../NEW – Day 1 – Wednesday May 15

8:00-9:00

9:00-9:20

Magenta Room

9:20-10:10

Damian Brady

Magenta Room

10:10-10:45

10:45-11:30

Michelle “MishManners” Duke

Magenta Room

  • ai

Matthew Fenwick

Teal Room

  • data
  • dev

Claire Quigley

Flex Room

    11:30-11:35

    11:35-12:20

    Aaron Powell

    Magenta Room

    • .net

    Chris Gilbert

    Teal Room

    • agile

    Damian Brady & Michelle “MishManners” Duke

    Flex Room

      12:20-1:05

      1:05-1:50

      Ben Dechrai

      Magenta Room

      • security

      Aiden Price

      Teal Room

      • data

      Damian Hamilton

      Flex Room

      • mental health

      1:50-1:55

      1:55-2:40

      Rebecca Shephard

      Magenta Room

      • security

      Sam Connelly

      Teal Room

      • testing

      Panel lead by James MacDonnald

      Flex Room

      • hiring

      2:40-3:15

      3:15-4:00

      Elena Scifleet

      Magenta Room

      • security

      Julian Burr

      Teal Room

      • front end
      • dev

      Josh Peak + You

      Flex Room

      • hands on workshop

      4:00-4:05

      4:05-4:50

      Andrew Harvey

      Magenta Room

        Bryden Oliver

        Teal Room

        • database
        • dev

        Josh Peak + You

        Flex Room

        • hands on workshop

        4:50-5:15

        ../NEW – Day 2 – Thursday May 16

        8:30-9:00

        9:00-9:10

        Magenta Room

        9:10-10:00

        Melissa Houghton

        Magenta Room

        10:00-10:05

        10:05-10:50

        Phil Nash

        Magenta Room

        • front end
        • dev

        Sheena Peeters

        Teal Room

        • leadership

        Flex Room

        • security

        10:50-11:25

        11:25-12:10

        Hrvoje Tutman

        Magenta Room

        • dev

        Brendan Marsh

        Teal Room

        • agile
        • product

        Flex Room

          12:10-12:15

          12:15-1:00

          Matt Wicks

          Magenta Room

          • .net
          • dev

          Paul Kelly

          Teal Room

          Arden Jarrett, William Fardell and Sarah Frazer

          Flex Room

            1:00-1:35

            1:35-2:10

            Hayley Morgan

            Magenta Room

            • data

            Lars Klint

            Teal Room

            • devops
            • dev

            Damian Hamilton

            Flex Room

            • mental health

            2:10-2:15

            2:15-3:00

            To Be Announced

            Magenta Room

              Libby Davey

              Teal Room

                To Be Announced

                Flex Room

                  3:00-3:15

                  3:15-4:00

                  Anne-Marie Charrett

                  Magenta Room

                  4:00-4:15

                  Magenta Room

                  Battles of an Impostor

                  Melissa Houghton

                  Principal Software engineer at Mantel Group

                  Have you ever felt like a fraud? Like you did not deserve the opportunities in front of you? Have you ever thought “why me, I should not be here”? Have you feared others might discover you are a fake? Alternatively, have you seen a talented colleague not recognising their achievements? A colleague who is hesitant to take on a new role? This is impostor syndrome; I encounter it regularly and fight against it in myself and others. Unite with me in this battle; for yourself, your colleagues and friends. Join me as I share my experiences with impostor syndrome, how I have fought against it, and how you can join the fight.

