Build resilient systems at scale
28–30 October 2015 • Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Conferences are great - This is how we set up our own

Mark Barnes (Financial Times)
17:05–17:45 Thursday, 29/10/2015
Location: G104/105
Average rating: ****.
(4.44, 9 ratings)

Prerequisite Knowledge

Experience of, and enthusiasm for technical conferences is the only prerequisite.


A (not entirely sober) conversation at a work social with the Financial Times’s CTO snowballed frighteningly quickly into an internal conference attended by around 150 people on three continents.

This session provides an account of the how we:

  • Self selected a small team that organised and ran the conference in a matter of weeks
  • Stole and adapted the format from EdgeConf/BBC Question time
  • Used collaborative tools and work practices to organise sessions and solicit and curate questions
  • Faced and overcame logistical challenges with a mixture of naievity and persistence
  • Saw the overwhelmingly positive impact of the conference on the FT
  • Obsessively gathered feedback so we could improve next time

The session will also cover the lessons we learnt and why running an internal conference can improve the culture at your organisation and energise your IT department.

Photo of Mark Barnes

Mark Barnes

Financial Times

Mark Barnes is responsible for the Integration team at the Financial Times and has led many projects in monitoring, disaster recovery, and decommissioning. He has over 15 years industry experience, starting off as a very average *NIX sysadmin. That said he does have a knack for getting things done and a passion for continuously improving the culture and working practices in technology departments.