Web Directions Culture 2018 Creating better teams

Sydney31st October 2018

Creating better teams and workplace cultures

31st October

8:00 am



Serving barista coffee to get your heart started.

9:00 am


John Allsopp, Web Directions

9:15 am

Future of Teamwork

Dom Price, Head of R&D and Work Futurist Atlassian

The lone genius is dead. EY reports that 90% of organisations are solving problems so complex, that they need teams. DomPrice, Head of R&D and Work Futurist from Atlassian joins us to share his personal experiences in helping Atlassian scale over the last 5 years, and be more nimble, adaptive and relevant, than ever before.

He'll share why they decided to take on team work, how they did it, and even let us in on some of the pitfalls along the way. This isn't a session on theory. Dom will share practical insights, from Atlassian, and from over 100 other organisations where they've shared their way of working.

10:15 am

Morning Break


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

10:45 am

Getting to Resilience

Cyd Harrell former Chief of Staff F8

What does it take to support designers and other tech workers who must constantly teach their practices from a position of lower seniority, while also doing exemplary work? Fresh from a stretch as Chief of Staff at 18F (one of the US’s two national government digital teams), Cyd will discuss fostering a culture that can continue turning out transformative work in difficult times.

She will talk about practice communities, hiring for purpose, and the role of front-line managers as keepers of culture. Cyd will share candid stories and critical learnings from a design and development practice that is changing one of the largest institutions in the world.

11:20 am

The Art and Science of Onboarding

Ted Tencza, Head of Engineering Prospa

Bringing new people on to the team can be stressful for both the new person and the current team. This talk outlines 10 principles that organisations can follow to radically improve their new hire onboarding process. It doesn't attempt to prescribe an actual program, but rather gives leaders the tools they need to design one that fits their circumstances.

11:45 am

Beware of the Mono-Culture Monster

Michel Boudreau, Senior Software Engineer Pageup

You've just started at a new company, with your own set of experiences and knowledge, and you're in a meeting with a slew of your colleagues. Everyone else seems to have a similar solution, more or less, except for you have a radically different idea; you pipe up, only to have everyone look at your quizzically. Sound familiar? This is the pitfall of the Mono-Culture, which can breed a Monster resistant to different ideas, perspectives and experiences. Let's slay this beast together.

12:10 pm

Reimagining the company offsite remotely

Georgina Robilliard Head of People and Culture Insured By Us

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

Building A Growth Framework

Jo Cranford, Director of Engineering Culture Amp

What’s the thing that’s holding you back from progression?

This was the question we wanted to help everybody in our Product Development team to answer. We set out to build a Growth Framework by focussing on how to help people understand the behaviours we value at Culture Amp, and how they evolve as people grew in their roles.

It was really important to us that our Growth Framework focussed on helping people grow rather than check boxes. When you start talking about progression, it’s very difficult to avoid this.

In this talk I will share the collaborative, iterative approach we used to build out a Growth Framework that was aligned with our values, and could be used for not only engineers but also product managers, testers, and other roles. I will show the finished product and talk about what we learned along the way.

2:05 pm

(Really) Effective Succession Planning

Greer Lucas, Principal Consultant & Founder Culture Rocks

7 Steps to having a reliable, current succession plan your people are invested in.

Why is this important

  • Step 1) Prioritise Your Roles
  • Step 2) Identify Your 'Potentials'
  • Step 3) Understand the Impact
  • Step 4) Ask Your People
  • Step 5) Initiate 'Progress2Ready'
  • Step 6) Monitor 'Progress2Ready'
  • Step 7) Maintain Your Plan
2:30 pm

Importance of a healthy communication culture

Carmel Hinks, Software Engineer Atlassian

Communication is one of many aspects that can shape and define culture. In the workplace, a culture of open communication can be the difference between an environment that is positive and supportive, or one that is bitter, fearful and fuelled by negative reinforcement. So, how can you ensure you are communicating in a way that drives a positive working culture?

This talk will expand on how Atlassian drives a positive and supportive communication culture, emphasising four major stages of communication that can impact the overall atmosphere of an interaction. You will learn how these stages can assist you as both the communicator and/or the recipient by eliminating noise, efficiently finding agreements, and gaining deeper understandings.

The content will not be presented as a theoretical view, but rather a glimpse into the reality that I have experienced over the past two years.

2:55 pm

Working Less, Living More

Michael Honey, Founder Icelab

Work-life balance an empty promise if you're working too much. There's nothing magical about five days a week, and it's time to take the next step, work less, and live more. It's not about working part-time: this is about full-time being less time.

Michael's company Icelab has run a four-day week for the last ten years. Find out about, the challenges they faced, how they made it work, and why working less means helps build a happier, more creative, more diverse team.

3:15 pm

Afternoon Break


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

3:45 pm

Closing Keynote

Maria Giudice, Design Leader Hot Studio

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About Us

Co-founded and now run by John Allsopp, Web Directions has for over a decade 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. We'll be organising Product, Design, and Code as online conferences, and our annual extravaganza, Web Directions Summit will take place in Sydney as soon as it is practicable in late 2020 or early 2021.

vignettes from 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".

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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.

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