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experience conference

June 13 & 14, 2024

The Merge is the ultimate developer experience conference featuring top speakers from the tech industry, exciting and unexpected activities, and the chance to connect with a vibrant community of fellow developers and dev rel professionals. It is a one-of-a-kind event where learning, fun, and friendship merge into an unforgettable experience.

Tom Preston Werner

Co-founder, GitHub

David Cramer

Co-founder and CTO of Sentry

Jana Iris

Former director of Community Hashicorp, Investor at TQ Ventures
Tom Preston Werner

Tom Preston Werner

Co-founder GitHub

About

Tom Preston-Werner is an inventor, entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. He is currently building RedwoodJS, Preston-Werner Ventures (investing in open source, dev tools, climate tech, AI), and 128 Collective (a climate think tank working on the just transition to 1.5 degrees). Tom also cofounded and was CEO of GitHub, and created Jekyll, SemVer, and TOML. He currently sits on the boards of Gitpod, Netlify, Mote Hydrogen, and Hack Club. Tom enjoys running, mountain biking, snowboarding, flying helicopters, baking sourdough, and eating tater tots.


Why GitHub was a Success

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been fifteen years since GitHub was founded! In this talk, GitHub cofounder Tom Preston-Werner will reflect on the internal processes and philosophies that helped GitHub become a tool used by more than 100 million developers worldwide. From bootstrapping and superfans to the Octocat and Ship It Squirrel, early GitHubbers invented a variety of unorthodox practices that helped drive velocity and adoption. Learn these secrets and how you can apply them to your own journey.

Jana Iris

Jana Iris

Former Director of Community Hashicorp ✦ Investor at TQ Ventures

About

Jana Iris has been in the startup industry for 15 years where she focused on building developer communities at companies such as Engine Yard, New Relic, Sourcegraph, and Hashicorp. Jana joined Hashicorp in 2015 when it was just a 10 person company and continued through to IPO in 2021. Today she is an investor at TQ Ventures, a small but mighty fund with over $1B AUM. They are currently investing out of their third fund of $500M.


Igniting Communities: Scaling from Zero to One Million

In this fireside chat with Jana Iris, former Director of Community at HashiCorp and an investor at TQ Ventures, she will unveil the secrets behind fostering vibrant developer communities. Dive deep into the intricacies of scaling HashiCorp's developer ecosystem from ground zero to an impressive one million, navigating the unique challenges encountered along the way. With a keen focus on developer relations, Jana will share invaluable strategies tailored to the needs of developers, offering wisdom & insights for those aiming to build and nurture thriving developer communities.

John Romero

John Romero

Creator of DOOM ✦ Game Director ✦ Romero Games Ltd.

About

John Romero is an award-winning programmer, game designer and level designer whose work spans over 130 games, 108 of which have been published commercially. Romero is considered to be the 'father of first person shooters' having led the design and contributed to the programming and audio design of the iconic and genre-defining games Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM, Quake, Heretic and Hexen. Romero is also was also one of the earliest supporters of eSports and a professional-level DOOM and Quake player. To date, Romero has co-founded eight successful game companies including the likes of id Software, Gazillion Entertainment and most recently Romero Games in Galway, Ireland. He is considered to be among the world’s top game designers, and his products have won well over 100 awards. One of the earliest indie developers, Romero began working in the game space in 1979 on mainframes before moving to the Apple II in 1981. He is a completely self-taught programmer, designer and artist. His memoir DOOM Guy be released in July 2023.


Id — The Early Days of Id Software: Programming Principles

As co-founders of id Software, John Romero and John Carmack created the code behind the company's seminal titles. The principles they defined through experience in id’s earliest days built upon one another to produce a unique methodology and a constantly shippable codebase. In this talk, John Romero discusses id software’s early days, these programming principles and the events and games that led to their creation.

Kyle Daigle

Kyle Daigle

COO GitHub

About

Kyle Daigle is Chief Operating Officer at GitHub, leading teams responsible for culture, developer outreach, operations, and communications. Joining GitHub in 2013, Kyle built and scaled GitHub’s ecosystem engineering teams and worked on the acquisitions of Semmle, npm, and others. 11 years (and many ships) later, Kyle is just as committed to driving growth across the business and its people, leading GitHub’s own AI adoption strategy across a workforce of 3,000+ talented Hubbers. As a developer himself, Kyle is passionate about bringing software practices to operations and works to preserve and grow the spirit of GitHub as an AI-integrated, developer-first company.


