October 25th

  • 9am–5:00pm AEST
8:30 am


Grab an excellent barista coffee, while you register for a big day of amazing speakers, and more.

9:00 am
John Allsopp


Welcome, or welcome back, to Code Leaders 2023.


Balance in All Things

Chris Lienert, Principal Consultant Cognizant Servian

Despite our capacity for intelligence and logic, human are biological creatures. In biology, near enough is good enough, efficiency is relative, and we are all subject to hidden processes.

Our savannah-evolved brains are tuned to find patterns where none exist; better to think you see a predator in the undergrowth and be wrong than miss the threat and end up as dinner.

Whether you're working in machine learning or product design, you're still using the same cognitive wetware and this can have a direct impact on the work we produce.

In this presentation, we'll examine how perception works, how it can be tricked or misled, and how we can all work counter our natural biases to make the world a better place, for ourselves and others.


Confronting difficult conversations

Elle Meredith & Lachlan Hardy, Director, Consultant Blackmill

Feedback is essential for improving skills, performance, and building trust within the team. Giving feedback can sometimes be very confronting. How comfortable is your team at giving candid feedback? Or receiving it? What about you? Having to confront someone puts us in a fight, flight, or freeze response, which is a physical stress condition. Wouldn't it be nice to feel more at ease when in these situations? Or have a plan for the conversation? In this workshop you will learn what makes feedback effective, a feedback equation, and a framework to approach a confrontation. You will also role-play scenarios with examples from real life engineering teams.



Some structured time to reflect on our opening presentations


In conversation

Chris Lienert, Elle Meredith and Lachlan Hardy with Tanya Pelly

Tanya Pelly joins our speakers from the first session to go further nto their ideas and facilitate your questions

10:15 am

Morning Break

Fuel your morning with an excellent coffee, and morning tea we've specially chosen to pick-you-up.


Management doesn’t need Managers

Wai Ling Ko, Head of People Bilue

When growing an organisation it is easy to follow established patterns for the organisational structure and end up with a situation with line managers, middle managers and executives. But when we did a comprehensive review of our organisation and culture, we found that most of our line managers loved mentoring and growing people, but struggled balancing that with the more administrative and managerial tasks like leave, reviews, recruiting and assigning work. And so we set out to overhaul our organisational structure into one where we have people dedicated to growing team members through mentoring and coaching and people solely responsible for organising and delivering work. This session is about sharing insights in why, what and how we did this change.


Why your team needs juniors

Tracy Powell, Head of Engineering Mentorloop

When you look at your engineering teams, how many juniors do you see? Have you heard "we're too busy to hire junior engineers" or "hiring juniors is too risky"?

In this talk Tracy will share why at Mentorloop they believe it’s not just important but imperative to hire juniors, graduates, and interns - how it helps you build an amazing engineering culture and how the shape of your engineering team directly contributes to a healthy, thriving, high performing team.

Successfully hiring and growing junior engineers doesn’t happen by accident, so Tracy will also cover how to get buy-in from senior leadership, practical tips for the hiring process, and how to create great onboarding and development plans that will get your junior developers up and running in no time. From this session, you will come away with the confidence not just to hire juniors, but the knowledge and plans to ensure that you are growing your engineering teams.



Some structured time to reflect on our opening presentations


In conversation

Tracy Powell and Wai Ling Ko with Warwick

Warwick joins our speakers from the session to dive a bit deeper and pose your questions.

12:30 pm


We've always got something special lined up for lunch. But you'll have to come to find out.


Embracing neurodiversity in the workplace

Jeremy Nagel, Founder Focus Bear

Neurodistinct folks are underrepresented in the workforce. This talk explores what companies can do to embrace the strengths of ND talent and how they can best support their team.

We'll go through the findings from the Neurodiversity in Business report which surveyed 997 ND individuals and 127 organisations on the challenges ND individuals experience in the workplace as well as what accommodations work.

The talk will be grounded in Jeremy's personal experience as someone with ADHD and ASD including getting fired from 5 companies at the start of his career.


