Top 10 Must-Attend Tech Meetups and Conferences in Berkeley

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: June 30th 2024

Attendees networking at a tech conference in Berkeley, California.

Too Long; Didn't Read:

Explore Berkeley's vibrant tech scene in 2024 with these top 10 must-attend meetups and conferences. Key events include Berkeley Startup Cluster, DeveloperWeek (8,000+ developers), CalHacks ($100,000 prizes), BAIR Lab AI events, and GraphQL Meetup. Ideal for networking, learning, and innovation in AI, blockchain, and sustainable tech.

Berkeley's tech scene is absolutely thriving in 2024, with innovation at its core. The city, anchored by UC Berkeley and a growing startup ecosystem, has become a hotspot for tech enthusiasts.

The UC Berkeley innovation ecosystem has been instrumental in launching over 150 startups in recent years, commercializing groundbreaking technologies.

Tech events here are more than just gatherings; they're launchpads for careers and ideas. The Berkeley TECHVocacy 2024 summit is a prime example, training emerging tech founders to become trusted voices in policy conversations.

For those looking to level up their skills, the Future of Technology program at UC Berkeley offers insights into trends and innovation opportunities.

These events aren't just about learning; they're about shaping the future of tech. Whether you're into AI, blockchain, or sustainable tech, Berkeley's got an event for you.

It's the perfect place to network, learn, and maybe even kickstart your own tech journey. You don't want to miss out on what's happening here!

Table of Contents

  • 1. Berkeley Startup Cluster Events
  • 2. The Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum
  • 3. Dev Network's DeveloperWeek
  • 4. CalHacks
  • 5. GraphQL Meetup Berkeley
  • 6. Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Lab Events
  • 7. Berkeley Python Meetup
  • 8. UX Design Meetup Berkeley
  • 9. Women in Tech - Berkeley Chapter
  • 10. Berkeley Big Data Conference
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Check out next:

1. Berkeley Startup Cluster Events


The Berkeley Startup Cluster is the go-to spot for Berkeley's startup scene, bringing together the city's top innovators and entrepreneurs.

Created to make Berkeley a more vibrant and accessible place for startups, this initiative is backed by heavy hitters like UC Berkeley, the City of Berkeley, and the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce.

They're all about providing local innovators with the resources and connections they need to thrive. The Cluster hosts a ton of quality events, from pitch competitions to networking mixers, helping entrepreneurs level up their game.

With over 3,000 members, it's clear they're doing something right. One of their coolest initiatives is the Berkeley Ventures, Berkeley Values (BV2) program, which focuses on companies that are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion - because that's what Berkeley's all about.

The Cluster doesn't just talk the talk; they walk the walk by helping match businesses with suitable office spaces and even wet labs for the science crowd. They're also working on improving Berkeley's startup-friendly image and developing local infrastructure to meet the needs of the innovation sector.

For anyone looking to break into Berkeley's tech scene, the Berkeley Startup Cluster Meetup group is a must-join.

It's packed with events like the "Live Sharks Tank®" series, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The best part? The Cluster is keeping up with the times, even in the face of challenges like the pandemic.

They've got over 300 startups still going strong in Berkeley, with major concentrations in software and biotech.

If you're a student or recent grad looking to get in on the action, keep an eye out for programs like the RePicture STEM Career Accelerator. The Berkeley Startup Cluster is where it's at if you want to make waves in the tech world.

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

2. The Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum


The Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum, a staple of the Bay Area's startup scene since 1991, continues to be a game-changer for tech enthusiasts and business mavens alike.

For nearly 25 years, this forum has been the go-to spot for UC Berkeley students and the local community to connect with industry leaders and up-and-coming innovators.

The forum's events cover a wide range of topics, from food entrepreneurship to building innovation economies, keeping attendees on the cutting edge of the startup world.

In recent years, the forum has featured some seriously impressive guests, including Guy Kawasaki and Michel Nischan, offering unique insights into entrepreneurial success.

One of the coolest aspects of the forum is its focus on building innovation economies beyond Silicon Valley, exploring how success here can spark change in places like the Middle East.

The forum's commitment to diversity is evident in its lineup of speakers, which has included successful women in tech like Elizabeth Lee, recognized as one of Silicon Valley's 40 under 40.

