GitHub Universe 2017

October 10 to October 12, 2017

Closed on Aug 3, 2017 at 07:35am PDT

Event Details

Date: October 10-12, 2017
Location: Pier 70, San Francisco
Deadline for Submissions: Friday, July 28
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GitHub Universe is our annual product and community conference celebrating the incredible work of developers, partners, product experts, and industry leaders. Universe features two GitHub keynotes, four featured speakers, and 40 breakout sessions from people using GitHub in interesting ways from all over the world.

Universe 2017 will highlight how software opens up possibilities that are otherwise unavailable. It brings people together to work on challenges that are bigger than any one person can tackle. Working together means creating ideas and finding solutions that are unique to that collection of people. Through software, we can achieve a sum that is greater than our parts.

About you

We like opinionated, thoughtful, and compelling sessions from diverse speakers with all levels of experience, whether it's your first talk or your fiftieth. We’re available for any questions as you go through the application process. Before submitting a session, please look over the conference code of conduct.


Breakout sessions are 40 minutes long. Please do not incorporate Q&A time into your session - it doesn’t translate well on the livestream or in videos. You will have time to address questions 1:1 with your audience after your session. We don’t recommend live demos. We recommend your session be concise and focused—history lessons and overviews are not great in this format. The narrower your topic is, the deeper you can dive into it, giving the audience more to take home.

Breakout themes

Code is at the heart of Universe and each of the breakout tracks is focused on core aspects of software development.

There are four breakout tracks this year featuring 40 sessions.

  • Code: Let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of software. Which programming languages and frameworks are you using to build the next release or solve a tough technical challenge? What development environment and tools are you using to get your ideas into code? How do data and machine learning influence what you're building?
  • Architecture: Every technical decision comes with trade-offs. How do you plan for the future while tackling the practical technical problems? Explore how distributed systems impact your application architecture, how an API-first approach informs what features you're building, and how to balance performance, flexibility, and complexity with service-based applications.
  • Operations: Writing software is only half the battle. Shipping new code into production takes coordination between teams and an integrated set of tools. Share your experience maintaining a scalable infrastructure, connecting continuous integration and deployment systems, and extending your development workflow to include performance, monitoring, and resiliency.
  • People: Behind every line of code is a person. How do we impact what software we build? Discuss the value of collaboration, the practice of managing engineers, the place of mental health and wellness, and the challenges of building community.

Topic inspiration

Universe is a GitHub product and community conference. The content is designed for developers and teams to learn how to build better software. We’re looking for topics that inspire the people to join 21M developers to build and collaborate on GitHub.

  • Discuss how collaborating on GitHub changes the way your team builds software.
    How have you overcome silos in your organization or streamlined communication? Have new teams created unique opportunities or better solutions to your challenges? Has code discovery or reuse changed the way your team approaches software development?
  • Share how you’ve extended GitHub to improve the way you work. Have you created custom tools using the GitHub GraphQL or REST APIs? Have you brought together a unique set of integrations to perfect the way your team works? Are there any special add-ons or APIs that have made you or your organization’s experience more powerful?
  • Get technical.
    Whether you’re working on an open source project or proprietary software, you’re overcoming technical challenges every day with GitHub. Get into the code and share how you solved a specific problem. Teach us something we didn’t know or share your best tips and tricks.
  • Highlight your community.
    Do you have a thriving community of developers working together on GitHub? What lessons can you share about getting people involved, keeping them engaged, growing maintainers, and preventing burnout?
  • Share how you’ve grown with GitHub.
    What changes have you had to face as your work grows on GitHub? How has your team flourished and how have they struggled as they scale?
  • Inspire us.
    So many amazing projects that make the world a better place are built on GitHub. We want to hear about yours!


Over 1,400 attendees will attend Universe from across 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 percent executive leaders.

Selection process

Submissions will be initially reviewed by a panel of GitHub employees from a range of departments and backgrounds with the submissions anonymized. We will use speaker information in any final reviews to break ties and bring a balance to the speaking lineup. Final selections should be complete by August 10.

Honorarium and compensation

All speakers will receive a complimentary general admission ticket to Universe and all regular activities. For speakers that do not already have corporate sponsorship for 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:

  • Two nights of hotel accommodations on the GitHub room block for October 10 and October 11
  • Economy airfare reimbursement for travel up to USD $500
  • USD $500 honorarium, 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 and inclusive as possible. If your session is selected and you need additional support, such as childcare or a private unique accommodation, please inform our team. We are seeking a range of speakers from different backgrounds, communities, and experience and your ability to bring your full self to this conference is of utmost importance to us.

Tips for submissions

  • Content should be crafted from the perspective of the developer at various levels and functions in their careers
  • Clarify key takeaways and be specific about what the audience can expect to learn
  • Check out talks from last year to get an idea of what we are looking for
  • We cannot accept product or sales pitches


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 (be as concise as possible), proposal title, and necessary speaker details.

Please note: all sessions will be recorded. The deadline for submissions is Friday, July 28.

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If you have any questions, please email