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How can I better network with other software engineers in the Bay Area?

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Senior Software Engineer [P4] at VMWare2 years ago

I moved to the Bay Area to be within a denser network. However, everyone is working within their own silos, and it's hard to break them out so you can develop a deeper relationship with them.

Can you recommend some good platforms to network with other engineers in the Bay Area? I would like to meet other engineers at a similar level and working within a similar space.

I've already tried some basic things which I didn’t find much value from:

  • Went to some public meetups from online sites like Meetup.com which claimed that there will be a lot of great engineers there. Once I went to these, the level of engineers didn’t match my expectations. The conversations were more generic and centered around TC.
  • Get in touch with as many alumni from my college as possible.


  • 11
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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • Core operating principle: Time is the most valuable resource, and the SWEs you want to network with almost certainly have high TC (200k+) and know that their time is extremely valuable.
    • When building any professional relationship, always be thinking about how you can provide value to the other person. If they have problems that you have experience solving, share that wisdom with them. The Golden Rule very much applies here.
    • It is very difficult to find great networking opportunities on open, public platforms as the low barrier to entry means that most of the people there are going to be lower-value engineers not at the caliber you're interested in.
    • The absolute best way to network is to deepen your work relationships and turn your work friends into real friends. From there, hope they introduce you to their SWE friends and expand your graph like this. Do this earlier in your career before you have bigger commitments outside of work (e.g. a spouse and a family).
    • For a clear example of the above, my cofounder Rahul is literally a work friend that became a real friend of mine 😂
    • Honestly, I think Taro Premium is a great place for you to network in an outside-of-work setting as the membership fee leads to great engineers self-selecting themselves into this group.
    • If you're in the Bay Area, move to San Francisco if possible. It's just the densest part of the Bay, both in terms of people and in terms of tech company action. It's staggering how many of the top tier startups are in SF.
    • Attend as many conferences as you can. Similar to Taro Premium there, the audience is self-selected to be passionate, talented SWEs.

    Related resources:

  • 14
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    Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 years ago
    • With networking (and mentoring), it's not about you. It's about the other person. So ask yourself the question "what would make it interesting/fun/educational for someone to talk to me or mentor me?"
    • Put yourself in a position to meet people. That doesn't happen if you're staying at home and talk to the same 5 people everyday. Build in public, attend meetups, take part in activities.
    • Offer value to people you engage with. Value doesn't have to mean some ground-breaking insight, it could just be to share your perspective.
VMware, Inc. is an American cloud computing and virtualization technology company with headquarters in Palo Alto, California. VMware was the first commercially successful company to virtualize the x86 architecture.
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