But it's not all about listening to talks - the forum provides real opportunities for hands-on learning and networking. From angel and venture capital financing overviews to sessions on surviving economic downturns, attendees get practical advice they can apply right away.

The forum has also adapted to changing times, addressing topics like the shift from desktop to mobile platforms and its impact on digital businesses.

With its finger on the pulse of the tech world and a track record of fostering successful startups, the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum remains an essential event for anyone looking to make waves in the startup ecosystem.

3. Dev Network's DeveloperWeek


DeveloperWeek, organized by Dev Network, is the largest developer conference and expo in the United States, attracting over 8,000 developers annually. Set for February 21-29, 2024, this event is a cornerstone of the Bay Area's tech scene.

DeveloperWeek 2024 covers a wide array of topics, including AI, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, and DevOps.

The conference features 100+ keynote and technical talks, a virtual pitch contest, and a virtual hackathon.

It's now both in-person in the San Francisco Bay Area and virtual, making it super accessible. The event brings together professionals from 70+ countries, creating an awesome global tech community.

There's even a 1,000+ attendee hackathon and an 800+ attendee tech hiring expo, perfect for networking and showcasing skills. Big names like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have participated in past events, so you know it's legit.

The conference agenda is packed with tracks on API & Microservices, Frontend, Data Engineering, and more.

For those looking to level up their careers, there's a DevLead Conference and a Dev Innovation Conference. DeveloperWeek Global also offers a virtual option, making it easier than ever to join in on the action.

The event includes a Global Dev Summit focusing on managing remote workers and coordinating global dev teams - super relevant in today's work environment.

If you're into awards, check out the DEVIES Awards, which honor outstanding developer products and technologies across various categories.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, DeveloperWeek is the place to be for anyone serious about staying on top of the latest tech trends and innovations.

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

4. CalHacks


CalHacks, founded in 2014, is the world's largest collegiate hackathon, now featuring an exciting AI-focused event set for June 22-23, 2024.

This 36-hour hackathon attracts over 1,000 participants from around the globe, aiming to revolutionize the AI landscape. With more than $100,000 in prizes up for grabs, it's a massive opportunity for tech enthusiasts.

The event includes hacking sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities with industry experts and potential investors. What's really cool is the chance for selected teams to receive a $25,000 investment from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund to work on their projects full-time during the summer.

For those new to app development, Cubstart, a 2-unit course offered by Cal Hacks, provides a perfect starting point.

It covers both iOS and web development, helping beginners build their first apps. The hackathon's impact extends beyond the event itself, with previous projects like Vise AI (now valued at over $1 billion) showcasing its potential.

As Karen Taylor, CalHacks 2023 Director, puts it: "CalHacks isn't just an event; it's a launchpad for the next generation of tech innovators." The hackathon is part of a larger initiative by Hackathons @ Berkeley, fostering a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and social good.

Whether you're a coding pro or just starting out, CalHacks offers an unmatched opportunity to dive into cutting-edge tech, learn from the best, and potentially kick off your career in AI and innovation.

5. GraphQL Meetup Berkeley


The GraphQL Meetup Berkeley is the place to be for developers looking to level up their GraphQL game. This group is part of a larger global network of GraphQL enthusiasts, with over 96,000 members across 137 groups worldwide.

While not as massive as some meetups, the Berkeley chapter is growing steadily, attracting both newbies and seasoned pros. The meetup's goal? To create a space where everyone can share knowledge, swap ideas, and network with fellow GraphQL fans. Typical meetups cover a range of topics, from the basics of GraphQL schema design to more advanced stuff like performance tweaks and real-world case studies.

Recent events have featured talks on integrating GraphQL with various backend setups and exploring the latest trends in the GraphQL ecosystem. One of the coolest things about this meetup is its connection to the larger tech scene.

The GraphQL By the Bay group, which includes Berkeley, has hosted talks by GraphQL's founding fathers from Facebook and leading developers from companies putting GraphQL to work. Want to get involved? It's super easy:

  1. Check out their Meetup page
  2. Hit that "Join" button
  3. RSVP for upcoming events (they happen pretty regularly)
  4. Jump into online discussions

The best part? It's totally free to join.

