6 Of The Best Tech Meetups in the U.S.

Grow your network and skills at the same time

Chances are you’ve heard of Meetup.com—an online platform, similar to a social media network, that helps facilitate offline group activities. It’s a great way to meet new people and pick up a new hobby or skill.

While there are Meetup groups of all kinds across the nation (and the world), there are also other organizations specifically tailored to certain disciplines.

Moreover, it can be incredibly valuable from a networking standpoint to connect with others in your field—so if you’re interested in moving into the tech space, here are six meetups to help you make those contacts.

1
Girl Develop It (GDI)

women working
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With chapters in 46 cities across the US and Canada, Girl Develop It is dedicated to teaching digital skills to women (although men are welcome to participate as well). Each chapter holds workshops and events, as well as offering courses.

Although the specific events are unique to each chapter, there is a core curriculum of courses that every chapter uses:

 

  • Introduction to Web Concepts: Fundamentals of web development in laymen’s terms
  • Web Accessibility: Introduction to the principles of accessible web design
  • Introduction to Git/Github: Introduction to the version control software Git
  • Introduction to HTML/CSS: Beginner-level introduction to HTMl and CSS
  • Intermediate HTML/CSS: HTML5 and CSS3 techniques for more advanced students
  • Introduction to JavaScript: JavaScript and programming fundamentals for beginners

As a nonprofit organization, GDI is committed to providing “affordable and judgment-free opportunities” for women to build their confidence and move into the tech space. More

2
WordPress Meetup

Blogging isn’t just about text anymore. Choose from 742 groups in the WordPress meetup database—from huge city events to smaller, more local ones in your area.

Some of the largest groups include:

  • WordPress NYC Meetup Group in New York, NY (3,915 members)
  • The Austin WordPress Meetup Group in Austin, TX (2,243 members)
  • The San Francisco WordPress Meetup in San Francisco, CA (2,198 members)
  • Boston WordPress in Cambridge, MA (2,188 members)
  • DFW WordPress Group in Dallas, TX (1,987 members)
  • WordPress DC in Washington, DC (1,955 members)

Events and talks vary based on which groups you join, but most have to do with technology or blogging in some way. And, of course, WordPress.

Learn content management strategies, see demos or product launches, improve your website monetization, and more. More

3
Women Who Code (WWCode)

Like Girl Develop It, WWCode is specifically geared toward inspiring and empowering women in the technology sector. So far, they have a presence in 15 countries and have successfully hosted over 1200 free events. They describe themselves as having five key initiatives:

 

  • Education: teaching women technical skills, with a focus on programming languages
  • Development: boosting members’ presence in the tech space
  • Advocacy: celebrating the successes and achievements of women in technology
  • Community: providing a space for women to network with one another
  • Consulting: working with companies to improve hiring practices and workplace environments

WWCode has huge sponsors including companies like Google and PayPal, and a long list of success stories.

To find more organizations promoting women in tech, check out this comprehensive list. More

4
Internet of Things (IoT)

tech talk
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A bit more loosely organized, IoT leaves most decisions up to the individual meetup groups themselves. And there are many—most continents are represented (North America and Europe most heavily so), with groups in dozens of cities. Sometimes IoT hosts conferences, events, and courses independently of the meetup groups.

The phrase “internet of things” is defined by Google as “a proposed development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data.” This means that it’s more about the hardware—smartwatches, computers, devices—than the web development side of building websites and mobile apps.

One of their big events is IoT Day, which they call “a worldwide event bringing together makers, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and citizens to discuss, design, and develop the emerging Internet of Things.” More

5
Hacks/Hackers

Although the tongue-in-cheek name might lead you to believe otherwise, Hacks/Hackers are dedicated to making the world better.

They connect journalists (or “hacks”) with technologists (“hackers”) to spread knowledge and think about the future of news. Basically, the organization revolves around technology and information and the way they intersect.

So far, Hacks/Hackers have chapters on every continent (bar Antarctica, of course), and anticipate more coming soon. Their primary focus is on major cities.

Members are typically journalists, designers, and developers, and chapter activities include demo days, “hackathons,” and lectures—as well as parties just for fun and networking. More

6
Tech in Motion

networking at an event
Caiaimage/Sam Edward

A primarily knowledge-focused meetup, Tech in Motion currently hosts events in ten major North American cities: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Lost Angeles, Orange County, and Toronto.

With over 20,000 members they bring together the thinkers of the technology world for lectures and discussions on current events and hot topics in tech. Tech in Motion is about education and innovation, and helps connect likeminded people. Many events come with a bonus—food and booze.

As a bonus, their website features a job board for each city where it’s active. More

Conclusion

Next time you hear the phrase “It’s who you know, not what you know,” you won’t have to wonder where to meet the “who”! These are all great places to get off the couch, shake some hands, and expand your horizons.

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