The Seattle tech scene is one of the most bustling and growing industries in the world. With new jobs becoming available daily and new startups popping up everywhere, the demand for trained professionals is higher than ever before.
If you’re ready to break into tech and begin your new career, you may be wondering where to start. One of the biggest things both novice and experienced coders need when looking to improve their skills is accountability.
Getting involved with a group of likeminded technical driven individuals can make the difference between your success and lack thereof in the industry. That’s why we’ve gathered some of Seattle’s top tech meetup organizations and professional associates to help you find your own community of peers. So, sit back and relax as we breakdown some of the best tech groups in Seattle.
Seattle’s Tech Scene
Before we dive into the top organizations in Seattle, we need to take a step back and examine Seattle’s tech industry as a whole.
Seattle has consistently been a hub for technological innovation in the United States for the past several decades. From Downtown to Bellevue, every part of the area is immersed in code, tech, and pure innovation. Many tech companies and startups who are looking for a strategic location north of Silicon Valley decide to call Seattle home.
Seattle by Numbers
What do you think of when you think about Seattle? Do you think about the cities 38 inches of rain a year? Maybe you envision the iconic skyline with the Space Needle observation tower. Whatever your memory conjures when you think of Seattle, many people don’t automatically think of Seattle’s booming tech scene.
In fact, Seattle’s tech scene has been growing and evolving for some time. When you think of the Seattle tech scene, it’s inevitable that you’ll think of Microsoft. Of course, you’d have a good reason to. 4 years after its founding, Microsoft moved its headquarters to Bellevue, WA just across the bay from Seattle.
Many former Microsoft employees have since branched out and created their own successful startups in the Seattle area. With Microsoft being the first tech giant in Seattle, many more soon followed including Amazon, Zillow, Boeing, and others.
While the average cost of housing in Seattle is around $750,000, this number is still significantly lower than other tech hubs of the West coast. Additionally, Seattle’s median salary that is needed for one person to live comfortably in the city is around $72,000.
Seattle saw an influx of 33,000 additional tech jobs between 2016 and 2017. Additionally, tech accounted for 93% of all office jobs in Seattle during 2017.
Skills to focus on
When looking for a group of tech peers to work with, it’s important to keep in mind what you’re looking for. It sometimes helps to have friends or colleagues that are either already versed in the code you’re learning or they’re currently learning it with you, that way you can compare notes and work with each other to solve any technical problems that may arise.
While you don’t have to have the next 10 years of your career planned out, taking a bit of time now to research, can save you a ton of time and money later on. Take a look at some of the top skills in the tech industry and see how they might affect your tech education.
Coding Languages are diverse and plentiful. They span a variety of subjects and each one exists to do many different things. Programming languages are classified as either front end or backend or even somewhere in between.
Whichever coding language(s) you know, they could actually end up determining where you work when you go on to look for a job in tech. In fact, some companies are almost exclusively dedicated to a handful of programming languages.
- Google: Java, C++, and Python
- Apple: Objective-C and Swift
- Microsoft: C#
Keep in mind these are just three of the numerous tech companies in the world and that these favorite programming languages are subject to change. Coding languages don’t only dictate who you work for, they sometimes also dictate the kind of work you do. For example…
- All IOS Mobile Apps run on Objective C.
- All Android Mobile Apps run on Java.
- Games are usually built in C++.
- PHP, Ruby, and Python can be used to create a variety of Web Applications.
The most in-demand programming languages of 2019 are as follows:
Keep in mind these are only the top five most popular coding languages of 2019. These coding languages vary greatly depending on your desired sector of tech or your dream company. What’s in demand in one place, may not be used in another.
The ways in which coding languages can be used are endless. The point is that the kind of coding language you know could ultimately determine what type of work you do. Familiarizing yourself with the tech Industry’s most popular and in-demand coding languages will save you a ton of hassle in the long run. It’s always important to keep your technical skills up to date with the changing times.
Top Meetups and Professional Associations in Seattle
The importance of community throughout the tech industry is immense and widespread. While it seems pretty simple, the truth is that amazing things happen when a bunch of smart minds get together. So, where can you find groups of like-minded peers in Seattle? The good news is that Seattle’s tech scene is ever-growing and is currently a bustling industry full of like-minded tech professionals. Here are the top meetup organizations and professional associations in the Seattle area.
WTIA is an influential co-op of 1100 companies both large and small throughout the Washington area. The association offers a variety of benefits including the Apprenti Program which is a pipeline for minorities, women, and veterans to gain training, certification, and job placement within the tech industry.
Additionally, WTIA exists to make sure that your company’s and your own personal tech needs are met through public initiatives and legislation.
TechAlliance is a group of technical-minded peers committed to getting stuff done. The group has been able to help secure funding for a variety of startups throughout the area. Additionally, the group prioritizes youth in tech and looks to offer additional resources to get kids and teens interested in the world of tech throughout the coming years. TechAlliance is also dedicated to bridging the gap of women in tech and has already helped over 100 women make the transition into higher-paying jobs within the tech industry.
TechAlliance also invites anyone interested in breaking into tech and advancing their own skills to attend the Policy Matter Summit 2019:AI. TechAlliance continuously hosts inaugural summits that work to bring a variety of tech-minded people and industry professionals together over a day of talks, presentations, and innovation.
3. Puget Sound Programming Python (PuPPy)
The Puget Sound Programming Python group is a community of like-minded coders specializing in Python oriented coding. The group meets a variety of times throughout the week to focus on a multitude of topics including Interview Practice Night, Programming Night, and 2nd Wednesday of the Month Talks with industry professionals. The group currently has over 8,000 members across the Seattle area.
4. Seattle JS
5. SDE Skills
SDE Skills meetups offer members a chance to improve their technical interview skills with a group of like-minded and motivated individuals. The group hosts weekly meetings that include interview prep, coding challenges, and chances for practice in a group setting. The group currently has over 2,000 members.
The Seattle Women of Design and UX focus on providing Seattle women and non-binary people with an opportunity to network, learn, mentor, and support each other in design, UX, and related fields. The group hosts monthly meetups that include workshops, coding challenges, and opportunities for members to hone their own presentation and technical skills in a welcoming and safe learning environment. The group currently has over 2,000 members.
Seattle Women in Data Science focuses on empowering the women and non-binary members of Seattle’s data science industry to stay motivated and continue learning and innovating throughout their technical journeys. The group hosts monthly talks with female industry professionals, workshops and study groups, mentoring sessions, and even a book club! The group currently boasts over 1,500 members.
How Does This Benefit You?
As mentioned previously, having a team of like-minded individuals behind you to motivate you throughout your coding journey can seriously make or break your projects. Even the most self-motivated individuals in the world can still benefit from a bit of good ole’ fashioned motivation and accountability.
In short, finding a group of peers to keep you accountable throughout your coding career is absolutely vital to your technical and career success! Additionally, sitting in front of a screen for 12 hours a day can definitely get a bit lonely, so having someone there to make work more fun is always a good thing!
Additionally, some of these programs may be more “professional” or exist as a way to keep up with all of the industry’s happenings, which is still a really good thing. As we’ve referenced before, it’s absolutely vital to your career and the sustainability of your projects to keep in touch with all of the tech industry’s news. Putting yourself out there within your own technical community is always a good thing, you never know who you might meet or who might end up being your boss one day! Friends and colleagues today, could very well be fortune 500 industry leaders in the future.