Over the past year and a half, I have done a lot of networking. I’ve said yes to just about every networking invitation offered and I’ve spent countless hours trying various tech meetups in Jacksonville to get more familiar and involved with the community and help develop business for Tortoise and Hare Software. For those just getting started or those looking to step up their networking game, this post will cover the landscape of some of the top tech meetups in Jacksonville, Florida. This list is by no means exhaustive, and if you’ve got a tech networking group you’d like to see included on the list send us a message with why you think it should be included and what it can do to help expand the careers of tech networkers in Jacksonville.

In This Post

Tech On Tap

tech on tap, jacksonville networking event for tech pros

Let’s start with what’s become one of the most popular Meetups around the Jacksonville area: Tech on Tap. Sponsored by Robert Half Technology, this Meetup always has a pretty big turnout and is informal. Hang out, have a few beers at a rotating selection of locations, and get to know some of of the more business-y type folks in tech such as recruiters, sales people, marketers and the like. Of course, expect IT engineers, and developers as well, but this is one of the better Meetups to talk business as well as tech minutia. If you’re one of the more introverted networkers, be warned – this one can get a little bit louder and rowdier. Because of the high number of people that attend, it can be a bit intimidating for newbies.

Who It’s For

  • General Tech Industry Audience
  • Business Owners
  • Recruiters
  • Developers
  • IT & Networking

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Jax Tech

jax tech meetup and networking group in jacksonville

The Jax Tech meetup group is one of the more entertaining meetup groups and I recommend this one for introverts and extroverts alike. Sponsored by SourceFuse, this meetup group keeps us up to date with some of the cool things going on around Jax from a technology business perspective. It usually has a panel of interesting featured speakers followed by a more casual and low-key cocktail hour complete with DJ and atmosphere. Many networking groups around town follow this format, but this one’s featured speakers are a good place to get the executive perspective of what’s going on in the grassroots growth of Jacksonville’s technology scene.

Who It’s For

  • General Tech Industry Audience
  • Business Owners
  • Venture Capitalists
  • Entrepreneurs & Startups

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Jacksonville Information Technology Council

jacksonville infomation technology council government tech networking

The Jacksonville Information Technology Council (“JITC”) provides a city chamber-esque feel to the tech scene. If you want to get involved in the local community and be a part of growing Jacksonville (and you should!) this group is the one for you. For business owners looking to network and sell to the local market or government, this group will be essential. Note that it is a dues-based networking group and there is a time commitment. With those additional resources, it allows this group to do some great things in the city, including putting on the annual Tech Coast Conference.

Who It’s For

  • General Tech Industry Audience
  • Business Owners With A Focus On Local
  • Government and City Planning Tech Networkers

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Jax Code And Coffee

Let’s face it, Jacksonville is a driving city. It can be hard to make it to some of the tech Meetups in Jacksonville if they aren’t in your area. It’s the largest city in the U.S. in terms of square mileage occupied at 840 square miles. There’s a tendency for people to stick to their side of the city which is one of the most difficult parts of expanding your network here. Jax Code and Coffee overcomes this limitation by offering smaller, more low-key networking groups at rotating locations throughout the city and even St. Augustine. If you’re one of the more introverted developer types that wants to toe the waters of networking with a friendly crowd near your local area, this is the Meetup is for you.

Who It’s For

  • Developers
  • Startup Coffee Shop Surfers

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Big Data Jax

The go-to Meetup for data scientists, reporting analysts and other big data related professionals. With 2,400 members Big Data Jax is the 2nd largest in terms of membership on our list behind Tech on Tap. This is not too surprising – many MBAs and undergrads are incorporating analytics into business focused degrees because data analysis has become such a critical skill to have in nearly every white collar position. Meetups vary in depth of content from beginner to more advanced so check the calendar regularly and find one that appeals to you.

Who It’s For

  • Data Scientists
  • Reporting Analysts
  • Financial Analysts
  • Data Warehouse Admins
  • DBAs

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JSSUG – Jacksonville SQL Server User Group

JSSUG Tech Networking For SQL Server Professionals and DBAS

Microsoft technology stacks are one of the more prolific stacks in Jacksonville and as such, there’s a lot of SQL Server work around town. This has led to a vibrant local PASS chapter known as the Jacksonville SQL Server User Group or JSSUG (Jay-Sug) for short. This isn’t a Meetup that I’ve personally been to, but I have attended their annual event known as SQL Saturday multiple times and it’s run by a great group and they put on a killer conference.

Who It’s For

  • .NET Developers
  • SQL Developers
  • Database Administrators & Architects
  • Business Intelligence Developers
  • Power BI Developers

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North Florida Agile Meetup

Agile software development techniques have taken the tech world by storm, so naturally there’s a place for Scrum and Kanban enthusiasts and other agile practitioners to get together, exchange ideas, learn, and network with each other. The North Florida Agile Meetup is sponsored by MATRIX and features a mixture of speakers, workshops, and a traveling, co-learning series called “Lean Beer.” It’s a solid choice for those looking to develop contacts in technical management. 

Who It’s For

  • General Tech Industry Audience
  • Scrum Masters
  • Agile Coaches
  • Product Owners
  • Project Managers

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React Jax

react jax tech meetup for react devs

React has grown like wildfire over recent years and it’s gained a lot of popularity among developers in Jacksonville, particularly on the mobile scene with React Native. This group always has a great turnout and there is plenty of React expertise to go around. This is one of the groups with ample sponsorship so there’s always some pizza and beverages to accompany your networking. Expect to connect with a crowd of mostly developers, recruiters, and React enthusiasts

React Jax is a very community driven Meetup and they are always looking for speakers or people to show and tell with open source contributions or recent projects. If you’ve got a React project you’ve been dabbling with, don’t keep it a secret, bring it to the group!

Who It’s For

  • Developers
  • Mobile Developers
  • Recruiters

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Startup Jax

startup jax event, networking group in jax

This one is my personal favorite and so I’ve saved the best for last. Startup Jax is a Meetup group for those working on a startup or new business. When most people think startup, they think SaaS or mobile app companies; there’s a pretty good blend of that, but also designers, developers, marketers, and exited founders. It’s pretty casual and laid back, meeting once monthly in at a bar owned by one of the exited founders in San Marco called Posting House. My favorite part about this one is the exchange of ideas and it’s a good excuse for a Beaches resident to head over to San Marco for an evening.

Who It’s For

  • Startup Founders
  • Venture Capitalists
  • Tech Related Entrepreneurs & Business Owners

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Other Tech Meetups In Jacksonville

There are many other smaller tech Meetups in Jacksonville, most of them with not nearly as a big a following and many of them are geared more towards shared learning about a specific technology. Check out the full list from Meetup.com labeled with a tech category here. You can find networking groups for machine learning, AI, python, angular, cybersecurity, IT networking and many others. The list above just represents what I’ve found to be the most bang for your buck in the Jacksonville area as we all want to be efficient with our time.

Final Thoughts

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list and I’ll leave you with a couple of quick tips for getting the most out of your time at the networking groups:

  • Bring Business Cards
  • Regular Attendance Is Key
  • Skip Conversations About Politics and Religion
  • Dress For Success
  • Arrive A Few Minutes Early To Talk Business
  • Stay A Few Minutes Late To Build Relationships
  • Have Fun!

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