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This New Digital Conference Will Lift the Lid on Innovation, Agile Development and the Future of Tech

· Ali Turner · Discussion

TechEdge is the first conference of its kind in Leeds.

TechEdge 2018

TechEdge 2018 will bring together leading technologists and digital experts for a day of inspiring talks and practical advice at Aspire on Tuesday 24th April 2018. Book your tickets now for just £20...

Rapid product innovation, rock-solid stability and fast platform scaling – they’re the big issues on the table at TechEdge 2018.

Leeds Digital Festival will return this April with a new headline event – TechEdge 2018 is the first major conference of its kind in Leeds and it’s set to bring a string of world-class speakers to the city. The line-up reads like a who’s who of tech royalty, with high-level representatives from Amazon, BBC, Container Solutions, the Financial Times and Starling Bank all in attendance.

TechEdge 2018

But it’s not just the names on the programme that make this a must-do event – there’s a real focus on innovation here. In a world that’s becoming increasingly competitive, businesses are always looking for ways to work faster and smarter – and that’s what TechEdge is all about. It’s designed to inspire change through inspiring talks, real-world case studies and open conversations with experts from every corner of the industry.

“Leeds has a reputation as a thriving digital centre with a strong ecosystem of big-name consumer brands working alongside public sector departments, start-ups, digital agencies, service providers and educators – we want to bring these people together to build personal networks, share ideas and get stimulus from genuine experts,” Andy Burton, CTO of Sky Betting & Gaming, and the brains behind TechEdge 2018, told us.

Sky Betting & Gaming has always been heavily involved with Leeds Digital Festival – last year they held 14 standalone events, so the launch of TechEdge 2018 feels like a natural progression, but it’s more ambitious than anything they’ve done before. They wanted to advance the city’s tech agenda by bringing high-profile international speakers to the event – and that’s exactly what they’ve done.

TechEdge 2018

Burton will kick off the conference himself at 9:30am with a brief introduction before prolific conference speaker, Ian Massingham, takes to the stage. He’s the Lead for Global Technical & Developer Evangelism at Amazon Web Services, and he’ll tell you the story of how and why Amazon created AWS. If you want to find out how cloud technologies can help you to operate at scale, both in terms of innovation and operations, this is not to be missed.

Annie Currie is next up. As Chief Strategist at Container Solutions, she’s in the perfect position to debate the ethics of cloud-native tooling – we can now innovate and scale up at a record pace, but are we hurtling towards an ethical faux pas and how much will it cost us? This is your chance to find out. And afterwards, you can hear from Neil Hall, Head of Product for BBC Sport, as he lets you in on the secret of how they’ve rapidly evolved from a broadcaster to a digital-fit service.

From here, TechEdge 2018 breaks down into four different tracks, which run simultaneously. Software Engineering runs alongside People & Culture, so you’ve got a tough decision to make. Go for Software Engineering and Jason Maude, Lead Engineer at the mobile-only Starling Bank, will tell you how a coding language that’s over two decades old can still be used for cutting-edge applications. That’s right, he’s talking about Java.

TechEdge 2018

But don’t be surprised if the People & Culture track tempts you away, because you can catch Rob Tuley, Sky Betting & Gaming’s Head of Engineering, as he explores the perils and perks of scaling up your technical delivery team and Hannah Fox, Delivery Manager at Pivotal, who will look at the impact technology has on our culture, job satisfaction, productivity and mental health.

In the afternoon, Ops at Scale and Lean-agile Delivery will compete for your attention. Go for the former and you can hear Sarah Wells, Technical Director for Operations and Reliability at the Financial Times, talk about the challenges they faced when they migrated 150+ micro-services to Kubernetes. Afterwards, Matthew Clarke, Head of Architecture for BBC Design & Engineering in the North & Nations, will let you in on a few secrets of the trade.

More interested in Lean-agile Delivery? Let Mike Joyce, Head of Delivery at Sky Betting & Gaming, walk you through how their tribes use agile working to deliver ideas to tight deadlines, before Andy Birds, Product Strategist Lead at ThoughtWorks, shares 20 things he’d like to have known about agile delivery before he started out.

TechEdge 2018

It’s a cracking line-up, but the speakers aren’t the only reason to go. “TechEdge addresses the key challenge of delivering products faster whilst maintaining excellent customer experiences, against a backdrop of the largest tech skills gap we’ve ever seen,” Burton told us. “As well as practical, in-depth stories of how forward-looking, tech-led businesses increase delivery velocity and service stability, it’s an opportunity to meet fellow professionals, build networks and share real-world experiences.”

You’ll be here from breakfast through lunch and onto post-conference drinks – and with so many like-minded, tech-focused people in one place, it’s the perfect opportunity for networking. But be warned, you might want to give up your lunchtime schmoozing because they’ve got a surprise in store. There’s going to be a secret lunchtime talk (cat’s out of the bag now) from Mike Eves, System Engineer at Auto Trader UK. He’s going to tell you about the challenges, learnings and Eureka moments of their mission to build a centralised logging and metrics platform using Elasticsearch.

TechEdge has bagged an incredible line-up of speakers, especially considering that this is their inaugural event, so we’re fully expecting it to follow in the footsteps of FinTech North and She Does Digital by becoming a standalone annual event in its own right.

Book your tickets now

TechEdge 2018

Believe it or not, tickets for TechEdge 2018 are just £20 – and that includes breakfast before the talks begin, lunch in between and coffee throughout the day. So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets now and find out how you can use innovation to drive your business forward at Aspire on Tuesday 24th April 2018.