Web Directions Code Leaders 2023

SydneyOctober 25th

Creating world class engineering teams and cultures

November 30th

9:00 am


John Allsopp, Web Directions

9:05 am

The 2,000 year-old engineering manager

David Lewis, Senior Engineering Manager Compono

A large part of our roles as engineering leaders is how we relate to the people we work with. For many managers, this brings in anxiety and stress - What will people think of me? How do I keep myself and my team focused on the important tasks? How do I know if we’re making progress toward our goals? How can I view challenges from another perspective to help guide the team?

In 2021 I found that many answers to these questions have come by practising easy-to-follow Stoic exercises and using Stoicism to help shape how I approach my work. In this presentation, I’ll share what those exercises are, how I’ve applied them to my work as an Engineering Manager, and how I’ve subtly applied them to how others work with me.

9:45 am

How to manage Engineering managers

Stefano Fratini, Director of Engineering Rokt

Too much focus already on being a good Eng Manager. Not much on how to manage other managers This presentation is about a simple framework to help young EMs that want to step up in a HoE role

10:25 am

Good Mentors Make Good Managers; a journey from IC to Management

Philip Boardman, Engineering Manager Red Bubble

Many find the transition from individual contributor to management is not a next step up the career ladder, it's a new career. A management role requires new skills to tackle a new set of challenges that a lifetime of writing code hasn't prepared them for. Hear how a forward thinking and intentional mentor can provide guidance and opportunities to bring confidence and success during this often difficult career transition.

11:00 am

Break time


Time for a quick break for a cup of coffee or tea. Chat to fellow attendees and speakers. Or visit one of our fantastic partners.

11:20 am

Finding it hard to build and retain a high performing tech team?

Gretchen Scott, Co-Founder Tech Diversity Lab

The labour market is tight right now. Getting staff development right is the biggest lever you have to retain your people and to drive engagement. Tech specific career growth frameworks are the best way to do this, but how do you make sure you have the right one and implement it well?

12:00 pm

How to grow and scale your engineering organisation

Chris Modica, Chief Architect - Digital and Application Innovation Microsoft

Engineering teams grow for a variety of different reasons. Maybe it's due to organic growth; Maybe it's growth due to acquisitions or mergers; Maybe you're moving into new markets, building new products ....

What worked for a small engineering org (10-20 people), likely wouldn't scale as you continue to grow your teams.

New questions and challenges start to emerge :

  • How do we manage individuals and teams across different locations and time-zones?
  • When should we add Engineering leaders, Managers, VPoE etc ?
  • Should we have full-stack or domain specific engineers?
  • Do I need a dedicated security team?
  • How could we scale through partners? What should we keep inhouse vs work with partners?
  • How should we balance BAU and Project Work?
  • How should backlogs, sprints and work be managed across multiple teams?
  • Should we standardise tooling or allow teams to self-manage/self-select?
  • When should we add more Scrum Masters, Product Managers and role equivalents?

The intent of this session is to share knowledge based on lived experience to help you with these key questions and your company growth.

12:40 pm

The new playbook for 1:1s

Tanya Pelly, co-founder peopleLOOP

Made famous by the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, and taken up widely during the pandemic, the 1:1 has become the go to meeting format for people managers in remote and distributed work.

But often, instead of helping develop your people better, 1:1s can get bogged down on working out what to talk about, or turn into a laundry list of project check-ins….So, what is the best way to approach your 1:1s, to set your people up for success?

In this presentation, Tanya and Warwick Pelly share their research on 1:1s - and how you can create greater value from them, in less time.

1:20 pm



We'll keep you well fed for all today's activities

2:00 pm

From Mission to Strategy, going over Roadmap and OKRs.

Sebastiano Armeli, Pinterest Head of Shopping Experience Eng

In this session, Sebastiano is going to bring some light on the difference between Mission, Strategy, Roadmap, KPIs and OKRs, and how they all correlate. Through examples and anecdotes, Sebastiano will go through the process of shifting from strategy to tactics and how one of the main responsibilities for an engineering leader is explicitly making the connection between personal goals (for a manager or an IC) and the organizational mission and strategy.

Sebastiano will also talk about the importance of measuring goals (through OKRs) and how leaders can ensure to stay on tops of those goals.

2:40 pm

The power of potential

Paul Hughes, Director of Engineering Enablement Culture Amp

The people in our teams have extraordinarily potential. As leaders, how can we help our amazing people realise that potential (not just become aware of it, but also step into manifesting it), reaping benefits to both business and people?

I'll tell a story of realising potential, from our Culture Amp Engineering internship program, and then will describe some techniques leaders can use when trying to maximise the potential of people in their team, and considerations when designing programs (such as an internship program) to maximise harnessing potential.

3:20 pm

Power break


Need a quick breather? A quick coffee (or tea) before our final session? We've got you covered

3:40 pm

The State of Web Performance

Henri Helvetica, Head of Developer Community WebPageTest at Catchpoint

With Core Web Vitals, and Google making these a ranking signal for search results, performance has become increasingly more important. But CWV, and best practice doesn't stand still. We'll hear from Henri Helvetica about the state of performance in 2022, and where the field is headed.

4:00 pm

Scaling web development with a Micro Frontend Architecture

Grant Sheppard, Tech Lead REA Group

Developers building web applications in 2022 have access to a diverse range of technologies to help deliver exceptional user experiences. From progressive web applications that work offline to applications that rival their native counterparts, there’s never been a more exciting time to build for the web. However, building these applications is time consuming and often results in a disjointed website experience, often powered by lots of web apps built in isolation by different teams.

During the last two and half years at REA, we’ve been building out a micro frontend architecture to address these problems. Inspired by micro services, this style of architecture allows companies to scale up their teams whilst still enabling these same teams to rapidly build web apps that form part of a larger, connected experience. I’ll take you on a quick trip down the micro frontend rabbit hole, showing you just enough to help you decide whether this architecture is something you should consider at your company.

4:20 pm

The State of the Web Platform

Thomas Steiner, Developer Relations Engineer Google

The Web Platform, and browser capabilities have undergone an explosion in innovation over the last several years, from new CSS features, to offline capabilties, deeper OS integration and more. In this session Thomas Steiner, Developer Relations Engineer on Google Chrome gives an overview of the Web's capabilities today, and the direction they are headed.

4:40 pm



We'll close the conference with a tech focussed QA session with our afternoone speakers

5:00 pm


John Allsopp, Web Directions

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Praise for past Web Directions events

Phil Whitehouse
Web Directions is the must-attend event of the year for anyone serious about web development.

Phil Whitehouse,
Innovation Lead DigitasLBi

Ethan Marcotte
I’ve been admiring the Web Directions events for years, and was honored to be part… What a fantastic event!

Ethan Marcotte,
inventor "responsive Web design"

Dave Greiner
Out of any conference, Web Directions is far and away our favourite

Dave Greiner,
founder Campaign Monitor

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.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we're switching things up a bit for 2020, 2021 (and beyond). We're delivering 6 highly focussed front end development conferences online.

And, our annual extravaganza, Web Directions Summit returns to Sydney in December 2022, 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.