Web Directions Code Leaders 2017 Leading Engineering Teams

MelbourneAugust 2nd 2017

Leading engineering teams and their culture

What is Code Leaders?

Running in conjunction with our long standing, highly regarded Code Conference for front end engineers and JavaScript developers, Code Leaders focuses on what senior engineering decision makers need to know about right now.

As the things we build and the teams and organisations that build them become ever more complex, technical knowledge and capabilities simply aren't enough. Code Leaders is designed for engineering and development leaders, senior developers, lead engineers, engineering managers, CTOs. It doesn't matter so much what your role is called, if you're responsible for building and leading teams, and making strategic decisions about the technologies your company or organisations uses, Code Leaders is designed for you.

Code Leaders takes place over a single, intensive day, and features real world experts addressing key challenges of technology, leadership and developing, maintaining and growing great engineering teams.

Applicable real world knowledge

Tapping into the expertise of keynote speakers of Code, our front end engineering conference taking place the following two days, we'll cover key developments in front end engineering and beyond, from JavaScript and Node.js to performance, security and more. Leaders combines all this with sessions on creating, maintaining and growing a great team and inclusive, diverse cultures - and getting the most from your team.

speakers and audience

Who's it for?

Code Leaders is exclusively for engineering leaders, and those aspiring to step up to leadership roles within technology teams. It all takes place in an intimate environment of like-minded professionals with similar challenges and goals and designed for:

  • CTOs
  • VPs of Engineering
  • Engineering managers
  • Lead engineers
  • Senior developers

Code Conference

Code Leaders runs the day before Web Directions Code, our Front End development focussed running in Melbourne since 2012. Come to both to get both the high level architectural and strategic view of today's front end technologies and best practices at Code Leaders, along with deep dives into the specifics. Or send your team to Code, while you attend Code Leaders. In fact, we have a special offer to make that even better value.

Team offer

Send a team of five or more to Code and you'll receive a complimentary place at Code Leaders. Simple book five or more attendees, and we'll get in touch for details as to who'll be attending Code Leaders.

Code Leaders Program

What happens on the day?

Leaders is not a day of lectures. Each session is structured to help you develop your understanding, enquire of the experts, share your experience with your peers, and learn from them around a specific aspect of the role of technology industry leadership.

We've deliberately limited numbers to ensure the greatest opportunity for participants to connect with one another, our leaders and invited experts. It's a day for minimum screen time, and maximum connection and communication.

Each session features two focused briefings from deeply experienced experts, the opportunity to discuss these issues with your peers, and a guided Q&A with the expert and a additional specially invited participants, themselves world leaders in their areas of expertise.

During the day you'll be seated with a group of fellow participants with a balance of experience as leaders. Each table will have a facilitator, someone with significant industry experience, and will have the opportunity to put questions to our expert speakers. Throughout the day there'll be the opportunity for every participant to develop their leadership abilities by facilitating post-briefing discussion among your group.

You'll also get the opportunity to connect with our leaders and invited experts during the day.


Session 1: Technology

In this session, we'll look at the current state, and near term developments of the core technologies of the web: JavaScript, HTML, CSS, SVG and the browser's APIs, from two of the world's leading experts, Brian Terlson, editor of the JavaScript specification, and Chris Lilley, the Technical Director at the W3C responsible for front end technologies.

Brian Terlson

JavaScript, now and next

Brian Terlson Editor, ECMAScript Standard Microsoft

The landscape of JavaScript seems to be in constant flux. Not just the frameworks and build tools we use, but the very language itself now that new versions are being released annually. But where is it at right now, in 2017? And where is it headed in the near future? What changes will most impact the way you work in the coming years? How can you get involved in the process?

Chris Lilley

There and Back Again -- a Web Tale

Chris Lilley Technical Director W3C

The core technologies of the Web: HTML, CSS, SVG and the DOM APIs always have a hot new thing, something coming soon that will change everything. That is as true today as it was 20 years ago. But sometimes, these hot things look sort of familiar. And other times, a particular technology takes decades to finally become mainstream and reliable. Why is that, and are we condemned to reinvent the wheel constantly? Drawing on his role as W3C Strategy Specialist on the Core Web, as well as two decades of Web standardization experience, Chris Lilley will take us on a tour of the past, present and future of the core Web Platform.

Session 2: Best Practice

In this session, we'll focus on current best practice in two key areas. Andrew Betts, a member of the W3C's Technical Architecture Group, with deep experience in web performance will look at aspects network that impact performance, and security. Meanwhile, Zero Cho, a member of Twitter's engineering team that built their latest Progressive Web App version of the Twitter App will look at the architecture of Web Apps.

