The Big 2017 Events Reset

I want to share with you our updated plans for the rest of 2017, and into 2018.

Why are we changing the schedule?

Well, as you may know, my sister Rosemary (who runs Web Directions with me) and I are dealing with some serious family health problems that require us to rethink how best we can deliver on our mission of helping the industry here in Australia grow.

Consequently, we have revamped our events schedule to make the most of our available time and deliver the best possible events to further your professional development. That means scaling back some of our more ambitious plans, but also bringing forward some new smaller scale, specific-focus events.

The first news is that Code will this year – and from now on – take place as a two-day single-track conference only in Melbourne, not also in Sydney and Brisbane. It will be the same mix of high profile international speakers, well known and respected locals and some new folks you’ve never heard of – the next generation.

Web Directions Code will continue to be tailored to engineers, developers, coders, programmers and the people who work directly with them, focusing particularly – but not exclusively – on a front end context.


This year marked the last appearance of the Respond conference in its current format. In 2018, Web Directions will host a new two-day conference called simply Design, focused not only on responsive web design, but also product design, service design and all the ways we design our users’ and customers’ online and offline experiences.

Web Directions Design will also be held only in Melbourne. The exact dates are not yet completely confirmed, but the conference is slated for April 2018.



So, two big conferences each year in Melbourne. Where does that leave Sydney?

The big news – the biggest, really – is that we are recasting the two-day single-track end-of-year Direction conference in Sydney into Web Directions Summit, a two-day DOUBLE-track end-of-year festival of web related development and design ideas, techniques, breakthroughs and possibilities; bringing together all your team members to address their individual, shared and collective areas of professional focus and expertise.

Web Directions Summit will adopt the traditional Web Directions structure of one track of engineer-focused talks and another track more designer-focused; bookended on each day by keynote presentations from leading thinkers and practitioners in our fields from around the world.



Web Directions Code and Web Directions Design in Melbourne, and Web Directions Summit in Sydney – a pretty fair balance.

This year’s Transform conference in Canberra will also be the last for a while, not because government-focused digital transformation is complete by any means, nor that there isn’t clear support for the conference to continue and evolve. It’s just the logistics that make this impractical for us in the immediate future.

The same could be said for our plans to hold our conferences in Brisbane and to expand further afield, for that matter. For the time being, we’ll put those plans on hold.

But, rather than expand geographically, what we’re going to do is broaden and deepen the topics and themes around which we structure our events.

What that means is that we have three completely new events planned for the rest of 2017.

First, in Melbourne, the day before Web Directions Code, we’ll be holding a one day event called Web Directions Code Leaders, drawing on the expertise of visiting Code keynote speakers to provide professional guidance to local CTOs, code project managers, dev team leads, senior engineers – and anyone aspiring to that level of leadership.

Code Leaders


Then in Sydney in September we launch Web Directions AI, a one-day conference on the technology, business and design of Artificial Intelligence. For our purposes, this incorporates and includes machine learning, cognitive computing, and a raft of related terms and technologies, centred around the application and implications of non-human “intelligence”.



Sydney will also host our other new event for 2017, in October and in association with Spark Festival. Web Directions Careers fulfils a long held ambition to focus on both how to get started in our industry (call it Web and/or Digital, for now) and also how established practitioners can progress their careers.



These three new events are all consistent with our stated aim to cover what comes next in our industry, to give you the tools to move forward. At the same time, we’re confident tweaking our existing events will sharpen their focus and keep them forward looking and directly useful.

There are two other things I want to mention. We will be holding What Do You Know sessions in various places to give aspiring speakers a chance to test material while simultaneously giving a warm supportive audience a preview of talks they may soon see in full.

And, related to that, we will on Monday 15 May be issuing a Call For Proposals to present at Web Directions Code in Melbourne on 3-4 August.

Thanks for your support, especially the people who have reached out directly, but also all of you who continue to show an interest in Web Directions.

You can keep up with all our conferences and related events  on our Events page.

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