech-related), and meetups all over the world, Meetup.com is A+. Many of the meetups here are monthly, weekly, or meet routinely. Similarly, I also recommend Eventbrite, and Facebook also has a few, which I often find in tech related groups (Hackathon Hackers, Ladies Storm Hackathons, but more often, in their subgroups, often targeted at location or platform ie iOS, web, IoT, etc.)
TwitterDev hosts meetups all over the world, and past SF meetups have been at Twitter HQ, PubNub, and others. Great speakers and people. Past topics have included "Improving your App's UX with Fabric", "Build mobile apps faster with AWS and Fabric", and "Building the Periscope Experience on Android and more!" among others. Speakers have included Fastlane's Felix Krause, Twitter's Josh Liebowitz, and :sunglasses:PubNub's iOS lead, Jordan Zucker, among others.
:fire: WaffleJS. Come for the waffles, stay for the speakers. $12 to attend, but is donated to a non-profit (usually Black Girls Code.) Great talks take place first Wednesday of every month at SoMa StrEAT Food Park, past ones include Automate your User-interface QA using selenium, and Rodney Folz’s If You Only Make Chrome Extensions, You’re Killing the Open Web.
:star2: Swift Language User Group has really great talks and speakers. Lately, it’s been hosted at Realm, which is a great meetup space. Past talks and speakers have included :ok_hand: ”Swift 3 Spelunking with Greg Heo, "From Pokémon to Paypal: The customer experience metrics you should optimize", "iOS Accessibility with Google's David Tseng and Benetech", and more!
iOS Developers SF/SV has monthly meetups, held at Google (1255 Pear, MTV). Past talks include Tweaking and A/B Testing Your App With Firebase Remote Config by Todd Kerpelman, Realtime Patching for Live Native iOS Apps, Eyal Keren, CTO Rollout & Ophir Prusak, and more!
Silicon Valley Swift Programming Group. Past topics include unit testing, MapKit/CoreLocation, Swift 3, Xcode 8, IBM w/ Swift Sandbox on Linux, and lots of socializing.
NSMeetup has an impressive track record of talks speakers, like Swift Reactive Programming for Beginners with Greg Heo, Building Apps with tvOS, Layout at Scale with AsyncDisplayKit 2, and HomeKit Inside And Out.
SF Android User Group has great talks at offices like Yelp and Google Launchpad.
React Native SF Talks hosted at offices like Instacart, Sony, Zynga, and more. Past topics have been Face First React Native and VR, Building Cross-Platform APIs with React Native, and Bridging the Gap: How to use React Native in existing large native code bases, among others
SF and SV Android Developers meetup Monthly meetups included Overview of Smart Glass / VR Space by E. John Feig, Google Developer Expert and How to integrate a real time communications layer into your iOS apps with Moxtra.
PyLadies SF has weekly study groups at different offices around SoMa. In addition to study groups (with food, mentors, and community), there are discussions, talks, and social outings. Led by Michelle Glauser.
SF Python Meetups with talks each 3rd Wednesday of the month. Past talks and speakers include Magic-Wormhole: Simple Secure File Transfer, Recurrent neural networks with TensorFlow, Synchronous Celery, Django, and Real-Time Machine Learning, and more.
:sparkles: Ember SF. Great speakers and meetup locations (LinkedIn SF, Playstation, and Twitch, among others.) Organized by Bear Douglas :bear:, previous talks and speakers have included On the Bleeding Edge with Ember Engines by Kacey Coughlin, WebGL in Ember by Matt McKenna, and Profiling and Optimizing Ember by Landon Noss, and so many more!
Bay Area d3 User Group. Past talks have included workshops, open labs, layout modules, and other visualization libraries. There seems to be a pretty solid community here—I plan on checking it out soon!
:information_desk_person: Women who Code SF has Ruby and Web Tuesdays held at various SF offices, Mobile Development meetups (talks, mentors, workshops), and more.
Airbnb Taking Flight. I attended their mobile lightning talks, which had speakers like :star: Kristina Thai, :punch: Erin Parker, and :heartbeat: Jennifer Shola! I learned so much, and loved the atmosphere (and Airbnb had A+ food, drinks, and office in general.) Other speakers included the CTO of Women who Code, Tracy Chou, and topics ranged from Career Progression for Women in tech to Designing with data: a human-centered approach to data-driven innovation, and more.
Write/Speak/Code SF Bay Organized by Julia Nguyen, this women and non-binary meetup has lightning talks and workshops welcoming and supportive of beginners, like Kubernetes Basics, * How to Learn Deep Learning (when you’re not a computer science PhD)*, and more.
Girls in Tech. Honestly, these seem more like community-building and support groups—and that’s completely okay. With weekly co-working meetups, and a few other special events, this meetup looks like a fun way to network, learn, and grow at offices like Asana and Amazon AWS Loft.
