YOW! CTO Summit 2017 Sydney

Topics covered at #ctosummit

Wednesday, 6th December in Sydney

12 experts spoke.

YOW! CTO Summit is about open dialogue and sharing successes and challenges with peers. The one day conference is packed with insightful talks containing the latest tricks, hacks and shortcuts that companies use to successfully build and run engineering teams.

Whether you're a team lead, engineering manager, VPE or CTO, you need to be at this full day, single track summit. Get the help you need from people who've been there and done that: your peers in the engineering management space. You can learn how to hire smarter, refine your culture, improve your processes, manage more effectively and adopt better engineering practices or architectures.

Only engineering leaders may attend - though we are not hung up on titles; CEO or VP Products etc are welcome. No recruiters, non-technical co-founders or other business stakeholders will be allowed - we strictly enforce this policy. Limited attendance means that it's easier to facilitate open dialog with peers and speakers.

Excited? Share it!


The Future of Tech is Sustainable, Diverse & Makes a Difference

To survive and grow, technology companies need to align themselves with, and invest in, sustainability, diversity, inclusion and social impact. Drawing on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, research by Ernst & Young, The Boston Consulting Group, and others, I will make the case that companies not aligned with these goals will lack the resilience and strength to face the challenges that lie ahead—from competitors, from the environment, and from the workforce. Finally, we will look at some positive examples and talk about what the next steps for your company, startup, or other organisation/conference/meetup might be. Tech companies are well placed to make this transition. As an industry, as well as software and hardware we have experience with disruptive innovation and have learnt how to apply lean and agile methodologies to new industries. People from Clayton Christensen to Bill Gates believe these are keys to resilience and impact in all sectors.

Mark Aufflick

The High Technology Bureau

Two in the box: Leadership and the art of delivering customer value fast

Every business today is being disrupted by how fast things are changing.

Product teams need to continually review and improve their delivery processes, just to compete. But where do you start?

For MYOB, it was in the alignment of its Product and Delivery leadership teams.

The result?

MYOB is now better placed to meet their strategic goals, deliver continual improvement and value to their ever-growing client base.

This talk presents MYOB's approach, how they did it and how my role as a Technical Leader has shifted.

Don’t miss your chance to gain an insight into how one of Australia’s most innovative companies works.

You will learn:

  • MYOB's approach to meeting the needs of its customers.
  • How to align technical leadership and Product vision to work faster.
  • The steps MYOB went through to transform the way it works.
  • Benefits and challenges they’ve seen after implementing the change.
  • Ideas and strategies you can implement in your business today.
  • How this change can make you, technical leader, more effective in your role.

Alexandre Barreto

Head of Delivery

Security and the CTO

Aaron Bedra will talk on some of the security issues that all CTOs need to be aware of.

Aaron Bedra

Aaron Bedra has served as a Chief Security Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Scientist and Principal Engineer/Architect. He currently works at the intersection of trading + technology as a senior software engineer at DRW.

Aaron has worked professionally on programming languages, most notably Clojure and ClojureScript. He is the creator of Repsheet, an open source threat intelligence toolkit; is the co-author of Programming Clojure, 2nd and 3rd Edition and a contributor to Functional Programming: A PragPub Anthology.

Aaron blogs about software and security at aaronbedra.com

Hacking Digital Leadership – Insights on How to Achieve Success from 40 Digital Leaders

Making the shift from technologist to successful leader is challenging. The transition causes anxiety for most of us as we fear being seen as incompetent. The shift has us move from a world of well-defined problems to one that is grey, ambiguous and often has long feedback loops.

This presentation will share the insights of the 40 digital leaders interviewed (with a combined experience of over 400 years in tech) on how they became leaders and what it takes to be a successful Digital Leader.

Learn how to transition from technology to people, balance tactical and strategic operation and the 5 key recommendations of the Digital Leaders Career Success pyramid.

James Brett

Curiously Pty Ltd

Humans have Interfaces Too

As technology leaders, we spend endless hours on solution design reviews, costing, project management & vendor contracts... yet we rarely spend enough time on the thing that has the biggest multiplier impact: your people architecture. This session will be a worked example of how restructuring an organisation to address a significant Theory of Constraints issue achieved results beyond what was expected, and used architecture concepts to get the technology teams on board and help improve autonomy and engagement.

