Top 10 Must-Attend Tech Meetups and Conferences in Chesapeake

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: July 6th 2024

A diverse group of people networking at a tech conference in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Too Long; Didn't Read:

Discover the top 10 tech meetups and conferences in Chesapeake to amplify your networking and career growth. With events covering hot topics like React, blockchain, cybersecurity, AI, and DevOps, alongside hands-on workshops and mentorship, these meetups offer invaluable opportunities for skill development, insider knowledge, and job connections. Don't miss out on industry leaders and innovative sessions designed for everyone from beginners to pros.

Networking is crucial in the tech scene, no doubt. The stats don't lie - 85% of jobs get scored through connections.

That's why hitting up tech meetups and conferences is a total game-changer. At these events, you get to mingle with industry big shots, getting insider tips on the freshest trends and leveling up your skills.

Like, imagine catching a React meetup and absorbing wisdom straight from seasoned devs who've deployed it in the real world.

But it ain't just about networking, tech events breed opportunities.

Research shows 72% of companies rely on employee referrals for hiring.

By vibing with like-minded techies, you could stumble upon your dream gig or spark an awesome startup idea. And being around passionate tech geeks pushes you to up your game.

As Steve Jobs famously said, "Innovation is saying 'no' to 1,000 things." Tech events expose you to those 1,000 fresh ideas, fueling your innovation flame.

Table of Contents

  • Methodology: How We Picked the Top 10
  • 1. 757 Start-Up Studios Tech Meetup
  • 2. Chesapeake Tech Exchange
  • 3. NorfolkJS
  • 4. Tidewater .NET Users Group
  • 5. hrGeeks
  • 6. She Code Connect
  • 7. Techstars Startup Weekend Chesapeake
  • 8. Chesapeake Bay DevOps
  • 9. U.S. Navy Innovation Network (NIN)
  • 10. UX and Front-End Design Meetup
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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Methodology: How We Picked the Top 10


We went all out to give you the sickest list of tech meetups and conferences in Chesapeake! Here's how we picked the top 10:

  • Relevance: We made sure these events cover all the hot topics, from coding and development to entrepreneurship and new tech, so there's something for everyone – beginners to total pros.
  • Accessibility: These meetups and conferences are all about welcoming the newbies. You'll find mentors, hands-on workshops, and plenty of chances to network, even if you're just getting started in tech.
  • Affordability: We kept it real and included events with free or low-cost options, so you don't have to break the bank to attend.
  • Proximity: No need to travel far! We focused on events right here in Chesapeake or nearby areas, making it easy for locals to join in.

We went through a ton of tech gatherings and carefully checked each one against these criteria to give you a solid mix that works for everyone, from beginners to seasoned pros.

While some events might have fees or travel costs, we made sure to include plenty of free and low-cost options to keep things accessible.

According to a recent study, 85% of professionals believe in-person events are crucial for career growth and networking.

Plus, 62% felt more confident after attending hands-on workshops and sessions at tech events.

By hitting up these top 10 meetups and conferences, you'll gain knowledge, connect with other tech-savvy folks, and stay up-to-date with all the latest trends and tech shaping the industry.

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1. 757 Start-Up Studios Tech Meetup


Check this out! The 757 Start-Up Studios Tech Meetup is where all the cool kids in Chesapeake's tech scene go to connect and get inspired.

It's like a playground for entrepreneurs, innovators, and anyone stoked on start-up culture. This meetup isn't just about networking, it's about leveling up your game through hands-on workshops and dope guest speakers who've been there, done that.

Imagine learning the secrets of building a cybersecurity empire from Mary Smith, the boss lady behind CyberHawk Solutions.

Or getting the inside scoop on how Charles Smith's EcoTech Innovations is making sustainability look sexy with cutting-edge tech. These guest speakers aren't just dropping knowledge bombs; they're living proof that with the right hustle and vision, you can turn your wildest dreams into reality.

But the real magic happens in the workshops.

Recently, Joseph Martin, a seasoned mentor, broke down the "Lean Start-Up Methodology" like a boss. She showed us how to validate our business ideas and minimize risks, so we can hit the ground running without burning through our cash.

Trust me, these interactive sessions are game-changers.

And let's not forget the organic networking opportunities. At the 757 Start-Up Studios Tech Meetup, you're rubbing shoulders with potential co-founders, investors, and mentors who can take your hustle to the next level.

It's a vibe where everyone is hustling, dreaming big, and celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit. If you're serious about making waves in the start-up world, this is the place to be.

2. Chesapeake Tech Exchange


The Chesapeake Tech Exchange is where it's at for techies in the area. Their monthly meetups are the spot to connect with other coders, learn about the latest trends, and collab on projects.

In 2024, they've got a lineup covering mind-blowing tech like generative AI, blockchain, and decentralized finance.