                  Level up with GitHub Copilot: using AI to learn, code, and build

                  Michelle “Mish Manners” Duke

                  Developer Advocate at GitHub

                  It’s time you meet your AI pair programmer. Do you find yourself stuck on a chunk of code? Unsure of how best to center a div? GitHub Copilot can help. Get unstuck by seeing suggested lines or code, whole functions, and learn more about your development journey through having code explained, and even translate your code into other languages. Find out more about GitHub Copilot, new features, updates, and see a demo. The session will cover:

                  • What is AI
                  • Applications of AI
                  • How GitHub Copilot works
                  • How to get better results from GitHub Copilot with prompt engineering (the art crafting effective prompts)
                  • Power of conversational coding with GitHub Copilot Chat
                  • How to build robust AI applications using GitHub Copilot
                  • What’s coming next
                  • AI ownership

                  Modern Dev Tooling and the Inner Loop

                  Damian Brady

                  Staff Developer Advocate at GitHub

                  In DevOps, we tend to focus on a subset of the software delivery pipeline. We spend a lot of time on CI/CD, a little on planning and tracking our work, and maybe we keep and eye on what’s happening in production. But we still pay lip service to the “inner loop” – the daily grind of effectively cutting code. What is life like for engineers who write code, and how can we make it better? From picking up new work, to working with branches and PRs, actually writing code, performing code reviews, getting features into the deployment pipeline, and everything in between.

                  Generative AI for the .NET Developer

                  Aaron Powell

                  Cloud Advocate at Microsoft

                  Have you ever wondered how to create intelligent apps with .NET and Azure OpenAI? Do you want to learn how to leverage the power of large language models like ChatGPT to generate natural and engaging conversations? Do you want to see how AI can build AI apps? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this talk is for you! In this talk, you will discover how to use .NET, C#, and Azure to create amazing applications with OpenAI and other generative AI technologies. You will learn the fundamental concepts of this latest wave of AI, the benefits and challenges of using .NET with it, and the best practices and tips for developing intelligent apps. You will also see a live demo of how AI can build AI apps using .NET and OpenAI. And yes, this abstract was created using Bing Chat 😀

                  Houston, We Have a Deployment!

                  Lars Klint

                  Principal Magician at Arkahna

                  In the boundless expanse of software development, deploying new features can often feel like launching a spacecraft into the unknown. Let’s embark on a mission to explore the critical aspects of feature management, because it can be so much more than just toggling features on and off. What if product owners were involved in defining the features in a product? What if developers didn’t need to have the mind of a CTO to develop the product? Just as astronauts meticulously prepare for a space mission, we delve into the strategies for planning and executing feature rollouts, ensuring that each ‘launch’ is successful and each ‘orbit’ around the product lifecycle is stable and efficient. This talk includes live demos, lots of code, a new way to manage features, quite possibly something catching fire, and definitely llamas

                  Is Application Security an Illusion?

                  Ben Dechrai

                  Developer Advocate at Sonar

                  The first worm was designed to create awareness of security issues but was so prolific (yet still benign) that it inadvertently took the early internet down for days. Nowadays, malicious attacks know no bounds. We hear stories of them targeting elections and even entire democracies! So it’s easy to think that this situation is getting worse and that we’re fighting a never-ending battle. After all, you can do a thousand things right, but it only takes one mistake or vulnerability to undo everything! But let’s take a closer look at reality because I believe we ARE prepared, and we always have been. Join me, as we explore why this is a challenge we can overcome and how YOU are part of the solution.

                  Conquering complexity: refactoring JavaScript projects

                  Phill Nash

                  Developer Advocate at Sonar

                  One of the most common issues in JavaScript code bases is that our code is too complex. As projects and their requirements evolve, complexity creeps in. Excess complexity slows progress, frustrating us as we try to keep large chunks of a program in our heads just to understand what is happening. To conquer complexity, we must refactor! In this talk, we’ll investigate how to identify unnecessary complexity in our code base using cognitive complexity as a measure, how to approach refactoring complex code, and what tools are available to help us refactor. We’ll put it all into practice through a live example. By the end of the talk, you’ll be excited to tackle that 1000-line monstrosity of a function in your own code base (you know the one).

                  How to create a Product Strategy, with examples from Spotify

                  Brendan Marsh

                  Agile, Product & Org Coach at Organa

                  Creating a product strategy can be confusing and overwhelming. Many companies don’t have one and for those that do, it’s often a wish list. In this talk, you’ll learn a step-by-step process for creating an effective product strategy with plenty of examples from Brendan’s days as a Product Manager at Spotify. We’ll cover the kinds of research, analysis and questions you’ll need to answer in order to craft a Product Strategy that conveys your rationale, your WHY behind your roadmap that is aligned to the business, to the market, informed by customer insights and importantly, describes how you’re going to WIN in the market.