Chris Harwood

Service Director
Healthdirect Australia

Life as a Chief Architect

Gregor Hohpe will share insights from his life as a Chief Architect.

Gregor Hohpe

Enterprise Strategist

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

You’re probably familiar with Conway’s Law, that “organizations which design systems ... are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations." But did you know that there’s a tradition in academia spanning as far back as the 1960’s that has studied it in action?

Our understanding began in the traditions of organisational design, product design, and organisations-as-complex-systems. Conway’s Law is a separate tradition in technology, embracing our idioms and ways of storytelling.

But all three traditions point back to the same underlying concepts.

Conway’s Law has been studied across auto, aviation, software, banking, and healthcare. Each study has revealed how humans organise to build systems, and how those systems influence how we organise ourselves.

The results are not what you’d expect.

Lindsay Holmwood

Dev Team Lead

Hiring the Best Technical Talent like a Boss

In the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to be a hiring manager of more than 20 developers and be involved in many more hiring process.

I have to say I wasn't the best hiring manager a few years ago but with each new role and each new candidate, I have learned a lot about hiring great talent, from how to write good job advertisements, how to structure your interviews, how to make the best out of an hour face-to-face interviews with each candidate, how to read and understand body language and last but not least, how to decide who is the best person for your organisation.

Isabel Nyo

Development Manager

What Working with Diverse Teams Really Means

What does diversity really mean when we talk about teams? Team members from different countries or cultural backgrounds? Team members with different levels of experience and different technical skills? Cross-functional teams? Teams in different locations? Diversity of thought?

In reality its all of those things and each of them has its own challenges. In this talk we look at how we can create high-performing diverse teams through purposeful communication and actions.

There are advantages and disadvantages of diverse teams, the most obvious advantage is that diversity can lead to better solutions through differences of opinion. But how do you manage this conflict in the team? How do you turn conflict into creativity and innovation?

What if they're all being too nice to each other and there is no conflict?! We will look at how you can build teams that trust each other and are not afraid to fail.

Roisin Parkes


Incident Post-Mortem Best Practices

One of the most important tenets of DevOps is the concept of continuous learning: always looking for ways to improve your processes, tools and overall operational effectiveness. This becomes even more important after you’ve had a major incident / outage. Your team can use the incident as a learning opportunity by conducting an effective post-mortem.

This session describes how to create an effective learning feedback loop as part of your incident management process, by conducting a blameless post-mortem. We use a real-life incident post-mortem from PagerDuty’s history as an example. We’ll cover what goes into a post-mortem investigation, what goes into the actual post-mortem report, and touch on the importance of blamelessness as part of your PM process.

Alex Solomon


Beyond Ping-Pong and Catered Lunches

At SafetyCulture, our culture is foundational to everything we do.

Our engineering team has doubled to 60 in the space of 6 months and continues to grow. Not having a good handle on our culture we’re trying to build or preserve would be like driving a formula one car blindfolded and without a steering wheel. We'd crash and burn.

This talk moves beyond ping-pong tables and catered lunches to get to the core of what makes up a healthy engineering culture, where everyone gets out of bed each day to be a part of something they find meaningful, and accomplish big things as part of a team.

In the talk, we’ll cover what ingredients are essential to a healthy culture, and what that means to the team. Culture doesn’t stand still, so we’ll also cover how to maintain what’s important as the team grows or changes, and how to keep it fresh over the course of time.

Luke Stubbles

VP of Engineering

Build the Right Thing to Make a Dollar by Making a Social Difference

This talk will explain how "building the right thing right" & implementing a "shared value" competitive strategy can have a massive impact for social good as well as internal engineering, design & delivery culture.

Its shared wisdom now that by utilising design thinking techniques to build the right thing we can get closer to and empathise more with the community and answer the question of "should we build it"? Its also now well known that by teams baking in all the goodness of a well informed agile process & culture (cross functional teams, visualisation, TDD, CI, CD, devops etc) delivering the next most worthwhile opportunity happens effectively.

However rather than just trying to find the next widget to make a dollar off, social entrepreneurs and for purpose organisations are zeroing in on environmental & social challenges to crack which not only give them the edge over solutions with less soul, they can deliver meaningful sustained impact at scale and bake in social good as part of BAU.

Derek Wood

Principal Consultant

Other Years