And don't worry if you're just starting out - the community is super welcoming to all skill levels. As one member, Charles Jackson, put it, "This meetup has been a game-changer for my learning journey." The organizers are always on the lookout for fresh ideas and speakers.

So if you've got some GraphQL wisdom to share or just want to connect with other GraphQL enthusiasts, this is definitely the spot.

Whether you're into building cool apps or diving deep into the tech, the GraphQL Meetup Berkeley is where it's at for staying on top of the API development game.

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

6. Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Lab Events


The Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Lab is totally crushing it in the AI world. With over 50 faculty members and 300+ grad students and postdocs, BAIR is like the Avengers of AI research.

They're all about pushing the boundaries in computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics. What's cool is that BAIR isn't just stuck in an ivory tower - they're all about connecting AI with other scientific disciplines and even the humanities.

Their events are a goldmine for anyone looking to get into AI. You'll hear about everything from deep learning algorithms to the latest in robotic manipulation.

  • Free summer program for high school students: they've got a free summer program for high school students where you can dive into cutting-edge AI tech and ethics.
  • BAIR Blog as a resource: the BAIR Blog is another awesome resource, dropping knowledge bombs every couple of weeks on the latest AI breakthroughs.

It's perfect if you're from an underrepresented group in AI or if you've got limited access to STEM stuff.

The BAIR Blog covers everything from "function calling at the edge" to "detecting text ghostwritten by large language models" - super relevant stuff for the AI world we're living in.

If you're serious about AI, keep an eye on BAIR events.

They're usually open to the public and often have hybrid options, so you can tune in from anywhere. It's a killer way to network with the brightest minds in AI and stay on top of the field that's shaping our future.

7. Berkeley Python Meetup


The Berkeley Python Meetup scene is buzzing with activity! While the original group is still going strong, there's now an exciting Code Self Study group that's perfect for self-directed programmers.

With over 3,500 members, it's a goldmine for anyone looking to level up their coding skills. They meet regularly in Berkeley and nearby areas, welcoming coders of all levels - from total newbies to seasoned pros.

What's cool is that they cover all programming languages, not just Python. You can work through interesting programming books together, take online courses as a group, and even collaborate on projects.

It's like having a study buddy, but for coding! For those who want to dive deep into Python specifically, there's the San Francisco Python Meetup Group.

It's one of the largest Python communities around, with a whopping 13,877 members! They host monthly Presentation Nights with talks from Python Software Foundation members and local software engineers.

If you're into hands-on coding, their Project Nights are perfect for hacking on projects or getting your burning questions answered. There's even a Python Practice group at UC Berkeley.

They've had some pretty cool events in the past, like sessions on R from Python with rpy2 and discussions on reproducible science with Dexy and Docker. It's a great way to stay on top of the latest Python trends and applications. Whether you're looking to improve your coding skills, expand your network, or just geek out with fellow Python enthusiasts, Berkeley's Python meetup scene has got you covered.

With so many options, you're bound to find a group that fits your style and helps you reach your coding goals. Trust me, it's way more fun than coding alone in your room!

8. UX Design Meetup Berkeley


The UX scene in Berkeley is seriously buzzing! While the UX Design Meetup Berkeley is a key player, there's a whole network of communities making waves. Take the UCUX, for instance.

They're all about leveling up the UC digital ecosystem and spreading the gospel of human-centered design. It's not just talk either - they're providing real expertise to projects and helping UX pros grow their skills. The Berkeley User Experience (Berkeley UX) is another powerhouse.

Their mission? To make campus projects more useful and user-friendly. They're not just focused on the now - they're looking to the future by training the next gen of UX talent. For those looking to mix things up, the UX Design Club is where it's at.

With over 1,000 members, it's a melting pot of UX pros, engineers, and startup founders. They host everything from coffee shop work sessions to portfolio reviews, keeping things fresh and fun. These groups are shaking up the UX world in Berkeley, offering a mix of learning, networking, and real-world experience.

Whether you're just starting out or you're a seasoned pro, there's something for everyone. The best part? You're not just learning - you're part of a community that's shaping the future of UX. So if you're into UX and in Berkeley, you're in the right place at the right time.

Don't miss out on these opportunities to level up your skills and make some awesome connections!