Square WomEng Hear + Now Lightning Talks. Diverse speakers, I loved the College Speakers edition one last August. Square’s offices are great, Jack Dorsey stopped by, and I loved the atmosphere and people. Great culture.
Lean in Circles SF | Palo Alto | SV | and more! Different circles provide different opportunities. SF one tends to offer paid workshops, while the Palo Alto one tends to have more free ones. They all are based on Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, and are known for their mentorship groups. I attended the Lean In-tern SF meetup, and loved the speakers, one of which was Lyft’s Komal Kirtikar.
Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners. Often held at restaurants, BAGGD are sometimes held at places like Google, Yahoo, Genentech, Palantir, or the Computer History Museum, and are often sold-out, garnering around 200 girl geeks for each dinner. Past speakers have included Leah Culver, Julie Zhuo, and Jocelyn Goldfein. Past talk topics: Scaling Up and Out, Disruptive Creation. Lots of panels, photo booths, swag, and fun. $$.
Women 2.0. Workshops, summits, and mentorship.
:raised_hands:Designers & Geeks has some great speakers. You pretty much always have to pay for a ticket on Eventbrite or on their site. Past talks have included Letters to a Young Designer with Kristy Tillman of Slack, Delightful Devices with Amy Wibowo of BubbleSort Zines, among others.
Bay Area Accessibility and Inclusive Design. Past talks have included "Adobe Accessibility: Who we are and what we do," "Addressing Web Accessibility for Users with Emotional Disabiltiies," and more.
SF Design Systems Coalition. Interesting topics like Design Systems at Twitter (hosted at Twitter, of course.)
106 Miles is for entrepreneurs and web developers. Meetups held across the Bay Area, at bars and restaurants around Redwood City, Palo Alto, and San Francisco.
:thumbsup: SF Investors and Startups hosts celebrity VC’s including Megan Quinn, Holly Liu of Kabam, and Tinder’s founder and CEO Sean Rad, among others. You have to pay for tickets, but hey, these are some pretty A+ speakers and connections.
:grinning: Startup Grind. Though many of their events you have to pay, they host a variety of fun parties, movie nights, networking events, and VC speakers.
SF Mobile Entrepeneurs. They haven’t hosted a meetup in over half a year, but past meetups look promising, like How to Grow your Business with Wearable Technology: SmartWatch Apps.
Igniters: Stanford Entrepreneurs & Silicon Valley Founders. This group is unaffiliated with Stanford and “not restricted to Stanford students,” hosting a lot of talks with GSB graduates and professors, covering topics like Negotiation Hacking for Startup Founders with Margaret Neale (Stanford GSB).
Hackers and Founders hosts coffee, socials, talks all over Bay Area, from the South Bay to San Mateo to SF.
Silicon Valley Cloud Computing. Past topics have included Kubernetes with Patrick Reilly of Cisco, and past speakers have included :clap: Stanford’s Dr. FeiFei Li, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, and more.
SF Cloud Mafia. Fun meetups with talks like Opportunities in the Cloud Ecosystem, Microservice Architectures with Adrian Cockcroft (AWS, Netflix), The Future of Containers: Embracing Best Practices for IT and Developers, and Deploying at Scale in Cloud Agnostic Environments.
SV SF Cloud & Mobile Developer Meetup. Fun talks and hackathons, they seem to be IBM-centric with topics like Watson and Artificial Intelligence within Financial Services and Watson Alchemy APIs.
Developer Advocacy and Evangelism in the Bay Area Social events around SF.
Advocates and Evangelists-the Drinkup. Literally just go drinking with other DevRel people around SF.
API Craft SF. Meetup topics include API documentation, the future of API Management, Challenges and opportunities of API tooling in a distributed enterprise environment, and The State of API Documentation, 2017 Edition - Industry Report Summary, among others. Locations have included Adobe, Google SF, etc.
API Discovery. Past meetups include Keen IO Analytics API Crash Course, Reinventing Data Security, and more. Past locations have included Square, etc.
Hack Reactor hosts study groups for algorithms, fundamentals, and various talks and workshops. Very beginner-friendly.
SF Bay Area Tech Interview hosts weekly tech interview whiteboarding sessions. Held at the office of Silicon Valley in Sunnyvale.
Bay Area Bot, Chat, and Conversational App Developers Group. Talks have included API.ai, IBM Watson Conversation Service APIs, Bebo, and much more! I attended one meetup at Slack HQ, and really enjoyed the topic, speakers, people, and location.
Bot Developers Meetup SF. Haven't been to this one, but there seems to be a good-sized group, community, and following each month.