The Past, Present, and Future of GitHub with Kyle Daigle

In conversation with Scott Chacon. The current GitHub COO and former GitHub cofounder discuss the past, present, and future of developer collaboration on the world’s largest developer platform. Since its inception in 2008, GitHub has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of modern software development. Kyle will offer perspectives on GitHub's historical milestones, its current position as a hub for global developers, and for its continued innovation and impact in the coming years.

Saron Yitbarek

Saron Yitbarek

Founder, BCM and CodeNewbie

About

Saron Yitbarek is a 2x founder (1 acquisition), developer, podcaster, international keynote speaker, and mother of an incredible baby girl. She founded CodeNewbie, the most supportive community of programmers and people learning to code, and hosts the CodeNewbie Podcast. She's also the creator of BCM, a membership platform for people with multiple streams of income.


Beyond the Feed: Reshaping Community in the Digital Era

Social media once nurtured genuine communities, fostering connections and friendships among people with shared values, especially in technology. However, as platforms have evolved, their focus has shifted from being interactive town halls to performative stages, driven by algorithms that prioritize engagement over genuine interaction. This change has diminished the quality of relationships and the opportunity to build new ones, with many people leaving these platforms. Saron, who previously founded CodeNewbie and later sold it in 2019, has applied her experience to launch a new community, Big Cash Money, aimed at tech professionals with diverse income streams. Despite the challenges in online community building today, she continues to emphasize the enduring need for connection and the transformative power of online relationships.

JZ Zhang

JZ Zhang

former COO of Charm

About

JZ  is the Chief Operating Officer at Charm.sh, an open-source startup making the command line a creative, empowering and scalable platform. Previously, she ran several software startups, two of which she founded, and led early stage investing at a venture capital firm. Passionate about uplifting underrepresented individuals, particularly in entrepreneurship, JZ has served on boards and in leadership roles at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and All Raise. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University.


Unleashing Open Source: The Power of Community-Led Growth in Go-to-Market Strategy

JZ Zhang, former COO at Charm, examines the impactful symbiotic relationship of community engagement and viral distribution within developer tools, showcasing how companies strategically utilize open-source projects for growth. Through open-source case studies, JZ unveils the foundational principles driving successful community-led initiatives, from idea inception to widespread adoption. Key takeaways include nurturing communities for organic adoption and advocacy, fostering sustainable growth strategies, and building trust and loyalty. This talk offers essential insights for developers, startup founders, and operators seeking to leverage community-led growth in their go-to-market strategies.

Adam Wiggins

Adam Wiggins

Co-founder of Heroku

About

Adam is working to improve computers in service of human creativity and prosperity. In the past he co-founded Muse (canvas for thinking), Ink & Switch (industrial research lab), and Heroku (web app deployment). At the moment he is a free agent. Adam designs products, builds teams, writes, podcasts, and occasionally invests. He’s originally from California, but has settled in Berlin.


The Heroku Journey

Join Adam Wiggins, cofounder of Heroku, in a fireside chat on the early days of the company. Heroku pioneered many concepts now widely used in web apps: containerization, serverless, developer experience (DX), buildpacks, and cloud-native apps. Adam will share about the product, business, and technology aspects of building a company that won the hearts of developers in the early days of cloud.

Robby Russell

Robby Russell

CEO of PlanetArgon and creator of OhMyZsh

About

Robby is the creator of Oh My Zsh, a highly popular open-source, community-driven framework that supercharges your terminal's functionality. Operating from Portland, Oregon, USA, he spearheads Planet Argon, a consultancy dedicated to modernizing Ruby on Rails applications. Through the Maintainable Software Podcast, Robby engages with seasoned experts to explore strategies for refining legacy code. Beyond his tech endeavors, he's a founding member and guitarist for The Mighty Missoula, an instrumental art-rock band. Additionally, Robby has committed over a decade as a board member to Path Home, a vital non-profit dedicated to assisting families in transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing.


Oh My Zsh(it): Bringing Delight to the CLI

Robby Russell, creator of the widely acclaimed Oh My Zsh, takes us on a journey through the evolution of this open-source, community-driven CLI framework as it nears its 15th anniversary. Robby will share a confession and reveal how a project that began with 'little to no plan' managed to ignite and sustain an extraordinary wave of adoption across the software industry. In this talk, Robby will unpack the origin story of Oh My Zsh, his theories on its unexpected growth, and the invaluable lessons he’s learned. He'll delve into the art of engaging with an open-source community and his mission to bring delight to the command line.

Scott Chacon

Scott Chacon

Co-founder of GitHub ✦ Co-founder of GitButler

About

Scott Chacon is the co-founder of GitHub; now co-founder of GitButler, a next generation version control client, based in Berlin. Scott helped grow GitHub from 4 cofounders to 450 employees over 8 years, eventually being acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion. Scott is also the author of Pro Git, published by Apress and found online at git-scm.com. In unrelated news, he holds a WSET Level 3 certification in Wines and Spirits and owns a dog rescue outside of Berlin.

