Professional Development
Career development / Events

Events Roundup: 12 ~not-spooky~ professional development meetups this October

If you're looking to network with other technologists, celebrate the cloud or open source community, or just champion the future of Philadelphia, these 12 meetups have you covered.

Ellen Hwang leading a smart cities workshop at Tech in the Commons 2018. (Photo by Christopher Wink)

We know that networking and professional development can feel like the stuff of nightmares.

But this October, Philadelphia is filled to the brim with conferences, speaker series and even a fair dedicated to the local maker community. If you’re looking for a friendly way to connect, celebrate the cloud or open-source community, or just champion the future of Philadelphia, these IRL events you covered:


This 10-day festival has a slew of events across the city focused on design, technology and the future of Philadelphia. It’s the 15th year of the festival, which kicks off with a party at Cherry Street Pier on Oct. 2.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 2, to Sunday, Oct. 13
  • Various times and locations across the city
  • Ticket prices vary

Startup Grind ft. PSL’s Kiera Smalls

The Startup Grind series offers a fireside chat-like evening with local entrepreneurs to hear about each other’s journey. Join Philly Startup Leaders ED Kiera Smalls this week to hear her story of entrepreneurship.

  • Thursday, Oct. 3
  • 6 to 8:30 p.m.
  • 1776 Rittenhouse (1608 Walnut St., 12th floor)
  • $10 for students, $15 for entrepreneurs, free for 1776 members with code

GreatPHL Conference

A full-day (yep, like 24-hours-long) conference bringing together speakers and performers for a slew of activities surrounding the theme of being grateful (get it?) for what the city of Philadelphia has done to impact you, organizers said. Speakers and activity leaders include Conrad Benner from Streets Dept.; Karin Copeland, previously with Arts & Business Council; Antoinette Marie Johnson of Cohere; Brendan Lowry of Peopledelphia; Natalie Nixon of Figure 8 Thinking and more.

  • Friday, Oct. 4, to Saturday, Oct. 5
  • 7 p.m. on Friday to 7 p.m. on Saturday
  • 421 N. 7th St
  • Tickets start at $30

Learn to Code for Beginners

If you’re looking to get a quick picture of a career in technology, Tech Elevator, the coding bootcamp company that just opened up shop in Philadelphia, is hosting a free, for-beginners coding workshop. “Join us for a session focused on simple programming concepts that will be fun, informative, and give you a glimpse into the world of computer programming,” the event’s description reads.

  • Saturday, Oct. 5
  • 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Pipeline Philadelphia (30 S. 15th St., 15th floor)
  • Free

Philadelphia Mini Maker Faire

The second annual Philly Mini Maker Faire will return to Pennovation this year, having moved the event to October to better align the event with area schools and universities who want to participate. Maker Media, the the company behind Make: magazine and the national Maker Faire organization shut down earlier this year, but organizers said the Philly chapter is still up and running strong — indeed, they estimate they’ll host double the attendees this year.

  • Sunday, Oct. 6
  • Pennovation Works
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • $7 for children, $14 for adults

Cloud Native Revolution Conference

Comcast is hosting this daylong conference on cloud technology and innovations with its flagship products. “Cloud native adopters have declared their independence from heavy infrastructure and are paving the way for groundbreaking innovations in everything from augmented & virtual reality to healthcare and space exploration,” the event page says.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 8
  • 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Comcast Technology Center (1800 Arch St., 18th floor)
  • $25

Women of Color in Tech

This Walker’s Legacy event series, powered by Comcast, will showcase “multicultural women in technology, explore opportunities and resources minority and women entrepreneurs may utilize to grow and expand their entrepreneurial endeavors.”

  • Thursday, Oct. 10
  • 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • 1776 Rittenhouse (1608 Walnut St., 12th floor)
  • Free

Women Founders and Funders: Accessing Capital Seminar

This morning-long seminar will present a trio of panels for women about how to raise capital from angel investors. Attendees will hear from a number of women about their experiences during the third annual event. Expect networking, panel discussions and a continental breakfast.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 15
  • 7:30 to 10 a.m.
  • Fox Rothschild LLP (2000 Market St.)
  • $25

Tech in the Commons’s sister site Generocity hosts this event to give nonprofits the skills in technology they need to grow their impact, audience, fundraising and organizational efforts. The second event of the year, in partnership with Comcast, will focus on entrepreneurial skills that can be transferred and applied to the nonprofit industry.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 16
  • 5 to 7:30 p.m.
  • MakeOffices (1635 Market St., Suite #1600)
  • Registration costs $5, but is refunded after the event

Philly Jam

A networking event for Philly’s young professionals, presented by Start.Stay.Grow University and Philly Startup Leaders. “Philly Jam is a sensational networking event for anyone interested in meeting new people and having lively conversations,” the event page says.

  • Thursday, Oct. 17
  • 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Drexel Square Park
  • Free

Level Up Summit 

The African American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) is hosting its third Level Up Summit, a conference to champion for Black entrepreneurship, business ownership and career advancement in the region. Expect professional development sessions, panels and a pitch competition.

  • Cocktail reception on evening of Friday, Oct. 18, followed by the daylong conference on Saturday, Oct. 19
  • Location 215 (990 Spring Garden St.) and Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania (3620 Walnut St.)
  • $75 for AACC members, $125 for non-members

Hacktoberfest Philly 2019

Hacktoberfest is a month-long celebration of open source, with an event hosting speakers, networking and 15-second open source pitches.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 22
  • 6 – 11 p.m.
  • MakeOffices (1635 Market St.)
  • Free

Planning an event you want us to include in next month’s roundup? Email

Companies: Tech Elevator / African American Chamber of Commerce / Comcast / DesignPhiladelphia / Generocity / Philly Startup Leaders

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