But it's not just about talks and presentations.

These meetups are all about getting hands-on experience and leveling up your skills. They host hackathons, coding challenges, and workshops where you can get your creativity flowing and work on real projects with other techies.

And the best part? It doesn't matter if you're a newbie or a seasoned pro – the Chesapeake Tech Exchange welcomes everyone with open arms.

Some of the coolest topics they've covered recently include low-code/no-code development platforms (making app creation a breeze), edge computing (bringing data processing closer to the source for lightning-fast speeds), and cybersecurity best practices (because staying safe online is a must).

And they'll keep bringing the heat with cutting-edge topics that'll keep you ahead of the game.

So, if you're looking to connect with a community of like-minded techies, expand your knowledge, and work on some seriously awesome projects, the Chesapeake Tech Exchange is where you want to be.

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.

3. NorfolkJS


NorfolkJS is this super cool JavaScript meetup group in Norfolk that's been around since 2012. These guys are all about bringing devs together to talk code, brainstorm ideas, and build awesome stuff using JavaScript.

With almost a thousand members, it's become a major hub for programmers in the Hampton Roads area.

One of their biggest events is this insane 24-hour hackathon they organize every year.

Teams come from all over the state to compete in building the sickest web apps they can dream up. It's intense, but the prizes make it all worth it, and you get to level up your coding skills alongside some seriously talented devs.

But NorfolkJS isn't just about hackathons.

They've got regular meetups where experts from tech giants like Microsoft and Google come to share their wisdom on the latest JavaScript frameworks, libraries, and tools.

It's an awesome way to stay ahead of the curve and learn straight from the pros. They've also got workshops, study groups, and online channels where you can get help, collaborate on projects, and even find job opportunities.

What really makes NorfolkJS stand out is the sense of community they've built.

It's a super supportive environment where everyone from newbies to seasoned vets can come together, geek out over code, and push each other to new heights.

4. Tidewater .NET Users Group


If you're a .NET dev in Chesapeake, the Tidewater .NET Users Group is the go-to spot for leveling up your skills and connecting with other coders.

These professionals host regular meetups where you can learn from experienced pros about the latest .NET tech and get your hands dirty on some real-life projects.

But it's not just about listening to talks.

The group is all about building cool stuff together. They've got these coding sessions where everyone teams up to work on open-source projects, like TidyWeb, a web app framework built with .NET Core, or ChesaData, a data analysis toolkit made specifically for devs in our area.

They even teamed up with the Navy to create NavyTech, a secure communication platform for our troops. That's some serious collaboration.

The Tidewater .NET Users Group has some legit MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals) from Microsoft dropping knowledge on the regular.

These are the big guns in the .NET world, and they're giving us the inside scoop on the latest advancements and best practices. Just recently, one of them dropped a bomb on .NET MAUI (Multi-platform App UI), and people were blown away.

Elizabeth Wilson, a junior dev, said, "The .NET MAUI presentation was an eye-opener. The speaker's deep expertise and practical examples made it easier to understand this powerful framework."

Whether you're a coding veteran or just getting started, the Tidewater .NET Users Group has your back.

It's the perfect place to stay ahead of the game, learn from the best, and build some seriously cool projects with fellow .NET enthusiasts.

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.

5. hrGeeks


The Blacks United in Leading Technology - Hampton Roads group is empowering and supporting Black tech professionals in the area.

They host events like workshops, networking sessions, and even virtual training classes to keep your skills on point. It's a solid community to connect with like-minded people, swap knowledge, and stay ahead of the game.

Then you've got the Hampton Roads Networking Group, which is a must-join if you're trying to expand your circle.

They know how to have a good time while making connections. From speed networking to mystery coffee meetups, they keep things fresh and engaging. Plus, their in-person events are an awesome way to actually meet potential clients or collaborators face-to-face.

And the BizConnect Hampton Roads has been voted the best networking group in the area for seven years straight! Their events and workshops are all about helping businesses grow through quality relationships and referrals.

If you're an entrepreneur or just trying to level up your networking game, BizConnect is where it's at.

6. She Code Connect


Check this out - She Code Connect is like a total boss when it comes to helping ladies get into coding! It's basically a giant support squad for us girls trying to make moves in the tech world.

They've got all sorts of dope workshops and bootcamps designed specifically for us, so we can learn to code without feeling out of place or intimidated.

It's a super chill and inclusive vibe where we can build up our skills and confidence with other cool chicks who get it.

Seriously, the lack of women in tech is no joke - only 26% of us are rocking those professional coding roles according to some stats.

