There are hackathons every week. There are many different types of hackathons:
- Competitions: teams formulate to compete for prizes. The prizes may be cash prizes or goodies.
- Learning: sometimes a hackathon is for exploring new technologies with others.
In general, hackathons are typically very casual and you can feel free to sit in to observe.
Search EventBrite for a list of upcoming hackathons in the area.
Meetup.com is a great way to meet people with similar interests. In the Bay Area, you can find meetups for many specific technologies, like mobile programming, big data, crowdsourcing, entrepreneurship, etc.
MakerFaire - May
MakerFaire is the largest gathering of makers. You'll see robots, arts and crafts, and high tech mixed in one location.
Apple Worldwide Developers Conference - June
Apple's famous Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is when the company's biggest announcements, such as the iPhone and iPad, take place. Attendance is capped at 5,000 people.
Google I/O - June
Google I/O is Google's annual developer conference. Every year, new Google products and services are announced. Typically attendees get free gadgets from the conference. It is extremely difficult to secure tickets however.
Electronics Flea Market - March through October
The Electronics Flea Market is held on the second Saturday of each month, March through October.
Mini MakerFaire (East Bay) - October
This is a mini version of MakerFarie that happens in the East Bay.