                  Charting the Course: Tactics for Techies Transitioning to Leadership

                  Panel lead by James MacDonnald

                  A panel discussion covering how technical people can transition into leadership roles.

                  A hands-on guide to increasing gender diversity in your organisation

                  Arden Jarrett, William Fardell and Sarah Frazer

                  A panel discussion consisting of the directors of Coded Diversity, the organisation behind Newcastle’s Women and Gender Diverse People in Tech. Come along to learn about the

                  Making the right hire every time

                  Improving the internal innovation ecosystem

                  Claire Quigley

                  More details to come.

                  Newwwie.com dev sprint

                  Josh Peak

                  Bring your own Laptop or pair us with someone else as you join Josh Peak for a session building out features for the newwwie.com website. This is a great opportunity to work with other people from around the community to contribute to Newcastle’s own Open Source community project.

                  Podcasting Unplugged: How to Start & Grow a Podcast

                  Ever asked yourself – “should I start a podcast?” Join this immersive workshop and get an answer to that very question and whether you should unlock the potential of podcasting as a powerful medium for your voice and ideas. In this session, we aim to demystify the podcast creation and production process for aspiring podcasters. Guided by two experienced podcast producers, you’ll gain insights into what it takes to create a podcast, and how podcasting can help grow your business or personal brand. From the initial spark of inspiration, to developing a show’s identity, and then recording, editing, publishing and marketing your show – this session will help you decide whether now is the right time to start your podcast. Whether you’re looking to share your passion, elevate your brand, or connect with a global audience, this workshop will equip you with the knowledge and tools to make your podcasting aspirations a reality.

                  To Be Announced

                  We will have more information about this session soon

                  Cyber war room: a hands-on experience in crisis management

                  Alpha Echo

                  This session is a hands on session and learn how to to handle an incident from the experts.

                  Riding Waves of Change: From Motorbike Novice to Career Crossroad

                  Anne-Marie Charrett

                  Group Owner DX Test & Automation at Telstra

                  Whoever wrote “A change is as good as a holiday” clearly doesn’t work in tech! In tech, we’re grappling with an unprecedented rate of change of new ideas, languages, frameworks, architectures, and technologies. Rapid, constant, and often overwhelming change has become the new norm. How do we navigate and respond to this change at work and in our personal lives? And how do we remain congruent with ourselves and with our teams? In this keynote, I’m going to share stories about change in both my career and life. One a career crossroads where I had little agency. In the other, I learned to ride a motorbike, an experience that paralysed me with fear. In sharing these stories, perhaps we can find some truths about how we can handle change, for ourselves and as leaders in technology.

                  GitHub Open Space

                  Michelle “Mish Manners” Duke & Damian Brady

                  Join Michelle and Damian for an open floor discussion about all things GitHub. This is your chance to sit down with two fantastic developer advocates and get answers to all of your questions about Actions, Copilot, Devops and anything that has come up in their talks in the previous two sessions.

                  Cyber Threat Landscape – Threat Informed Design, Defence and Support

                  Rebecca Shepard

                  General Manager and a principal consultant for Alpha Echo

                  An unclassified look into the Cyber Threat Environment we face and explain how this information is valuable to individuals and IT professionals.

                  Cloud Native Aspirations with .NET Aspire

                  Matt Wicks

                  Solution Architect at SSW

                  From a .NET software consultant’s experience, this talk presents .NET Aspire and .NET 8, highlighting their role in cloud-native application development. It focuses on .NET Aspire’s capabilities and the multi-platform versatility of .NET 8. Addressing orchestration, service integration, and telemetry, this session demonstrates how .NET Aspire and .NET 8 facilitate scalable, distributed app development across different platforms.