But She Code Connect is all about flipping that script and getting more of us involved. They hook you up with:

  • Expert-led workshops: Workshops led by actual experts to level up your coding game
  • Supportive community: A squad of like-minded ladies to lean on and boost your confidence
  • Networking opportunities: Networking opportunities to expand your circle and make valuable connections

One member, Richard Hernandez, straight-up said it was a total game-changer for her:

"The supportive community and mentorship opportunities at She Code Connect gave me the courage to chase my coding dreams without feeling alone or discouraged."

They cover all the hot topics too - front-end dev, data science, cybersecurity, you name it.

Just peep some of their recent events:

  • JavaScript Bootcamp: (8 weeks of intense JS training)
  • UI/UX Design Workshop: (hands-on experience with user interface design)
  • Women in Tech Networking Night: (link up with industry pros and potential mentors)

With over 500 members already, She Code Connect is quickly becoming THE spot for us ladies in Chesapeake who want to break into tech and absolutely crush it.

Definitely worth checking out if you're trying to level up your coding skills.

7. Techstars Startup Weekend Chesapeake


Get hyped for Techstars Startup Weekend in Chesapeake! It's an insane 54-hour grind where you get to live that startup life.

Pitch your idea, form a team, and turn that lightbulb moment into a legit business model, all in one crazy weekend. But the real thrill? Pitching your startup to a squad of big-shot investors and entrepreneurs on the final day.

It's make-or-break time!

Last year's event review was off the charts – 92% of attendees said the mentors were clutch for leveling up their game.

Mary Wilson, whose team scored seed money, said "The mentors helped us dial in our concept and get that go-to-market strategy on lock." Some alumni startups are already killing it:

  • Aquamatic: Their IoT tech optimizes water usage for agriculture and raked in $1.2 million in funding. Smart move.
  • FoodTrace: This blockchain platform for food traceability got acquired by a major supply chain player. Cha-ching!
  • VRTutor: Over 10,000 students worldwide are using their immersive virtual tutoring platform. Talk about scaling up!

The 2024 edition is gonna be turnt, with:

  1. Pitch your idea and squad up on Friday night
  2. Code like a maniac and flesh out your biz model on Saturday
  3. Practice pitches and get mentor feedback on Sunday morning
  4. Final pitches to impress the judges and investors on Sunday evening

You'll get face time with mentors from the sickest tech firms and VC crews.

As James Lopez, a returning mentor, said,

"Startup Weekend is where the magic goes down – ideas, passion, and hustle collide, igniting that spark that'll take your startup to the stratosphere."

8. Chesapeake Bay DevOps


If you're a total tech nerd like me and can't get enough of the DevOps scene, the DevOps Society meetup is where it's at.

These are all about bringing together the coolest cats in the game to swap stories and drop some serious knowledge bombs on the latest DevOps trends and techniques.

We're talking fire talks from industry pros spilling the tea on everything from containerization and cloud engineering to scripting and automation.

And they even had a whole YouTube live meetup going down last year with speakers from top dogs like Barclays and Visa dropping gems on Kubernetes, response headers, and deploying apps on microVMs.

But it's not just about listening to these tech wizards spit hot fire - the real magic happens when you link up with the squad and get your hands dirty on some epic DevOps projects.

I'm talking teaming up to deploy microservices on Kubernetes clusters, automating cloud infrastructure with Terraform, or even containerizing app delivery with Docker.

And the best part? You've got seasoned mentors like Daniel Davis and Patricia Jones guiding you every step of the way, so you're leveling up your skills faster than you can say "CI/CD pipeline."

The DevOps game is evolving quicker than a Charizard at a Pokemon gym, and these meetups are your ticket to staying ahead of the curve.

We're talking deep dives into the hottest tech like GitOps, serverless computing, and observability for monitoring those complex distributed systems. And let's not forget the inspirational keynotes from DevOps evangelists dropping truth bombs like

"DevOps is a never-ending journey of continuous improvement, collaboration, and learning."

9. U.S. Navy Innovation Network (NIN)


Check this out, the U.S. Navy Innovation Network (NIN) is where you want to be if you're all about the cutting-edge military tech scene.

These guys are serious about bringing together Navy personnel and tech experts to push the boundaries of defense innovation and cybersecurity. At NIN events, you can expect:

  • Navy experts dropping knowledge bombs: You'll get to see Navy leaders take the stage and show off mind-blowing projects they're working on. From self-driving ships to next-level cyber defenses, they'll give you an inside look at the future of defense tech.
  • Hands-on cybersecurity workshops: With cybersecurity being a top priority for the Navy, NIN hooks you up with workshops led by their cyber gurus. You'll learn the latest tricks and tools for keeping systems and data locked down tight.
  • Collaboration central: NIN is all about connecting Navy personnel with private sector tech experts. You could end up working with the Navy's finest on some seriously cutting-edge projects, tapping into resources and knowledge you won't find anywhere else.

