The power of tech meetups

Why attending is so beneficial

I went to a meetup on Thursday - the amazing Fusion, based in Birmingham in the UK. We got treated to three great talks:

  • What we can learn from Real* Engineers - all about how to do continuous professional development and do it well

  • Code Queens: Strategies for Empowering Women in Tech - how to make sure women are given the opportunities and support we are not always given in tech

  • Whose web is it anyway? - in which we were told all about the recent Apple PWA debacle (their decision has now been reversed, hooray!)

You can find out more and watch the recording of the talks at

It was a really good evening, but many engineers I know seem to be unaware of the existence of their local meetups, so I wanted to give some reasons why it's worth your while to seek them out and encourage you to go support your local tech scene.

  1. learning something new

Probably the most obvious one, but meetups are usually about sharing knowledge either in the form of long form talks, lightning talks, lean coffee chats, round tables or even just general networking. I learned a lot from the talks I heard on Friday - the talk on PWAs especially gave me a bunch of context on an important story that was happening in the world of the web that I had not appreciated before. Even if there aren't any talks, just being around other people who are into tech probably means you'll strike up a conversation and learn something new, which will help you grow as a software engineer and as a person.

  1. growing your network

If you are looking for a new role, this is a really good one. Meeting other people from other companies will allow you to chat about openings and whether anybody has any. Meetups often attract recruiters too, so you can get onto their books and let them help you find somewhere.

Even if you're not looking for a new role though, growing your network is a good thing. It might seem pointless and nothing to do with writing code and being a programmer, but the simple fact is that knowing more people equals having more opportunities.

An example of this is that I recently got asked to do my own talk at Fusion, just because I've gotten to know people on the Birmingham tech scene and they saw my recent blog on React Server Components. You never know where you'll end up as a result of going to these events!

  1. supporting your local tech scene

This one is not as glamorous as the first two but it's super important. Meetups need you! They're only able to put on these events for free (or low cost) because they have sponsors, and without people coming to their meetups, sponsors will pull out and the meetups will disappear. This would be a huge loss to the tech industry in my opinion.

On that note, if you work for a company that would be willing to sponsor a meetup, please do try to convince them to do so. The harsh reality is that these events can't happen without money.

  1. getting help and advice

Going to meetups will allow you to ask questions of others in the tech industry, which can be absolutely invaluable. This is especially the case for meetups that run a more "round table" session where you are able to bring your questions and get them answered by the group - I am aware of at least two such meetups in Birmingham (shoutout to CoffeeOps and ManageOps) and I am sure there are more!

Even at meetups with talks there are usually breaks where you're able to chat and as you get to know people and build your network, you're able to ask questions and talk things over with others. Talking to people from outside your own company will broaden your perspective and perhaps give you some new ideas for how to solve a problem you've come across.

  1. blagging some free stuff

Meetups (in Birmingham at least!) often put on a free spread to encourage people to come along to their events. By no means one of my most important reasons for coming to meetups, but it doesn't hurt - having a free pie and a free drink while blagging free stickers and pens provided by sponsors is not going to get in the way of having a good time, let's face it!

Of course, at the end of the day there are sponsors providing those freebies and if you want them to carry on funding your favourite meetups, don't forget to post on social media about how delicious the food was or how you've enjoyed that free pen or sticker. Sponsors will also generally have reps at the meetup so do go and speak to them and ask them questions - it'll make sure they know people are engaged and will keep up their sponsorship.

How do I find my local meetups?

Okay, say you're in and want to start going to your local meetup - how do you find out what's happening in your area?

This is a very good question - it's not always easy to find meetups by searching on the internet. If I search "Birmingham tech meetups" a bunch of my favourite meetups just aren't listed for example. A lot of tech meetups list themselves on so that is definitely worth checking out. Though again, it's hard to find the events I know exist on there unless I use the meetup's name, and if you aren't into your local tech scene yet, you won't know what your meetups are called! So you can see how that can be a bit of a barrier.

My main recommendation here is to ask your colleagues or other people you know who are in tech. Someone somewhere should know if there is a meetup in your area. If there isn't one, why not start one? A meetup can literally just consist of a group of people getting together to chat tech over coffee, it doesn't have to be anything more than that.

If you happen to live in Birmingham (in the UK, not Alabama!) then TechMids keep a really good list at

If you run a tech meetup, feel free share a link in the comments!