                  Top Database Performance Techniques

                  Bryden Oliver

                  Solution Architect at SSW

                  Discover the secrets to unlocking lightning-fast database performance! In this engaging presentation, I will guide you through a range of tried-and-true techniques that will revolutionize the way you approach database optimization. With plenty of live demos along the way, you’ll gain a deep understanding of each technique and learn how to apply them to your own databases. From the simplest tips to more advanced techniques, this session has something for everyone. Get ready to take your database performance to the next level!
                  This session is aimed at those with limited database experience to provide some basics to help avoid the most common problems developers have when working with relational databases.

                  Yes, Your Browser Can Do That (Probably) — A Look At Modern Web APIs You Might Not Know

                  Julian Burr

                  Lead Developer at Vouch

                  We’ve become so accustomed to aiming to develop native apps to get access to certain advanced features and functionality that it’s easy to miss that a lot of that has been adopted slowly but surely by our web browsers over time.

                  In this talk, we’ll have a look at some of these Web APIs, how they work, and how you can use them to progressively enhance the experience of your users in a real-life context.



                  This talk explores some of the more unknown Web APIs and gives practical advice on how to use them to enhance the user experience of your products.

                  Some examples of those APIs:
                  * Intersection & Resize Observer
                  * Page Visibility API
                  * Network Information API
                  * Battery Status API
                  * Internationalisation API
                  * Eyedropper API
                  * Vibration API
                  * Contact Picker API
                  * PasswordCredential API
                  * WebOTP API

                  The key takeaway from this talk is that browsers have become increasingly powerful over the last decade and keep doing so. It’s worth using the platform more and keeping an eye on what’s available. Slides from an older version of this talk can be found here: https://www.julianburr.de/my-work/talks/yes-your-browser-can-do-that-probably/

                  Testing your crap

                  Sam Connelly

                  Test/Data Engineer (mobile) at Woolworths Group

                  There are so many elements of quality that are often over looked.

                  Learn first hand how a mobile app can be built with privacy by design, accessibility and localisation in mind.

                  Building API-Based System with Distributed Service Architecture

                  Hrvoje Tutman

                  Lead Software Engineer at Skript

                  This talk serves as a practical extension of the “Responsibilities of Modern Software Engineers”, diving into the realm of API-based systems built with distributed service architecture. Rooted in the author’s experiences as the lead software engineer at Skript, a prominent Open Banking data aggregator, the API design principles presented extend beyond this specific context, making them universally applicable to any API-based system. Furthermore, the unset architectural principles and Non-Functional Requirements (NFRs) presented in the talk have relevance across diverse distributed service architecture systems.

                  The exploration of good API design touches on the evolution from the era of SOAP Web Services to contemporary choices like REST and GraphQL. Specifically, the talk focuses on REST API, emphasising adherence to HTTP specifications, idempotency, OpenAPI specifications, authentication, authorisation, versioning, URI modelling, pagination, filtering, sorting, projection, and comprehensive payload rules—forming a non-exhaustive list. The talk also touches upon industry standards like {json:api}, highlighting potential pitfalls in partial implementations and questioning the practicality of HATEOAS when similar features are achievable through established features within the HTTP standard.

                  Transitioning from design to implementation, the talk articulates core architectural principles and “ilities” – characteristics of distributed service architecture, with independent deployment as the core principle. It underscores the significance of asynchronous event-driven architecture and messaging middleware with event store capabilities for all inter-service communication. The necessity of independent service testing leads to contract testing as a mandatory step for implementing continuous delivery. The talk advocates for robust observability through tracing, metrics, and logging, emphasising the power of the baggage API. Additionally, it highlights the potency of feature toggling for controlled releases and experiments. The importance of centralised API repositories with specifications in an Interface Definition Language (IDL) is paramount, encompassing security practices, and database change management, among other aspects.

                  One of the driving reasons for this approach is to enable not only the scaling of applications but also the independent scaling of each component (service) within the architecture. Building an API system is easy; building a scalable API system is hard, and that is where engineering comes in. This sometimes leads to principles that are counterintuitive or go against traditional approaches. For instance, to achieve global data scalability, we need to break traditional RDBMS. This poses additional challenges where certain practices need to be “unlearned” first. The talk further advocates for the Everything as Code approach, extending it beyond infrastructure to encompass testing and documentation—all mentioned and more falling under the responsibility of software engineers working on the implementation.