Embedding equality within your organisation’s culture / Achieving Honest and Deeper Connections with Technical Teams

Fredy Lievano, Technical Delivery Lead Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ)

This session will share first-hand experiences of a South American engineer working in Australia, touching on topics that are commonly difficult or challenging to talk about by Caucasian managers. Through a series of personal experiences, the talk will help the audience understand how to break barriers through empathy, connecting diversity with productivity and profit.



Some structured time to reflect on our opening presentations


In conversation

Jeremy Nagel and Fredy Lievano with Claire Tran

Claire Tran joins our speakers from the session to dive a bit deeper and pose your questions.


Afternoon Break

Need more coffee? Or an increasingly hip tea? We've got you covered, plus a sweet afternoon pick-me-up.


Empowering High-Performing Distributed Teams

Marty Drill, CEO/Founder Luminary

How do you have a team culture where everyone has a voice? How do you have a culture where people can be themselves and at the same time not adversely impact others? The key to developing a supportive team culture where everyone is heard, lies within allowing the team to decide on what they expect from each other. The team creates how they work together.

Most teams working remotely during & post pandemic, found it difficult to connect with every member of the team.

To empower individuals, the team must value the input of each person and, at the very least, they must get along. This may be possible in an established team, though post pandemic with many people working remotely, team members can have wildly different expectations that if not met, can cause great tension. Social contracts create clear expectations & behavioural norms and an opportunity to contribute. The result is that everyone, regardless of their location, has a sense of belonging & a voice.

This session will teach you how to empower your team to create a social contract that will help them overcome team dynamics, different personalities, communication styles & behaviours by agreeing on expectations of how to work together.


How your architecture can inhibit or promote organisational change

Anthony Willis, Senior Engineering Manager Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Improving the way we work as teams is fundamental to improving team autonomy, reducing cycle time and lowering dependency bottlenecks, however sometimes impediments to improving the way we work lay in how our systems are architected. This is a case study into how the ABC re-architected our digital platforms to support improvements in the way we work. It outlines what we did, and why, and some lessons we learned along the way.



Some structured time to reflect on our opening presentations


In conversation

Anthony Willis and Marty Drill with Craig Penfold

Craig Penfold joins our speakers from the session to dive a bit deeper and pose your questions.

John Allsopp

Au revoir

Farewell, but hopefully not for too long–we may even see you tomorrow for Web Directions Summit!

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About Us

Co-founded and now run by John Allsopp, Web Directions has for over 15 years brought together leading developers, engineers, visual, IxD, UX and product designers, Art and Creative Directors, product managers indeed everyone involved in producing web and digital products to learn from one another, and the World's leading experts across this vast field.

We spend our lives thinking about what comes next, keeping up with trends in technology, practices and processes, and filtering the hype, to make sure you don't miss trends that matter, and don't waste time on hype that doesn't.

We promise attending one of our events will leave you significantly better versed in the challenges you face day to day, and in solutions for addressing them.

And, our annual extravaganza, Web Directions Summit returns to Sydney in October 2023, bigger and better than ever.

vignettes from our events, social, speakers and more. Includes Hannah Donovan skylarking.

John Allsopp

John Allsopp has been working on the Web for nearly 30 years. He's been responsible for innovative developer tools such as Style Master, X-Ray and many more. He's spoken at numerous conferences around the World and delivered dozens of workshops in that time as well.

His writing includes two books, including Developing With Web Standards and countless articles and tutorials in print and online publications.

His "A Dao of Web Design" published in 2000 is cited by Ethan Marcotte as a key influence in the development of Responsive Web Design, who's acclaimed article in 2010 begins by quoting John in detail, and by Jeremy Keith as "a manifesto for anyone working on the Web".

Code of Conduct

For over a decade, we've worked hard to create inclusive, fun, inspring and safe events for the Web Industry.

As part of our commitment to these values, we've adopted a code of conduct for all involved: ourselves, our speakers, our partners and our audience.

If you have any concern or feedback, please don't hesitate to contact us.