Web Directions Code Leaders 2018 Leading Engineering Teams

MelbourneAugust 1st 2018

creating world class engineering teams and cultures

August 1st

8:00 am



Serving barista coffee to get your heart started.

9:00 am

CSS and SVG–the state of the Art

Sara Soueidan, UI/UX developer Freelance

With so much of the front end focus on JavaScript, and frameworks and libraries like React and Angular, front end developers can lose sight of the ever increasing sophistication and richness of CSS and SVG.

In this session, Sara Soueidan, one of the world's foremost experts in these technologies will bring us up to speed with what's now, and what's next for the Web platform in relation to typography, layout, animation and visual design.

9:45 am

The Web Platform today, and tomorrow

Marcos Caceres, Platform Engineer Mozilla

Lurking underneath our CSS and HTML, our JavaScript, underneath our React and Angular, is a powerful, often poor understood platform–the browser. Its APIs give developers access to device capabilities, security features (like cryptography and authentication), and much more than developers generally realise.

In this session, Marcos Caceres, a platform engineer at Mozilla, with many years experience working on standardising the Web platform will give us a sense of what's possible now, and what's fast approaching.

10:30 am

Morning Break


Fully catered, with great coffee, and the chance to connect with your peers.

11:00 am

Building world class engineering teams

Stefano Fratini, Engineering Manager SiteMinder

Recruitment in tech is almost always a second thought but can we take away some of the guess and make it an enjoyable and fruitful exercise?

The process I have built at Siteminder as VP of engineering is focused on

  • defining what good looks like (engineering persona)
  • understanding how to interview people
  • avoid common pitfalls in judging candidates
  • build a repeatable process that adds value
11:30 am

Hiring Juniors

Ryan Biggs, Junior Engineering Program Lead Culture Amp

This is a story about hiring juniors, why we should do it, and what things I've learned from hiring a bunch and mentoring them.

12:00 pm

Unravelling Unconscious Bias

Emma Jones, Founder Future of Work

In this session Emma Jones will review the part heuristics play in unconscious bias, explore the impact in the workplace, and present strategies for addressing bias. Learn how to create an 'inclusive' work environment by understanding and mastering the effects of unconscious bias.

12:30 pm



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

1:30 pm

Data Driven Culture - Leadership & Growing People

Jo Cranford, Director of Engineering Culture Amp

Company Culture and Employee Engagement aren't just popular buzzwords - really understanding what makes your teams tick can lead to a significant difference in company performance, profitability, customer satisfaction. At Agile Australia in 2016 I presented a Culture Manifesto derived from data from over 100,000 survey responses from engagement and exit surveys at more than 150 companies, many of them in the New Tech space, and explained why factors such as effective company leadership, and learning and development, can have a real impact on improving engagement and reducing turnover.

In this talk I will dig in to the topics of leadership and growing people, with updated insights from more recent data, and explain some of the differences we see in groups such as engineering teams, and at different stages of company growth. I will present stories from our own company and other case studies, where people have taken action and the differences we see.

You will appreciate the importance of effective leadership and developing people and how it contributes to engagement; gain insights into the drivers of engagement and turnover; and also hear about the things that we expect would make a difference, but the data proves us wrong!

2:00 pm

Managing Remotely, while Remotely Managing

Lindsay Holmwood, Development Team Lead Envato

2:30 pm

Four Kinds of Leadership in Team of Teams

Kevin Yank, Director of Front End Engineering Culture Amp

Lessons on leadership from inside a fast-growing startup that adopted the Team of Teams model.

When you move from a traditional company structure to a Team of Teams model, by forming independent, cross-functional teams around specific company objectives, the nature of leadership changes. Team Leaders, Mentors, Coaches and Capability Leads are each responsible for a distinct form of leadership in this model. Recognising and investing in each, and deciding what kind of leader you’re best suited to be, is perhaps the most exciting challenge of adopting Team of Teams.

3:00 pm

Afternoon Break


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

3:30 pm

Disruptive or defective? Towards ethical tech innovation

Karolina Szczur, Product Designer Calibre

Technology has a profound effect on humankind. But the exponential progress resulted in negative societal impact—from data breaches, promoting inequality to rampant harassment. Tech is incredibly susceptible to bias and manipulation, which has led us astray from humanity towards profitability and exclusion. Disruption cast a shade on responsibility for our creations.

