The Melbourne CTO Summit - 2014

If you manage engineers, learn from and connect with your peers at the Melbourne CTO summit, organized in conjunction with YOW!. At this full day, single track summit, learn how other companies successfully build and run their engineering teams.

The CTO Summit Series was created to allow CTO’s and engineering leaders to learn from and connect with their peers. It’s not hard to find a gathering of technologists debating front end frameworks, containerization or the relative benefits of Scala, Clojure and Go. Finding a group of geeks talking about the hard parts of building a successful engineering team like hiring, developing an engineering culture and managing (your team and your boss) is more challenging.

We have nineteen senior engineering leaders sharing their experiences from MYOB, SEEK,, Amazon, Oracle, Chef, Cogent, Accenture, Canva, Flexera and more. We also have Dave Thomas, the founder of the YOW! conferences giving a special afternoon keynote.


  • 8.30am Registration and Breakfast

  • 9.00am Introduction

  • 9.10am Simon Raik-Allen, Chief Technical Officer, MYOB & John Sullivan, Product Delivery Manager, MYOB - Building software without killing the business

  • 9.30am Michael Ridgway, VP Engineering, - Why we built our own search platform

  • 9.50am Gaurav Patni, Global Client Advisor, Retail Industry CTO, Oracle - Architecting a technology led Customer Experience (CX) transformation

  • 10.10am Mirco Hering, APAC DevOps & Agile Capability Lead, Accenture - Why is it so bloody hard? Insights from cognitive biases into Agile change journeys

  • 10.30am Break

  • 11.00am Gideon Kowadlo, Co-founder & Director Outware Mobile - Scaling innovation in a busy development team

  • 11.20am Paul Hughes, VP Engineering, Flexera Software - Culture that brings people together

  • 11.40am Ben Beath, Head of Digital, Loud & Clear Creative - How to build a team offshore and get tremendous results

  • 12.00pm Tal Rotbart, CTO, PageUp People, ex-Development Practice Manager, SEEK - Bridging the divide: Creating a common language between business and technical leadership

  • 12.20pm Matt Youill, CTO & Co-Founder, Start Mesh - One of these CTOs is not like the other

  • 12.40pm Lunch

  • 1.30pm Dave Thomas, Founder Bedarra Research Labs, YOW! Conferences, OTI Labs, Nicta Fellow, ACM Distinguished Engineer - CTO? Leadership, vision and execution

  • 1.50pm Josh Johnston, CTO at X-Team - Why remote developers will make your team better

  • 2.10pm Jez Humble, VP, Chef - Measuring and changing culture

  • 2.30pm Parry Gyngell, Founder, InterWeb Visions - Virtual Reality and the dawn of the InterWeb

  • 2.50pm Andy Kelk, ex Technology Lead, Australia Post - How self selecting teams helped us build real ownership

  • 3.10pm Break

  • 3.40pm Josh Graham, Chef de Technology, Canva - Evolving a Late 90's monolith to microservices

  • 4.00pm Peter Stanski, Principal Solution Architect, Amazon Web Services - Amazon Web Services: Pace of innovation, teams & culture

  • 4.20pm Erik Petersen, Technologist, Emprove - Stop the clock - rethinking time

  • 4.40pm Tom Adams, SVP Polyglot Engineering, Cogent - Lessons learned hiring a development team

  • 5.00pm Next steps

  • 5.10pm Open bar

  • 7.00pm Event ends



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Additional Information

My name’s Peter Bell. I used to run engineering for a number of startups in New York - including General Assembly. In March of this year I organized a Startup CTO summit in NYC along with Lucas Nelson from Gotham Ventures. I thought 20 friends would show up. We ended up selling out the venue, with 110 engineering leaders and with presentations from the CTO’s of companies including Gilt Groupe, MongoDB, Tumblr, Birchbox, Warby Parker and

This fall, we’re running conferences in San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, Boston, Melbourne and Sydney. Attendance to the event is strictly limited to engineering leaders. No recruiters, non-technical co-founders or other business stakeholders will be allowed (we enforce this policy strictly and will refund tickets of anyone we can’t admit). That said, we’re not hung up on job titles. Some of our best attendees have titles like CEO or VP Product. As long as you can perform a technical code review, know how to submit a pull request and are interested in better hiring, managing and organizing developers, we can’t wait to meet you!

The call for papers is now closed, but if you’d like to support the event, there are a range of sponsorship packages available - just email for more information.