                  The talk concludes by reinforcing the holistic approach to modern software engineering, emphasising that software engineering transcends bureaucracy. Domain knowledge and the pursuit of excellence are the most important principles for achieving robust, scalable, and future-ready API-based systems.

                  Securing your business: Cyber Security Incident Response Plan for Small Businesses

                  Elena Scifleet

                  Cyber Education Lead at Alpha Echo

                  In an age dominated by ransomware and data extortion, the call for small businesses to fortify their cyber defenses resonates with unparalleled urgency. By unraveling the unique challenges faced by small businesses in the cyber landscape and elucidating the tangible benefits of a well-crafted Cyber Security Incident Response Plan, this session aims to empower business owners and decision-makers to take proactive measures in the face of escalating cyber threats. Join Elena as she arms you with information on how to create Cyber Security Incident Response Plan specific to the needs of your small business to safeguard your digital integrity.

                  Kubernetes Operators on Easy Mode with Python and Kopf

                  Aiden Price

                  CTO at Arrowtail Precision

                  Kubernetes operators bring declarative management to your app stack on K8S. Simply tell the operator what resources you want to exist with a Custom Resource and make the operator sort it out, declarative ops FTW.
                  There are a bunch of great open source operators available to run your favourite services in Kubernetes, Postgres, Elastic, Redis, RabbitMQ and we’ll do a whirlwind tour of some of the best. You have been running stateful services in Kubernetes right? You know that’s a thing these days?
                  But what about your own apps or your own DevOps processes? Well you can write your own operator to do them for you from inside the cluster. Avoid the headaches of manually pushing workloads with kubectl like an animal. Avoid the pitfalls of having to grant high K8S privileges to developers just so they can test new features.
                  Conventional wisdom says you should write your operator in Golang, but have you ever tried to find a Go dev? If you’re using Python elsewhere in your stack you should give Kopf (Kubernetes Operator Python Framework) a go. You can build fully event driven K8S DevOps workflows in Python with ease.
                  Now the parts of your DevOps workflow that always required a curly Python script can be automated. Then run them declaratively with your own Custom Resources. Then you can GitOps them from a repository with some proper permissions and branch protections. Then how about driving your GitOps with GitHub Actions on a pull request? Disposable environments anyone? The future for operators and GitOps is particularly bright and we’ll bring the sunglasses.

                  Slow coffee

                  Damian Hamilton

                  Learn how to make a pour over with Damian from Pirate Coffee and talk about mental health

                  Agile: Use it or lose It. Don’t abuse it!

                  Chris Gilbert

                  Consulting Director at SixPivot

                  Agile is great, except when it’s not. Then it’s terrible. And oh boy, have I seen some things…

                  In this talk I’ll share the best, the worst, and the should-never-have-been parts of agile projects that I’ve seen over the years. There’ll be practical tips for you to take away to start improving your own projects too.

                  Are we still talking about agile in 2024? Yes, because we have to.

                  Data Literacy & the AI Imperative

                  Hayley Morgan

                  Insights & Analytics Business Partner at Coal LSL

                  With the rise of AI & automation, organisations are only now starting to understand the need for large scale data literacy programs. In an age where 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced each day, data literacy has become a critical skill. The rapid rise of data has not only transformed how we do business, but it also demands a new set of competencies from every organisations workforce.

                  While computer literacy took hold of the global workforce in the 80’s, followed shortly by software literacy with applications being rolled out & products being sold in the early 2000’s. Data literacy now holds the key to ensuring organisations can remain competitive in a rapidly shifting environment. There is a technical, practical & ethical understanding required of data literacy & AI literacy.