David Cramer

David Cramer

Co-founder and CTO of Sentry

About

David is the founder and CTO of Sentry, a developer-focused application monitoring solution trusted by more than 50,000 organizations. Prior to Sentry he focused on a variety of infrastructure and developer services at consumer tech companies, as well as spending a large amount of time contributing to the Open Source, Python, and Django communities.


David vs GNULiath: A fireside chat with David Cramer

This fireside chat takes you into the heart of Sentry’s creation, tracing its path from a humble open-source project to a VC-backed enterprise. It’s a conversation that is more than success tales—it challenges conventional open-source norms, blending them with business acumen. Sneak Peek: David’s perspective is a call to action, urging a reevaluation and modernization of open-source to keep it thriving. Join us for this edgy discussion on the future of open source, a pivotal talk on evolution for sustainability and growth.

Cassidy Williams

Cassidy Williams

Software engineer, dev advocate, investor

About

Cassidy Williams loves making memes and dreams and software! She's also a startup advisor and investor, developer experience expert, and builder of fun websites like jumblie.com! Cassidy enjoys building mechanical keyboards, playing music, and teaching in her free time.


Embracing the Pivot: An Engineering Perspective on Adaptability

In the fast-paced world of startups, the ability to pivot is not just a strategy—it's a necessity for survival and growth. In this talk, we will dive into the concept of pivoting from an engineering standpoint, exploring what it means to change direction while salvaging valuable components of your initial product. We'll discuss the importance of building flexible, modular systems that can adapt to future pivots, ensuring your codebase remains robust and scalable despite shifting business goals. We'll also address the critical mindset shift required for engineers: learning to detach from their code and embrace change as a constant. Join us to understand the practical key to thriving in a startup environment: understanding that the only certainty is uncertainty.

Jay Simons

Jay Simons

Former President of Atlassian ✦ GP at Bond VC

About

Jay focuses on emerging enterprise software companies and the scaling of modern SaaS business models globally. He serves on the boards of BrowserStack, HubSpot, and Zapier, and he is actively involved with investments in Vast Data, AlphaSense, KoBold Meals, Locus, Netlify, Persona, Postman, Retool, Sentry, Twingate, and Weights & Biases. Prior to BOND, Jay was the President of Atlassian and part of its early leadership team that scaled the company from startup to IPO. During his 12 years at Atlassian, Jay pioneered a go-to-market model that expanded to hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide – from SMBs to the Global 1000 – and achieved ~$2 billion in annualized revenue. He also helped lead 22 acquisitions and strategic investments, propelling the company into adjacencies such as workflow automation, security, and real time communications. Before Atlassian, Jay was Vice President of Marketing at BEA Systems (acquired by Oracle in 2008). At the start of his career, Jay held marketing and sales roles at Plumtree Software, which went public in2022 and was acquired by BEA Systems in 2005.


Fireside Chat with Jay Simons: From Startup to IPO, the Atlassian Journey

Join us for an engaging fireside chat with Jay Simons, former President of Atlassian and Venture Capitalist at Bond Ventures. During this session, Jay will dive into his extensive experiences at Atlassian, highlighting the key strategies and challenges that facilitated the company's impressive growth from a small startup to a publicly traded company. He will share insights from pivotal moments and the leadership decisions crucial for navigating the journey to IPO. Jay will also discuss his approach to product design, focusing on the commitment to user-centric development and agile practices that reinforced Atlassian's success. This is a great session for those looking to understand the intricacies of scaling a tech company and mastering product innovation.

Daniel Thompson-Yvetot

Daniel Thompson-Yvetot

Co-founder of Tauri, CEO of CrabNebula

About

Daniel Thompson-Yvetot is a lifelong Open Source Advocate and the co-founder of Tauri Apps. He currently occupies the seat of Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Tauri programme, which is the commons-focussed governance body for the greater Tauri community. His work over the past decades has been at the intersections of technology and culture, with a dash of philosophy and heaping portions of compassion. He is the CEO of CrabNebula, a company partnered with Tauri and offers tools to make devs' lives better and their apps more robust. He lives and works in Malta.


Collaborative Commons: Designing Open-Source Orgs for Longevity

Today, we generally understand open source as being more than just a license, but slapping MIT on a codebase does not a community make. In this talk, Daniel will use the Tauri Programme within the Commons Conservancy as a case study in iterative community development, and cover general topics such as core teams, working groups, funding, burn-out, and evolution. The talk will wrap up with advice and reasoning for becoming more accessible, accountable, and resilient.