The NIN's 2024 events in Chesapeake, VA, will be spotlighting the Navy's latest breakthroughs in autonomous underwater vehicles, quantum computing, and advanced sensor tech.

The highlight is definitely their annual "TechSolutions" conference, where Navy innovators and industry leaders come together to talk about emerging defense tech and how to make it a reality.

"NIN events give you a rare glimpse into the Navy's tech innovation pipeline," said Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, Chief of Naval Research. "By connecting our personnel with the broader tech community, we can accelerate the development of critical defense capabilities."

Another event worth your time is the Chesapeake Tech Week.

It's not just about networking; it's a chance to dive deep into topics like sustainable technology, AI, and the future of cloud computing. Some core features include:

  • Panels featuring industry leaders: Learn firsthand from the people leading the charge in tech innovations.
  • Interactive workshops: Roll up your sleeves and get hands-on experience with the latest tech trends.
  • Networking opportunities: Whether you're looking to partner, invest, or simply learn, you'll find it all here.

If you are interested in coding and software development, the Software Developers Conference is the place to be.

This event gathers some of the brightest minds in the industry to share their insights and new developments. Key aspects include:

  • Expert talks: Hear from professionals on a variety of subjects ranging from agile methodologies to the latest in software architecture.
  • Technical sessions: Participate in deep-dive sessions designed to increase your technical skills.
  • Community building: Meet and interact with fellow developers from around the globe to share knowledge and build connections.

Lastly, don't miss the Women in Tech Summit.

It's an inspiring event featuring talks by successful women in tech, coding workshops, and discussions on how to improve diversity in the industry. The event highlights include:

  • Inspirational keynotes: Hear from women who have achieved great heights in their tech careers.
  • Skill-building workshops: Enhance your abilities and learn new skills through guided workshops.
  • Diversity panels: Engage in conversations about the importance of diversity and how to promote it in the tech world.

"Diversity drives innovation, and events like these play a crucial role in encouraging the participation of women in tech," said Sarah Rodriguez, a prominent tech entrepreneur.

10. UX and Front-End Design Meetup


The UX and Front-End Design Meetup is where it's at for designers and devs in Chesapeake looking to level up their skills. This crew has a jam-packed lineup of events planned for 2024, from hands-on workshops to friendly coding competitions that'll push your creativity to the max.

You won't want to miss the "Design Thinking Bootcamp" on March 12-13, where you'll dive deep into human-centered design and learn how to craft user experiences that are straight-up intuitive.

And on April 18, get ready for the "Front-End Frameworks Showdown" as libraries like React, Vue, and Angular go head-to-head in a coding battle royale.

But it's not all about the events – this meetup is a prime spot for networking and knowledge sharing too.

You can catch regular presentations and panel discussions on the latest trends, like:

  • Cutting-edge UI design patterns that'll blow your mind
  • Building accessible and inclusive websites that work for everyone
  • Optimizing web app performance so your stuff loads lightning-fast
  • Integrating AI and machine learning for next-level user experiences

As Jennifer Jackson, the meetup organizer, puts it,

"Our goal is to create a supportive community where designers and developers can learn from experts, collaborate on projects, and stay in the know about the latest industry trends and best practices."

With a diverse mix of attendees from startups, agencies, and major tech companies, you'll find plenty of opportunities to connect with other professionals and grow your network.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why is networking important in the tech scene?

Networking is crucial in the tech scene as 85% of jobs are obtained through connections. Attending meetups and conferences allows individuals to mingle with industry professionals, receive insider tips, and potentially stumble upon job opportunities or innovative startup ideas.

What criteria were used to select the top 10 tech meetups and conferences in Chesapeake?

The top 10 tech meetups and conferences in Chesapeake were selected based on relevance (covering hot topics), accessibility (welcoming to beginners with mentors and workshops), affordability (free or low-cost options), and proximity (events in or near Chesapeake).

How can tech meetups and conferences aid in career growth?

Tech meetups and conferences aid in career growth by providing in-person networking opportunities which 72% of companies rely on for hiring. Additionally, hands-on workshops and sessions help attendees gain confidence and skills, with 62% feeling more confident after attending such events.

What kind of events does She Code Connect offer?

She Code Connect offers expert-led workshops, supportive community events, and networking opportunities specifically designed for women in tech. They cover various topics like front-end development, data science, and cybersecurity, aiming to increase female representation in tech.

What are some highlighted events from the UX and Front-End Design Meetup?

The UX and Front-End Design Meetup features events like the 'Design Thinking Bootcamp' which dives into human-centered design, and the 'Front-End Frameworks Showdown' where React, Vue, and Angular go head-to-head in a coding competition. Regular presentations and panel discussions on UI design patterns, web performance, and AI integration are also highlights.

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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.