FAQ: Professional Associations and Networks in Silicon Valley

By Andreas Ramos. Updated December, 2023

Here's the real story: 70% of jobs come through personal networking. Trusted friends hire trusted friends. A trusted friend recommends you to her friend who is the manager; you're hired without a resume, an interview, a proposal, or whatever.

Instead of blasting out your resume to dozens of job sites, you should spend 80% of your job search time on building relationships with people. Find people who are ten years ahead of you in your career. Join associations and BE ACTIVE: join the membership committee, the outreach committee, the events-planning committee, and be an active participant. You'll meet lots of people. Talk with your favorite professors. Talk with your university's alumni association and ask them to introduce you to alumni in your field or city.

Here's a list of Silicon Valley associations for many professions. This list was assembled by Prof. Chris Benner for his book on work in Silicon Valley.



American Marketers Association-Silicon Valley Chapter (www.svama.org)

The chapter sponsors meetings, workshops, and seminars where members meet and exchange ideas with leading innovators and thinkers in business, research, and academia. It also provides a forum to expand personal and professional contacts by networking with Silicon Valley marketing professionals.

Association for Computing Machinery- Bay Area Chapter (www.sfbayacm.org)

Local chapter of one of the oldest educational and scientific computing societies. Hosts monthly meetings and networking opportunities.

Association for Information Technology Professionals (www.aitp.org)

National association that began in the 1950s with machine accountants in Chicago. Evolved into the AITP in 1996. Has local chapters around the country, including San Jose.

Bay Area Association of Database Developers (www.baadd.org)

Promotes career potential of database developers through meetings, seminars, communication, publications and other program activities

Bay Chi (Computer and Human Interaction) (www.baychi.org)

BayCHI is the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI). They host their meetings at Xerox PARC

BayLISA (www.baylisa.org)

The Bay Area Large Installation Systems Administration Users Group provides monthly meetings for members to stay up on changes in the industry, to network and improve their career opportunities. It is the local chapter of SAGE.

Black Data Processing Association--Bay Area Chapter (dpabac.org)

Local chapter founded in 1990. Focus on increasing opportunities for African American professionals in information technology industries. Monthly meetings in Oakland and Cupertino. Also sponsors high school internship program.

Chinese Institute of Engineers (CIE/USA) (www.cie-sf.org)

Promotes Communication and interchange of information among Chinese engineers and scientists

Chinese Software Professionals Association (www.cpsa.com)

Promotes technology collaboration and facilitates information exchange in the software profession.

East Bay I.T. Group (www.ebig.org)

eBig.org is the East Bay's leading technology forum. Connected to the best and brightest developers, entrepreneurs, and start-ups in the San Francisco East Bay, with strong ties to indudustry experts, major technology corporations, and local municipalities. eBig is the resource for information, education, and personal networking.

Graphic Artists Guild of Northern California (gag.org)

Promotes the economic interests of member artists. Committed to improving conditions for all creators of graphic art and raising standards for the entire industry.

HTML Writers Guild (www.hwg.org)

World's largest international organization of Web authors with over 98,000 members in more than 130 nations worldwide. The HWG assists members in developing their skills, and compiles information about standards, practices, techniques, competency, and ethics as applied to web authoring.

Monte Jade Science and Technology Association (MJSTA) (www.montejade.org)

Promotes the cooperation and mutual flow of technology and investment between Taiwan and the United States

National Writers Union (NWU) (nwu.org)

For technical writers. Job hotline, health insurance, and other benefits.

Professional & Technical Consultants Association (www.patca.org)

Professional association of independent consultants and principals who work in small consulting firms. Based in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley Association of Software Entrepreneurs (www.svase.org)

Facilitates the creation of new computer software business ventures, improves the financial performance of existing vensures, and promotes and supports the commercialization of computer software technologies.

Silicon Valley Chinese Engineers Association (SCEA) ()

Network of Mainland Chinese engineers to promote entrepreneurship and professionalism among members and establish ties to China.

Silicon Valley Indian Professionals Association (SIPA) (www.sipa.org)

Forum for expatriate Indians to contribute to cooperation between United States and India

Silicon Valley Linux Users Groups (www.svlug.org)

A users group that started as part of the Silicon Valley Computer Society, and promotes networking and information sharing related to LINUX, and free or low-cost implementations of UNIX

Silicon Valley Web Guild (www.webguild.org)

Dedicated to the education and professional development of the San Francisco Bay area Webmaster community.

Silicon Valley Women in HR (www.ourhrsite.com)

Silicon Valley Women in Human Resources Group is an informal group meeting on a regular basis to network and share information. We occasionally have speakers and sponsor a few dinners a year with topics of interest to women in our community.

Society for Technical Communication (STC.org)

STC is an individual membership organization dedicated to advancing the arts and sciences of technical communication.

The Indus Entrepreneur (TiE) (www.tie.org)

Fosters entrepreneurship by providing mentorship and resources.

More Associations

The following list of associations was collected by Kristen Kuhns of eBig.org

Asian Associations

  • Asian American Manufacture Association http://www.aamasv.com/
  • Chinese American Semiconductor Professional Association http://www.caspa.com/
  • Silicon Valley Chinese Overseas Business Association http://www.scoba.org/
  • Silicon Valley Chinese Engineer Association http://www.scea.org/
  • Chinese Software Professionals Association http://www.cspa.com/
  • Asian Business Association
  • Asian Business League of San Francisco
  • Asia-Silicon Valley Connection
  • Cnetwork cnetwork.org
  • Chinese Information & Networking Association
  • HuaYuan Science and Technology Association huayuan.org
  • Hong Kong Association of Northern California
  • Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
  • Japanese American Chamber of Commerce of Silicon Valley
  • Japan Society of Northern California
  • Korean Trader Organization of Northern California
  • Monte Jade Science & Technology Association
  • North America Chinese Semiconductor Association
  • Silicon Valley Chinese American Computer Association
  • Silicon Valley Chinese Wireless Technology Association
  • Silicon Valley Indian Professional
  • Silicon Valley Science and Technology Association
  • National Association of Asian American Professionals, SF http://www.naaapsf.org/
  • China-U.S. Technology Association www.chinaustech.org
  • Silicon Valley Business Associations www.svba.net

Local Alumni Associations

Professional Associations

Local Asian American Groups

Local Networking Groups

Political Affairs Groups


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