9. Women in Tech - Berkeley Chapter


The Women in Tech - Berkeley Chapter is a vibrant community dedicated to empowering women in the tech sector. Since 2015, it's grown to over 1,500 members, with a 40% surge in the last year.

Their mission? Inspire women to dive into tech careers, level up professional skills, and build a supportive network. The chapter's calendar is packed with about 15 events annually, from monthly networking mixers to quarterly skill-building workshops.

Their annual career fair attracts 50+ tech companies, while bi-annual hackathons draw around 200 women coders. Berkeley's tech scene offers even more opportunities, like the CS Kickstart program and the Women in Tech Symposium.

The chapter's mentorship program, launched in 2018, has matched over 300 mentees with industry pros, boasting a 75% success rate in securing tech roles or promotions.

Beyond mentorship, they offer online forums, a job board, and a scholarship program that awarded $50,000 in 2022. Mary Davis, now a Data Scientist at Google, credits the chapter for changing her career trajectory.

Interested in joining? Check out their website or hit up a quarterly open house. There are tons of ways to get involved, from volunteering at events to leading workshops.

In 2022, members clocked over 5,000 volunteer hours, showing serious community commitment. With a 92% member satisfaction rate and partnerships with tech giants, this chapter is crushing it in advancing women's representation in tech.

Want to level up your skills? Women in Tech's US chapters offer education programs focusing on STEAM fields.

For students, Girls Teaching Girls to Code at Berkeley hosts events to inspire young girls in tech throughout the school year.

The tech world is waiting – let's shake things up!

10. Berkeley Big Data Conference


The Berkeley Big Data Conference is a total game-changer for data geeks and pros. While it's not happening this year, UC Berkeley's got something even cooler up its sleeve - the 2023 Berkeley Business Analytics & AI Summit.

This epic event is all about "Analytics, AI, and Society: Towards a Wiser World?" and it's going down on December 14, 2023. It's bringing together a killer lineup of speakers, including Oleksandra Matviichuk, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Matthew Lopez, California's Chief Technology Officer.

The summit's got everything from research sessions on data for peace and human rights to workshops on protecting society from AI. Plus, there's a sweet cocktail reception at the end where they're handing out the 2023 Berkeley World Business Analytics Awards.

If you're looking to level up your data skills, check out the 2024 National Workshop on Data Science Education organized by UC Berkeley's Data Science Undergraduate Studies program.

It's all about building community and shaping the future of data science education. For those who want to dive deeper, there's the Introduction to Big Data course at Berkeley Extension.

Covers everything from Lambda architecture to speed layer implementation. And if you're a student at UC Berkeley, don't sleep on Big Data at Berkeley, one of the largest data science student orgs on campus.

They're all about promoting data science through bootcamps and community projects. With all these opportunities, Berkeley's definitely the place to be for anyone looking to make their mark in the world of big data and AI.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Berkeley Startup Cluster?

The Berkeley Startup Cluster is a central hub for Berkeley's startup scene, bringing together top innovators and entrepreneurs. It offers events like pitch competitions and networking mixers, and initiatives like Berkeley Ventures, Berkeley Values (BV2) program focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

What can attendees expect at the Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum?

The Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum, a staple since 1991, covers a wide range of topics on entrepreneurship, featuring speakers like Guy Kawasaki and offering hands-on learning and networking opportunities. Its events range from angel and venture capital overviews to sessions on surviving economic downturns.

What is DeveloperWeek and who should attend?

DeveloperWeek is the largest developer conference and expo in the United States, attracting over 8,000 developers annually. It covers topics like AI, machine learning, and DevOps, featuring 100+ talks, a pitch contest, and a virtual hackathon. It's perfect for both seasoned developers and those new to the field.

What opportunities does CalHacks offer?

CalHacks is the world's largest collegiate hackathon, attracting over 1,000 participants. It offers hacking sessions, workshops, and networking with industry experts. Selected teams may receive a $25,000 investment from the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund. It's a major opportunity for tech enthusiasts to showcase their skills.

Why should developers join the GraphQL Meetup Berkeley?

The GraphQL Meetup Berkeley is a growing community where developers can share knowledge and network. It covers a range of topics from GraphQL schema design to real-world case studies. The meetup is free to join and welcomes all skill levels, providing a great platform for learning and networking.

You may be interested in the following topics as well:


Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.