GitHub Universe 2016

September 13 to September 15, 2016

Closed on Oct 21, 2016 at 01:45pm PDT

Event Details

GitHub Universe features two executive keynotes, six featured speakers, and twenty-four breakout sessions from all over the software community. We'll spend two full days in breakout sessions featuring open source software maintainers, technical leads with unique scaling challenges, and business leaders using software to transform communities.


The 24 breakout sessions explore both the personal and technical challenges of building software. We're looking for sessions that dive into the software development process at its primary phases: from everything that comes before you start writing code, to writing and collaborating on code, through maintaining and scaling your code.

Whether you're working on an open source project or on an enterprise software team (or both!), our challenges are the same and we can learn how to overcome them together. You can help us answer:

  • Workflow. How is software built today, and how will it be built tomorrow? What languages and tools are used, what processes, and what cultures? What is your workflow like, and how has your team been successful with it?
  • Community. How do you start contributing to open source, and how do you grow a thriving software community? How has learning to code changed? What impact is openness having on public institutions? Which open source projects are having the largest impact on the software community?
  • Business. What goes into building a modern software team? How can you contribute to, release, and maintain open source projects? What does it mean to use open source principles within your organization?
  • Ecosystem. What are the tools you use to have a seamless development workflow? How do you deploy, monitor, and scale your code?


Over 1,400 attendees are coming from all areas of the software development community. Eighty percent of the audience will be from active engineering and product teams (developers, technical leads, and engineering managers) and 20% executive leaders. It takes a team to build great software, and Universe is bringing together everyone in the software community to learn from each other.


Breakout sessions are 40-minutes inclusive of Q&A. We’re looking for talks that feature how great teams build open source and commercial software, from case studies, best practices, and technical deep-dives.

Selection process

Talks will be initially blind reviewed by a panel of GitHub employees from a range of departments and backgrounds. Speaker information will be used in any final reviews necessary to break ties and bring a balance to the speaking line-up. Final selections should be complete by August 10, 2016.

Honorarium and compensation

All speakers will receive admission to Universe and all regular activities. For those speakers that do not already have corporate sponsorship of their speaking engagements, we will offer travel compensation and an honorarium. If you fall into this category and your talk is accepted, you will receive:

  • Three nights of hotel accommodations (September 13, 14, 15) provided by the conference.
  • Economy airfare reimbursement for travel within the United States, or up to $500 stipend for travel outside of the United States.
  • We offer a $1,000 honorarium for speaking at Universe, which can also be donated to our scholarship program to provide support to individuals from underrepresented communities.

We strive to make speaking at Universe as accessible as possible. If your session is selected and you need additional support, including childcare or unique accommodations, then please inform our team. If you’re considering speaking, please remember that we’re seeking a range of speakers from different backgrounds, communities, and experience.


If you’re interested in speaking at Universe, please first familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct, and then complete the proposal form which includes a brief description of your proposal description (2-3 paragraphs is fine), proposal title, and speaker details.