Leah Culver

Leah Culver

Startup Founder and Angel Investor ✦ Former iOS Lead at X

About

Leah Culver is a three-time startup founder, Y Combinator alumnus, and a full-stack and mobile engineer. In 2017 she founded Breaker, a social podcast app which was acquired by Twitter in January 2021. Leah helped build Twitter Spaces and briefly lead the iOS development of Tweets under Elon Musk. Leah founded her first startup and early social media app, Pownce, in 2007. She also created Convore, a group chat app which became Grove, a chat app for businesses that pre-dated Slack. Leah is well-known as a co-author of both the OAuth and oEmbed API specifications. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, baby son, and their very old pug, Mr. Wiggles


From Startup to Tech Giant and Back

Join us for a fireside chat with Leah Culver, founder, software developer, and former ios Lead at Twitter (X). Leah will share insights into her journey from startup to big tech and back, including her experience with her company, Breaker's, acquisition by Twitter. We'll delve into the unique perspectives Leah gained from working at both startups and large tech companies, touching on the dynamic shifts in culture, innovation, and personal growth. Additionally, we'll explore the intriguing implications of Twitter's acquisition by Elon Musk and the evolving landscape of tech giants.

David Edoh-Bedi

David Edoh-Bedi

Developer Advocate at Stripe

About

After starting his Stripe journey as an integration engineer helping large users build their solutions, David pivoted to developer realations and is currently a developer advocate at Stripe. He began his professional career as an engineer at Microsoft, working on various aspects of the Windows operating system. Outside of tech, he’s a huge football (soccer) fan, avid reader, travel addict and amateur triathlete.

Fair
Open Source Fair

Get ready for an electrifying experience! GitHub is sponsoring 'exhibitor' space for open source projects. Dive into the heart of innovation as you meet the brightest stars of the open source community ↴

Day #1

  • 10:00

    Welcome from Scott & Saron

  • 10:15
    Tom Preston-Werner
  • 10:55
    David Cramer w Saron
  • 11:30
    Cassidy Williams
  • 12:00
    Leah Culver w Scott
  • 12:30

    Lunch Break

    WeAreDevelopers “Coffee with Developers” / Open Source Fair / DOOM Tournament / Prisma Lounge
  • 14:15
    Jana Iris w Saron
  • 14:50
    Robby Russell
  • 15:15

    Break

    DataDX Stage w Prisma / WeAreDevelopers “Coffee with Developers” / DOOM Tournament / Open Source Fair
  • 16:45
    Kyle Daigle w Scott
  • 17:15

    Open Source Panel

    David Cramer, Daniel Thompson-Yvetot, JZ Zhang, Tom Preston-Werner - moderated by Scott Chacon
  • 18:00

    BBQ & After Party

Day #2

  • 10:00

    Welcome from Scott & Saron

  • 10:10
    John Romero
  • 10:55
    Jay Simons w Scott
  • 11:30
    Saron Yitbarek
  • 12:00
    JZ Zhang
  • 12:30

    Lunch Break

    WeAreDevelopers “Coffee with Developers” / DataDX Stage w Prisma / Open Source Fair / DOOM Tournament
  • 14:30
    Adam Wiggins w Scott
  • 15:05
    Daniel Thompson-Yvetot
  • 15:30

    Break

    Tauri Happy Hour sponsored by Crab Nebula / WeAreDevelopers “Coffee with Developers” / DataDX Stage w Prisma / Open Source Fair / DOOM Tournament
  • 16:30

    DOOM Finals

  • 17:05

    Dev Rel & Community Panel

    Jana Iris, Cassidy Williams, David Edoh Bedi, Jonathan Weiss - moderated by Saron Yitbarek
  • 17:50

    Closing Remarks

Dive into data-driven app development with insights and talks about great DX from Prisma, Xata, Neon, and Cloudflare at the Data DX Stage.

Day #1

  • 15:30

    Fireside chat with Soren Bramer Schmidt & David Sentry

    Søren Bramer Schmidt, CEO & Founder at Prisma David Cramer, CTO & Co-Founder at Sentry
  • 15:55

    A new trend for databases: platforms

    Monica Sarbu, Founder and CEO, Xata
  • 16:15

    Why your preview environments aren’t truly production-like

    Bryan Clark, VP of Product, Neon

Day #2

  • 15:45

    Tech Tales: How Data DX enables Business Success

    Nikolas Burk, Staff Dev Advocate at Prisma
  • 16:05

    Data Dx for Serverless Architecture

    Harshil Agrawal, Developer Educator at Cloudflare

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Food and drinks (yes, that also includes alcoholic beverages) are included in the ticket price.

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