Golden Gate Bridge


San Francisco rests at the very epicenter of technical innovation in the U.S and even the world. The amount of tech jobs available are immense and the amount is only expected to grow. With so many people flocking to Silicon Valley, the city is teeming with like minded, technically gifted individuals. 


In case you didn’t already know, San Francisco’s tech industry places a major priority on collaboration. That is afterall, how some of the tech world’s biggest innovations have happened. Many coding bootcamps and schools now put pair programming at the forefront of their education and this same model is then applied at most tech companies upon graduation. 


With a city filled with so many people, you would think that you may never get lonely. However, being around people and being around like minded people are two very different things. Finding a group of peers that you can collaborate and network with is absolutely vital if you’re trying to climb the ranks of San Francisco’s bustling tech scene. So, where do you find these people? We’ve scoured the streets of San Francisco to bring you the breakdown on the biggest and best tech organizations of the area. Stick around for the top meetup organizations and professional associations in San Francisco. 


A Breakdown of San Francisco’s Tech Scene 


San Francisco’s tech scene has grown exponentially over the past few decades. 


Before we dive into the best meetups in the city, we should take a step back and look at the city’s tech scene as a whole. In order to find the meetups that make the most sense for you, you first have to understand the dynamics of San Francisco’s tech scene. 


San Francisco is a highly diverse city that rests in the heart of Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is made up of a variety of surrounding cities and counties and houses the highest concentration of tech companies in the world. The city shares space with major corporations and startups alike. As the city’s economy continues to boom, more and more people are migrating to the area in search of their dream tech jobs. Just how well is San Francisco doing? Let’s take a look at the numbers. 


San Francisco by Numbers 


Silicon Valley has seen an increase in over 1.1 million tech jobs since 2010 with an overall job growth rate of 5%. The average salary for a tech worker in Silicon Valley is $145,000 per year, which is up 2% from 2018. To give some perspective, the average median salary across all industries in the US as of 2019 is around $147,000. It’s obvious that not only is tech a profitable field, but tech jobs in San Francisco prove to be especially valuable. 


It is important to note that due to the influx of workers, the Silicon Valley area has the highest cost of living in the United States. The median listing price for a home in San Francisco is around $1.3 million. 


Types of Meetup Groups


Laptop on a desk.
Tech remains one of the most lucrative career markets in the world.


With so many different types of people and skills in the San Francisco area, how do you know what kind of groups to look for? It’s important to understand how some of San Francisco’s tech meetups may be grouped. We’ll also breakdown what technical skills you should focus your own time on! 


Types of Meetup Groups


There are a variety of tech meetup groups and organizations in the San Francisco area. From major technical conferences to accredited organizations to even niche organizations about specific coding languages. It’s important to know what you’re looking for. Most meetup organizations are broken down by one of the following: 


1. Demographic


There are many meetup groups that cater to helping minorities in tech get ahead. These groups include meetups for women, Latinos, African Americas, LGBTQ+, and more. These groups do a lot of good and are highly beneficial to join as they know what it’s like to face discriminiation in the industry and they’re prepared to help you combat it. Additionally, these meetup groups have a ton of mentors and connections that could serve you well down the line. 


2. Coding Language


Many groups and organizations are formed by a common interest or goal. This interest is sometimes correlated to a specific coding language or career. It could be a group specifically for JavaScript developers or UX/UI Designers, the possibilities are endless. These groups are especially beneficial to you because members have acute experience with the coding language or profession and can help you solve and problems with your own projects. Joining a group like this will absolutely help you learn alot about your craft. 


3. Location


Sometimes groups are based on physical location. It’s important to check out the groups that are conveniently located near you, that way you can attend meetings! Some meetup websites have the ability to search groups nearest to your location! 


4. Experience


While it isn’t always the case, some groups are based on technical and industry experience. There are many meetup groups and organizations dedicated solely to new coders or newcomers to the industry. Many groups exist solely to help newbies transition to the tech industry. Likewise, there are some groups dedicated to advanced, senior programers. Whatever your skill level is, you’ll definitely find the right group for you! 


Top Meetups and Professional Associations in San Francisco


Two people comparing notes.
These are a few of the many tech meetups in San Francisco. 


Succeeding in the tech industry requires many things nowadays. Arguably the most underrated but most important success factor is community. Finding a group of peers to motivate you and help you stay on track can be absolutely vital to your success in the industry. So, now that we’ve gotten a bit of background San Francisco’s tech industry and also a bit of background on types of organizations, it’s time to get to the specifics. Here’s the breakdown on the top meetup organisations and professional associations in San Francisco. 


Major professional Associations


1. Association for Computing Machinery


Founded in 1947, the Association for Computing Machinery is the world’s largest and oldest educational and scientific computing organization. The San Francisco chapter of the organization was founded in 1957 and exists as a forum for all in the community. Talks are free and memberships are $20 per year. 


2. National Writers Union


The National Writers Union is dedicated to business and technical writers across the U.S. Members can obtain help with health insurance, file industry grievances, network, and even apply for job listings. Membership is free. 


3. Impact Hub SF


Impact Hub is a community of like minded tech peers that spans across the country. The San Francisco chapter is highly focuses on collaboration and understands the power of networking. Membership to the program includes access to workspaces, digital community boards, access to over 85 Impact Hubs, discounted programs, and much more. Pricing starts at $50 per month and rises as high as $800 to include a variety of coworking options. 


Casual Meetup Organizations


1. Network After Work Events 


Network After Work is a professional organization consisting of entrepreneurs, professionals, and executives that understand the importance of building meaningful connections. The community hosts events in over 87 cities across the U.S and plans to expand over time. Ticket prices vary per event.


2. Startup Grind Silicon Valley


Startup Grind Silicon Valley is the largest independent startup community actively educating and inspiring entrepreneurs. In partnership with Google for entrepreneurs, the organization has chapters in cities across the U.S. Some opportunities are free while others vary in price. 


3. 106 Miles 


106 Miles is a network of startups, entrepreneurs, founders, and friends. The groups mission is to educate and empower entrepreneurial engineers. Meetups include both paid and free networking events. 


What’s the Takeaway?


“You got this.”
How can you use this info to your advantage?


As we all know, the city of San Francisco is a bustling hub of activity. People are constantly bouncing from one project to another striving to be the best they can be. However, with all that effort and stress ultimately comes burnout for many professionals. Many are left wondering, “How can I avoid this?” The answer is simple. To avoid a burnout you have to have an outlet to express yourself. Many of these opportunities come in the form of tech meetups. 


Tech meetups and professional organizations can work wonders for your mental health and career. They exist as a place for industry professionals and coding hopefuls to come together to vent, talk industry practices, and learn from one another. There’s no bigger comradery than busy tech workers. Taking the chance to meet your peers is also a major career move. You never know who these peers might be looking to hire or who they might know. You may even meet a valuable mentor at a meetup. 


Networking is the bread and butter of Silicon Valley. In short, it’s all about who you know. Spreading your wings and broadening your network will help set your career up for success! Who knows, you may even make some life long friends while you’re at it! 

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