Andrew Betts

the changing face of loading resources

Andrew Betts Developer Fastly, W3C TAG

After serving us incredibly well for decades, the underlying transport mechanisms of the Web, including HTTP and TCP are being overhauled. In this session Andrew Betts looks at the evolution of these largely out of sight, but incredibly important protocols, with huge implications for performance and security, as they are being brought up to date for today's Web.

Zero Cho

Modern Web App Architectures

Zero Cho Software Engineer Twitter

What is the architecture of complex Web Apps? Few apps work at the scale of Twitter, with hundreds of millions of users, and billions of messages a month. Their Web App continues to be very widely used, and was recently completely rebuilt as a progressive web app, to take advantage of offline capabilities, notifications, and the native-like experience Web Apps can enjoy on Android, while still more than adequately meeting the needs of its users on other platforms from a single code base. Here about their architecture, and lessons learned building the modestly named "Twitter Lite".

Session 3: Culture

In this session, we'll turn to a different set of challenges that face more senior engineering professionals and engineering management: people, and ensuring the best from and for them. As competition for talent reaches extraordinary levels, and even darlings of the industry face serious questions and significant impacts due to their treatment of the people who work for them, we'll draw on the experience of experts who've managed successful high performance teams, and helped companies around the world rewrite their hiring policies and procedures to help ensure more diverse, inclusive, highly performing teams.

Lachlan Hardy and Elle Meredith

Re-imagining the hiring process

Elle Meredith & Lachlan Hardy founders BlackMill

We've all been on the other side of the table. A laundry list of required technologies and practices, white boarding code, logic puzzles, folks "hiring for culture fit". But do these practices ensure the best possible hires, and ultimately the best performing teams? Or are we cargo-culting our way to teams of people who look surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly) similar? Can we develop a better hiring process and policies to help produce better teams? Elle Meredith and Lachlan Hardy have run teams, and hired developers all over the world. They've worked with globally recongnised names to help them improve their processes, and we're privileged to hear their lessons.

Josh Duck

Designing a culture that fosters growth

Josh Duck Engineering Manager ABC

Many companies say they want the best developers. But they don’t back that up with their actions. Facebook has invested heavily in designing a culture that grows developers over many years. In this session Josh, now back in Australia managing a team at the ABC shares lessons he learned working for Facebook, a company renowned for their engineering prowess, producing such widely used open source technologies as React and GraphQL despite growing its engineering head count at an almost unimaginable rate over the last decade.

Invited Participants

In addition to our session leaders, we've invited a number of local and international industry leaders to share their perspectives, both formally as part of our Q&A sessions, and informally throughout the day.

Choose the right conference pass

Code conference is now sold out, and only a handful of places remain for Code Leaders.

Code + Code Leaders

  • Code Leaders conference 2 August

  • Code conference 3–4 August

  • $1,499 Until 30 June
  • $1,699 Standard

Code Leaders

  • Code Leaders conference 2 August


  • $1,299 Standard

Find the conference pass for you

Code conference is now sold out, and only a handful of places remain for Code Leaders.

Code Leaders Conference

  • Code Leaders Conference 2 August

  • $1299 Standard

Almost gone, Register Now!

Code + Code Leaders

  • Code Leaders Conference 2 August

  • Code Conference 3–4 August

  • $1,499 Until 30 June
  • $1,699 Standard

Sold Out

Our venue

Code Leaders 2017 will be held in the Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne

Rendezvous Hotel,
328 Flinders Street, Melbourne

Getting there:

With excellent public transport connections right outside, and Flinders Street Station right across the road, 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. Or why not stay at the Hotel itself.


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

The technology world is full of hype and fads (as well as the real next thing). The challenge is deciding what's hype, and what's reality. That's where we come in. We spend our life thinking about what's happening, and what's coming next. And what's not worth your time now, or maybe ever.

Web Directions founder John Allsopp's ideas have been acknowledged as the foundation for Responsive Web Design, and helped pave the way for the web fonts revolution and Typekit. Our conferences have seen the announcement to the world of such key ideas as The New Aesthetic (2012), Object Oriented CSS (2009) and Progressive Web Apps (2015).

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.

In 2017, we've organised Respond in Sydney and Melbourne, Transform in Canberra, and will be holding Code and Code Leaders in Melbourne, AI, Careers and Web Directions Summit in Sydney.

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

John Allsopp

John Allsopp has been working on the Web for over 20 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 rightly 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.