Your backstage pass to the world of tech

Elon Musk not accepting your meeting request? We’ve explored some alternate methods for engaging the world’s tech community.

Get behind-the-scenes access across a range of tech companies. Image credit: fotografixx/iStock
Get behind-the-scenes access across a range of tech companies. Image credit: fotografixx/iStock

Big-tech companies are at the forefront of innovation, breaking technological barriers and formulating ever-more exciting solutions to make our lives easier. 

So, it’s only natural we would want to learn more about the origins of modern technology, imagine the future through the world’s most innovative minds, and take a look inside the inner sanctums of cutting-edge technology companies such as Tesla or Apple.

From interactive museums and tailored tours to deep dives and conferences, we’ve researched a few methods for getting an inside look into the exciting world of tech.

Meet and mingle with fellow tech-heads

Visit Silicon Valley for a technology deep-dive

Whether you’re interested in blockchain technology, drones, or autonomous vehicles, Silicon Valley Tours offer a wide range of programs for those with specific niche interests.

Join one of their standard single-day excursions, or, sign up for one of their five-day special-topic immersion programs for a deeper dive. You’ll learn from experts in the field, visit the offices of industry leaders, and meet plenty of other tech-enthusiasts who share your interests.

Silicon Valley Tours can also design custom programs for groups or individuals as required.

Connect with the tech world’s movers and shakers

If you’re looking to get a little face time with the tech world’s movers and shakers, tech tour company Digital Leaders can set that up for you.

With offices all around the world, including London, New York, and Silicon Valley, Digital Leaders has been organizing customized tech tours and learning journeys for two decades, connecting C-levels and senior management from a variety of industries, with the world’s power players. 

Programs are designed to facilitate the discussion of specific topics, build business connections, and explore opportunities for collaboration.

Sign up for an upcoming conference or trade show

Conferences and trade shows are an excellent way of exploring technology trends, and connecting with interesting people from all corners of the tech world.

Whether you’re interested in biosecurity, robotics, or the startup world, there is bound to be an upcoming tech event with a program to suit. Trade shows are a good option for those seeking a more interactive experience, and a chance to test out cool new technologies, while conferences and summits tend to explore niche topics in-depth with speakers and seminars. 

Tech events take place all over the world, from London to Las Vegas, making them an excellent excuse to explore an exciting new destination.

Take a short course or Bootcamp

There's a wealth of online and offline training courses to boost your tech know-how. Image credit: VioletaStoimenova/iStock
There’s a wealth of online and offline training courses to boost your tech knowledge base. Image credit: VioletaStoimenova/iStock

If you’re serious about deepening your tech-world knowledge, then there are prestigious universities offering short courses and Bootcamp-style learning experiences for those looking to upskill and learn from the best.

Cambridge’s MIT University offers a Deep Technology Bootcamp, where a limited number of attendees explore cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things, taught by MIT professors. San Francisco’s Berkeley University also offers on-site bootcamps and courses covering in-demand skills such as data analytics, cybersecurity, and coding. 

If you aren’t able to attend a course onsite or have limited free time, then platforms such as Udemy and Treehouse offer a smorgasbord of affordable, peer-reviewed tech courses that can be completed online in your own time, with community forums for learning support and feedback.

Open-source learning experiences

Get behind-the-scenes at some of the most powerful tech companies in the world. Image credit: TommL/iStock
Get behind-the-scenes at some of the most powerful tech companies in the world. Image credit: TommL/iStock

Explore the Intel HQ Museum, Santa Clara, California

Founded in 1968, Intel is one of the world’s original tech power players. The Intel Museum is located within the company’s Silicon Valley Headquarters, allowing guests to explore decades of innovation in computer science.

The museum offers a background on the company’s history and is full of interactive displays that can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike. Intel is best known in the tech world for its innovation in microprocessors (in short, the brain of a computer). 

Discover early uses for Intel’s microprocessors, which were used in a range of things from traffic lights and calculators, or get a first-hand look at the company’s latest innovations, many of which are used to power the world’s most trusted home computer brands, including Apple, Lenovo, and HP.

Explore the Living Computer Museum, Seattle, Washington

Visitors to the Living Computer Museum in Chicago can take a journey through tech history, by playing around with a large collection of functioning vintage computers.

Opened in 1997 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the museum was designed to preserve historically significant computer technology for future generations.

Machines are set up and ready for visitors to test, including a refrigerator-sized 1965 DEC minicomputer, and a 1976 Apple 1 – the first computer designed by Steve Wozniak for Apple Computers. 

Along with its vintage collection, the museum has a number of interactive exhibits dedicated to future technologies including robotics, virtual reality, and big data, and offers daily guided tours, technology demos, and public programs for those who wish to deepen their knowledge.

Take a Tesla Factory Tour, Fremont, California

Tesla owners can book in for a tour of Elon Musk’s Fremont factory, for a behind-the-scenes peek into how some of the world’s most cutting-edge electric vehicles are made. 

Electric vehicle technology has come leaps and bounds in the last five years, making a tour of Tesla’s Fremont-based factory a worthy experience for anyone interested in the future of electric vehicles.

The Freemont factory produces 100 percent of Tesla’s cutting-edge Models S, X, and 3 for the U.S. market, and if you’re in luck, you might spot Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhause, or even Elon Musk himself,  working alongside the plant’s many human (and robot) employees.

Tours are arranged by request for Tesla owners via email.

Explore Future Retail at Coop, Milan, Italy

Ever wondered how a trip to your local supermarket might feel in ten years’ time? Head to Coop Supermercato in Bicocca Village, Milan, for a sneak peek.

Designed by MIT professor Carlo Ratti, and heralded as the “supermarket of the future”, this particular branch of the popular Italian supermarket offers a high-tech retail experience, to streamline the way we do our grocery shopping and help to help better inform customers regarding the choices they are making.

Sleek screens show real-time product data visualizations, and sophisticated sensor technology allows customers to simply point at an item, or hold it up to one of the store’s many smart-mirrors, to display a wealth of additional information such as it’s origin, whether it contains allergens, as well as it’s carbon footprint and waste disposal instructions.


Grace Catherine

Grace is a freelance writer and digital project manager from New Zealand currently based in Mexico City. She is an avid traveler who loves destinations with an eclectic history, a bike-sharing scheme, and plenty of cool animals.