The Sydney CTO Summit - 2014

** We just sold out the summit. Sorry about that, but hope to see you next year! Feel free to register interest below! **

If you manage engineers, learn from and connect with your peers at the Sydney CTO summit. At this full day, single track summit, organized in conjunction with YOW!, 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 Atlassian, Cisco, EMC, Bankwest, Commonwealth Bank, Hipages group, Westfield Labs,, William Hill Australia, ThoughtWorks and more. We also have Dave Thomas, the founder of the YOW! conferences giving a special afternoon keynote.

Registration starts at 8.30am, content at 9. We run through 5pm and then have a two hour open bar for discussing the content and connecting with your peers.


  • 8.30am Registration and Breakfast

  • 9.00am Introduction

  • 9.10am Jean-Michel Lemieux, VP of Engineering, Atlassian - Scaling with READMEs

  • 9.30am Ian Tinsley, ex-Head of Engineering, Westfield Labs - SOA: an enabler for Continuous Delivery and innovation

  • 9.50am Sean Langton, Head of Solution Engineering, Bankwest - Developing a 'startup' mindset in a 120 year old financial institution

  • 10.10am Ted Tencza, Head of Technology & Design, - The Art and Science of new hire on boarding

  • 10.30am Break

  • 11.00am Andrew Walker, Founder, 3wks - Lessons learned from 25 cloud-native gigs

  • 11.20am Rodney Prescott, Senior Project Manager, Commonwealth Bank - Headware - beats hardware and software every time

  • 11.40am Ruben Rubio Rey, CTO, - Business vs developer objectives

  • 12.00pm Joris Dries, CTO, Resonate Solutions - Stepping up as CTO in a small SAAS company

  • 12.20pm Mike Biggs, Lead Innovation Consultant, ThoughtWorks & Ian Kelsall, Lead Consultant, ThoughtWorks - Practical Product Innovation

  • 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 Nate Goyer, Senior Manager, Incubation of Emerging Technologies, Cisco - The Speed of Decision Making

  • 2.10pm Peter Merel, Enterprise Coach, Apmasphere - XSCALE: a pattern language for large and small Agile enterprises

  • 2.30pm David Bolton, Head of Engineering, William Hill Australia - Find a mentor, be a mentor

  • 2.50pm Chris Iona, VP of Engineering, Hipages Group - Got 99 problems, but 'Midship' ain't one – from legacy to cloud in under 120 days

  • 3.10pm Break

  • 3.40pm Simon Rodwell, Front-end Developer, Airtasker - SPAs (Single Page Apps): Lessons learned

  • 4.00pm Toby Hede, Lead Developer, Envato - Things I have learned by forcing developers to be on call

  • 4.20pm Geoff Bowers, Owner, Daemon - Devops: journeyman to infrastructure mastery

  • 4.40pm Peter Robinson, Senior Engineering Manager, RSA, The Security Division of EMC - Recruiting the A 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.