The people and thoughts behind Web Directions

Founded in Australia in 2004, by long time web industry figures Maxine Sherrin and John Allsopp, Web Directions conferences bring together the web industry’s leading experts from around the world to educate and inspire our attendees.

Our major conferences, Web Directions South (Sydney, Australia), and Web Directions Code (Melbourne, Australia) cover the full range of interests for web professionals — web design, front-​​end and and back-​​end development, information architecture, interaction design, accessibility, data visualization and much more. We have also produced the groundbreaking GovHack for the Australian Federal Government’s Government 2.0 taskforce.

The Web Directions approach

Unlike many conferences, rather than calling for papers and speakers, we have a editorial approach — we put together programs based on current trends in the industry, and seek out speakers who are working in those areas to give inspiring, entertaining, but most importantly practical presentations. Take a look at our blog and resources site to see slides and hear podcasts from our previous events.

But as important as the content is, conferences are also about connecting with your peers — making new connections, and strengthening existing ones, sharing know-​​how and expertise, finding an expert, or new clients. At Web Directions events we pay careful attention to this side of things with social events, and innovative use of social software to help build and strengthen those relationships.

With all our conferences and events our commitment is to

  • bring together the best possible speakers — knowledgeable, entertaining, inspiring real world experts
  • cover the issues, technologies, concepts and techniques web professionals need right now
  • keep a clear separation between conference content and commercial communication — we have a clear no “pay to speak” policy
  • provide the best possible value for our attendees — we try to deliver as much as possible, for as little as possible.
  • help attendees connect with their peers through social events, and our own online networks like tweeps

In short — we put together the events we’d want to attend, and we trust you’ll want to as well.

Maxine Sherrin

Maxine Sherrin PortraitA shy person who avoids the stage as vampires avoid daylight Maxine is the person who dots the i’s and crosses the t’s and makes all those hard decisions like whether to have white chocolate chip cookies or muffins for morning tea at any Web Directions Event. She’s also the one who takes care of getting the word out about upcoming conferences.

In a previous life Maxine used to develop and maintain the large collection of web development resources and courses at Westciv, but the day is rapidly approaching where she will have forgotten the difference between a child and a first child selector.

In her spare time Maxine enjoys playing tennis, gardening, and watching old John Waters movies.

John Allsopp

John Allsopp PortraitJohn is a co-​​founder of the Web Directions conference series, and author of one of the earliest books on Microformats. As a software developer, long standing web development speaker, writer, evangelist and self proclaimed expert, he’s spent the last 15 years working with and developing for the web.

As the head developer of the leading cross platform CSS development tool Style Master, and developer and publisher of renowned training courses and learning resources on CSS and standards based development, and author of the highly regarded “Dao of Web Design” he has been widely recognized as a leader in these fields.

He’s married to Sara, and has three beautiful daughters, Zoe, Scarlett and Juliet.