Book: Internal Tech Conferences

What is an Internal Tech Conference?

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Internal Tech Conferences

Victoria Morgan-Smith and Matthew Skelton

Internal tech conferences can make a significant impact on an organisation's level of sharing, learning, and communication by accelerating multi-team learning across technology departments. An increasing number of enlightened organisations are using this powerful approach to spread and embed new ideas and practices.

In this book we share practical advice on how to prepare, run, and follow-up on an internal tech conference, together with some case studies from several organisations showing the approaches in common and the adaptations for each situation.


This book is for people involved in technology leadership in some form: people in "official" positions of leadership (CIO, CTO, Head of Engineering, IT Operations Manager, etc.) and those in more informal technology leadership positions, such as team leaders, senior engineers, and people who simply like to lead by example. Having been in such positions ourselves, we (Victoria and Matthew) want to help other technology leaders to devise and run successful internal tech conferences to act as a key strategic differentiator for organisations building software systems.


  • By Victoria Morgan-Smith and Matthew Skelton

  • Publication date: April 2019

  • Pages: 127

  • Formats: Leanpub (PDF, Mobi, ePub), print

  • ISBN 978-1-912058-96-9 (Leanpub PDF)

  • Twitter: @IntTechConf


Articles about Internal Tech Conferences


None as of 2019-04-02


[1] Internal Tech Conferences - How and Why (Victoria Morgan-Smith & Matthew Skelton) InfoQ, October 10, 2016.

[2] InfoQ. "The InfoQ EMag: Scaling DevOps," May 10, 2017.

[3] Metaswitch blog

[4] Learning 3.0

[5] How Creative Workers Learn - Developer your career and emergent learning and succeed in the creativity age. by Alexandre Magno (Happy Melly Express; 1 Oct 2015)) ASIN: B013K8K1CU

[6] Cait O'Riordan

[7] Engine Room Live internal conference 2016 (Victoria Morgan-Smith / FT)

[8] Throwable Microphones

[9] Engineering Day Feb 2013 -- WebPerf, Service Versioning, Deployments, Chef, and more (Matthew Skelton / Trainline),

[10] Internal Tech Conference Toolkit (Ben Maraney / Klarna)

[11] DOCCON1 -- organising a conference (Rich Haigh / Betfair)

[12] ING at DevOpsDays Amsterdam 2014: ITIL and DevOps at War in the Enterprise (Jan Joost-Bouwman) and The Journey of devops and continuous delivery in a Large Financial Institution (Kris Buytaert)

[13] Diversity in Tech conferences and Meetups - How and Why Matthew Skelton (blog), April 28, 2018.

[14] Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Survey, (Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Survey, Feb 2016)

[15] PechaKucha

[16] How to help presenters prepare for your conference (Ben Maraney / Klarna)

[17] Accessible Conference Guide (SIG Access)

[18] The Annual New Relic Product Offsite Focuses on the Decade Ahead (Frederic Paul / New Relic)

[19] Fearless Change: patterns for introducing new ideas by Mary Lynn Manns Ph.D & Linda Rising Ph.D (Addison Wesley; 01 edition (4 Oct. 2004)) ISBN 978-0201741575

[20] Nudge - Improving decisions about health, wealth and happiness by Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein (Penguin Books; 5 Mar 2009) ISBN 978-0141040011

[21] - (removed)

[22] Pearson

[23] FT's Engine Room 2015 (Victoria Morgan-Smith / FT)

[24] Nikkei

[25] Richard Still, FT

[26] Hackathons Motivate Metaswitch and Drive Innovation (Calum Loudon / Metaswitch)

[27] Social capital in the growth of science-and-technology-based SMEs by Jukka Partanen, Kristian Möller, Mika Westerlund, Risto Rajala, Arto Rajala

[28] DOES15 (Re)building an Engineering Culture: DevOps at Target (Heather Mickman & Ross Clanton / Target)

[29] A Product Manager's visit to the Engine Room (Mattijas Larsson / FT)

[30] Conferences -- jumped up classrooms? (Donald Clark)

[31] Better Developer Conferences (Andrew Betts, August 2017)

[32] Review legacy code: Waking dragons is risk worth taking, says Trainline ops head (Kat Hall)

[33] How TechSmith Rocks Its Internal Developer Conference (Matthew Heusser / TechSmith)

[34] Principles of Sociotechnical Design Revisited by Albert Cherns, in Human Relations March 1987 vol. 40 no. 3 153-161

[35] How to run an internal unconference (Henrik Kniberg)

[36] Running Internal Events -- The Goat Farm -- Episode 5 (Michael Ducy / \@mfdii)

[37] Engineering Day Feb 2013 --- WebPerf, Service Versioning, Deployments, Chef, and more (Trainline Engineering blog, March 2013)

[38] Reinventing organizations by Frederic Laloux (Nelson Parker, 2014) ISBN 978-2960133509

[39] The Future of Management Is Teal (Frederic Laloux)

[40] DevOps Handbook by Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois & John Willis (IT Revolution Press, 2016) ISBN

[41] Organising the Engine room Conference (Sarah Wells / FT)

[42] The power of an internal conference - How you can leverage internal experts to build employee engagement (Thansha Sadacharam)

[43] Conference Code of Conduct

[44] How to run a good tech conference by Matthew Skelton

[45] Skelton, Matthew, and Manuel Pais. Team Topologies. IT Revolution Press, 2019.

[46] DORA. "DevOps Research and Assessment." Accessed January 8, 2019.

[47] Rozovsky, Julia. "Re:Work - The Five Keys to a Successful Google Team," November 17, 2015.

[48] Forsgren, Nicole, and Jez Humble. Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and Devops: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations. Portland, Oregon: Trade Select, 2018. pp.101-109

(49 was a duplicate)

[50] Maraney, Ben. "The Best Developer Conference? Your Own." Klarna Engineering (blog), December 5, 2016.

[51] Webber, Emily. "The Realtime Retrospective" (blog), November 5, 2016

[52] British Dyslexia Association,

[53] Why Do We Save the Best for Last?, by Ben Y Hayden Ph.D., Psychology Today (Oct 24, 2012)

[54] Pink, Daniel H. Drive. Main edition. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd, 2011.

[55] Kniberg, Henrik. "Crisp's Blog » What Is an Unconference?" Crisp's Blog (blog), August 30, 2016.

[56] Doing Presentations