SF Robot Makers Club. Just started at the beginning of this year, this meetup is already gaining in popularity.
NoiseBridge Hackerspace. Past/weekly meetups include Optional Static Typing in Python, Circuit Hacking Mondays, Programming for Interviews, etc.
:green_heart:Google Developers Group Silicon Valley. Great talks on Google tech including/involving Angular, Firebase, Android Studio and native development, Tango, Daydream, and more. Organized by Trish Whetzel.
:yellow_heart: Realm. I haven’t been to this yet, but have been wanting to for a long time. Crazy fun meetups like a NSHipster Pub Quiz, Realm 1.0 Launch Party, and cool speakers and topics, like Siena Aguayo of Eventbrite , React Native Intro, Event Handling in the Realm Object Server, and Mastering Realm Notifications.
Advanced AWS meetup. Interesting topics like Distributed Tracing at Pinterest, Autodesk, and Spinnaker. Quite a few attendees, which is fun.
:whale: Docker. Meetups held pretty frequently, with topics like Introduction to InfraKit, Swarm Mode & Load Balancing, at Docker HQ.
SF Amazon Alexa meetup. Learn how to build Alexa skills!
Product Hunt meetups. PH meetups are hosted all around the country, but a big SF one was hosted recently with AngelList at 1015 Folsom. There was an insanely long line, and lots of food, drinks, and swag.
Upload VR. Fairly routine meetups with topics like Brain Talks - Humanizing Computer Interfaces, VR Weekend Workshop: Learn Unity, and 360 Filmmaking Best Practices w/ Alex Henning (Magnopus).
Virtual Augmented Reality meetup. With panel talks and demos, this forum aims to transform ideas on workplace diversity, design adaptations, and social experiences into real solutions by bridging a dialog between technologists, creatives and makers, each program explores innovative practices and emerging trends in the industry.
Augmented Reality SF Bay Area. Lots of attendees and demos, like from Quantum Interface, NullSpace VR, illusio and VicoVR, as well as Blippar, Loci, AWE.media, DAQRI, Legacy Games, Meta, Scope AR, Occipital and Vuzix.
Code for SF-Civic Hack Nights. This meetup is focused on improving SF, making changes by fixing government services, creating data visualizations, and engaging San Franciscans. They host weekly hack nights most Wednesdays, as well as some more special meetups.
CS + Social Good. Stanford’s CS + Social Good provides resources for students to more effectively hack for social good, creates opportunities for interested students to engage in the space, and builds a community of students excited about improving lives with tech. Led by Lawrence Lin Murata and Vicki Niu, there are occasional meetups and discussions.
TechShop. Lots of game nights, Laser Club meetings, and happy hours.
Hardware Startup SF is building the hardware community in SF by hosting hardware experts, speakers, and entrepreneurs.
Bay Area Software Engineers (BASE). Talks on things from Azure, DC/OS, Product Managers, Microsoft Azure Data Storage, bots, and more. They haven’t had a meetup since September, so I’m not sure what’s up…
Silicon Valley Hands-On Programming Events. Weekly deep learning study groups all over the Peninsula.
:boom: Tech in Motion. I’ve never been, but have heard really good things about Tech in Motion. Some example topics include Sci-Fi Comes Alive 3D World | VR + AR Demo Night, Overcoming the Challenges within the IoT Industry, and other mixers and networking events, including speakers like Robert Scoble.
Free Code Camp. SO MANY WORKSHOP all over the Bay Area. Enjoy!
SF One Salon. With Salons around the world, this meetup meets every Tuesday at 7pm to “engage in stimulating scheduled talks and wonderful ad-hoc conversations with each other.” Meetups also include talks on topics like VR, mindfulness, and more.
Palo Alto/Stanford One Salon. The original One Salon, “the Pillars of the Salon are: 1) Intellectual, 2) Emotional and 3) Experiential Stimulation.” This one meets on Mondays.
SF Reliability Engineering. Monthly lightning talks on a variety of topics (usually held at Twitter).
Whatever can you talk about with people at meetups? If it’s an iOS meetup, I’m guessing you’re both interested in iOS. If it’s at, say, GitHub, there are always cool stickers and the Octocat statue. Get out of your comfort zone! :scream:
Add people on LinkedIn and Twitter. Don’t be afraid to ask for business cards or emails or anything. Chances are, you’ll see these people at future meetups, or at other tech meetups around SF. I’m surprised at how tight-knit some of the meetups, or developer community/ies in general are!
There are so many meetups to choose from, both in and out of the Bay Area. Go for the people, go for the community, and go to learn from not just speakers, but attendees. Yes, you can network, but there's so much knowledge to gain and also impart on others.
TODO: Been to any meetups? Heard of any good ones? Well, then fork this repo, submit some pull requests, and contribute!