                  I will walk through a couple of key design approaches to try & address the data literacy gap & the impact AI will have on the workforce, for example:

                  – a roadmap that seeks to uplift organisations ability to adopt AI through data education, data products & engagement
                  – a data literacy program I’ve rolled out to an organisation of 200+ that teaches non-technical data skills to people via a curriculum that are at risk of job detachment due to AI. This is where L&D, change management, comms, strategy & data come together.
                  – the impact AI has on current jobs (which ones we’ll see likely go, transition or change)
                  – the skills data literacy program teaches & how upskilling in chatgpt, statistics, data decision making etc, enables organisations to retain talent rather than widespread redundancies, trying to seek new workers in a tight market.
                  – what a data academy is & what it can do for all sizes of organisations & enterprises
                  – challenges of a data literacy program & common pain points you’ll likely experience

                  There is a common misunderstanding of who is data literate & what data literacy means. Being in technology doesn’t automatically mean you’re data literate. The ability to read, understand, interpret & analyse data is data literacy – data quality particularly is at the heart of it, given that many people in an organisation are unknowingly interacting with the DQ of entire pipelines & architecture.

                  To be data literate means being able to ask important questions about the data & the world around you. Especially with the rise of AI powered misinformation & deepfakes, you need to be able to ask the right questions about the data & the technology you see. This is the power of data literacy.

                  Organisations can either ethically spend the time & effort it requires to shift their workforce in the direction of AI through data literacy, or be at risk of AI happening to them, with very little time to plan or react in a commercially competitive market.

                  Conversational analytics: scalable and cost effective insights using AWS Connect

                  Matthew Fenwick

                  Senior Data Analyst nib health funds

                  Over the past 18 months I have been building out the speech and chat analytics ecosystem at nib using AWS (specifically AWS connect).
                  With the rise of LLMs, this space has changed from simple rule based analytics to also incorporate more sophisticated insights only attainable via complex language models.
                  Furthermore, companies are now capturing increasingly more conversational based data, but with no ability to draw insights from this lake of data points. I hope to shed light on my journey in exposing these insights and the challenges faced when aggregating millions of conversations into a single distilled topic/theme.

                  I aim to outline a brief overview of the benefits of conversational analytics, discuss in brief the basic methodology within an AWS context and then present some of the best approaches based on complexity and needs – with the intent to show that simple fuzzy matching rules can often be equally as accurate as LLMs at a fraction of the cost and increased ability to scale.
                  I will explore what Conversational analytics is optimal for (Quality assurance, sentiment, scripting, issue detection) and where previous shortcomings are now being ameliorated through LLMs (sarcasm, context specific engagement).

                  You should play RPGs at work

                  Andrew Harvey

                  You might have heard some people play chess while others play checkers. That by understanding the capabilities of each person we can create better strategy and tactics and win. In this talk I propose that you should do neither and that instead you should play RPGs at work.

                  We will go on a journey together where we understand that as software engineers the be best way to “win” – to actually enjoy our work and build cool stuff, achieving our own goals and contributing meaningfully – requires us to go beyond just understanding the piece of work in front of us, but those we’re working with and what on earth it is we’re working towards.

                  It turns out we already have a great way of doing that outside work: RPG games. This talk will give attendees concrete ways to escape from being a Generic Software Engineer, and step into their unique role within a quest.

                  The audience is anyone who works as part of a software engineering team: engineers, product managers, designers, and leaders. It will even include some demos of things that we’ve put into practice at our workplace

                  Unlocking Success: The Crucial Role of Technical Leadership in Technology Strategy Execution

                  Sheena Peeters

                  Transformation Lead

                  Technology strategy execution is a strategy in its own right! However, its success comes from technical leadership at all levels. Whilst some of the key fundamentals of a CIO/CTO role may include strategy, businesses cases, budgets, operational effectiveness, cyber and data risk management, to achieve a robust technology strategy technology leaders will need to provide leadership at the execution level through architecture and have a robust understanding through a technical lens on cloud engineering, CICD, modernised data, AI, ITSM, integration observability, cyber and the likes to create quick wins, make tactical decisions and achieve longer term strategic technology outcomes Today, I’ll lean on some stories and examples of how i balance working with executives, boards and senior business leaders to educate and get buy-in, whilst leading technical teams through a hands on approach to deliver successfully.