In this talk, you will see examples of algorithmic bias, learn how to understand the impact of exclusionary decision-making and implement actionable strategies to combat it. Come and learn about pitfalls of disruption and how to design products, business models and cultures for ethical innovation.

4:00 pm

Missionaries not Mercenaries: developers who give a shit

Jeremy Nagel, Full Stack Developer COZero

Are you a mercenary or a missionary? Lured by the promise of a big pay packet, would you write code that will actively harm other humans? Most developers steer clear of overtly illegal activities (e.g. writing malware or building chrome extensions that steal people’s bitcoin) but how about ethically questionable activities? Some of the biggest employers in tech are online gambling purveyors, resource extraction companies offering exciting data science challenges and algorithmic trading firms that widen wealth inequality. On the flip side, other companies are emerging that focus on solving societal problems like climate change, healthcare access, lack of affordable quality education and wealth inequality.

On the surface it seems like a tradeoff between getting a higher salary and making a difference. Is this true? Is there really a salary divide between the for-impact sector and other employers? Can you really make a difference if you work for a mission driven company? Is the world better off if you earn a lot of money and donate it to charity rather than working on these issues yourself?

These questions fall under the philosophy of effective altruism. In this talk, I will present market data on salaries in the for-impact sector, discuss a methodology for calculating the net societal impact of your work, explore whether taking a big salary at an ethically questionable company and donating the excess to charity can absolve the potential damage and showcase a free, non-profit jobs board for for-impact tech jobs: programmerswhogiveashit.com

4:30 pm

How to Survive & Thrive as an Engineering Leader

Isabel Nyo, Development Manager Atlassian

You were a superstar developer! You wrote elegant code, you understood how things were put together behind the scene and you were the go-to person for any technical issue or question about the organisation's code base. And because of that, you got promoted. The saying about what made you successful in your previous role won't necessarily work in your new role couldn't be more right. As an engineering leader who once used to be a superstar developer, how do you survive and then thrive in your new role? I will be sharing with you everything I have learned and observed in the last five years as an engineering manager, all the struggles I had and my strategies for how to not only be an effective engineering leader but also enjoy my job.

Find the conference pass for you

Combined Pass

  • Code conference

  • Code Leaders conference

  • Code conference video

  • $1,795 First Release
    (May 15–June 30)
  • $1,995 Final Release

Leaders Pass

  • Leaders conference

  • $995 First Release
    (May 15–June 30)
  • $1,295 Final Release

Code Leaders
1 August

Our one day, fully catered Code Leaders conference

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Code Conference
2–3 August

  • 2 day conference.
  • Happy Hour (& ½)
  • Awesome conference coffee
  • Sensational catered breaks
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Code Conference Videos

All the Code conference presentations, captioned, transcribed and more

tick to indicate this is included

Find the conference pass for you

Combined Pass

  • Code Conference

  • Code Leaders Conference

  • Conference Video

  • $1,795 First Release
    (May 15–June 30)
  • $1,895 Final Release

Sold Out

Leaders Pass

  • Code Leaders Conference

  • $995 First Release
    (May 15–June 30)
  • $1,295 Final Release

Register Now

Our venue

Code Leaders 2018 will be held in the Pavilion at the iconic Arts Centre Melbourne, right on the Yarra in Southbank.

The Pavilion,
Arts Centre Melbourne,
100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Getting there:

With excellent public transport connections right outside, and Flinders Street Station right across the bridge, it's our best connected location yet.


If you're coming from out of town, there are many hotel and serviced apartments style accomodation options in Southbank, and otherwise close by. We have for some time put our speakers up at the Quest Southbank Apartments, and stay there ourselves.


At Web Directions we work closely with partners to help make our events even better. Sponsor our coffee, reception, recharge station, or other valued activities and start or grow your relationship with our highly qualified audience.

Contact us for more on how we work can work with you to help you be even more awesome.

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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 nearly 20 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.

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.