Event Details

Date: October 16-17, 2018

Location: Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

Deadline for Submissions: Friday, June 1st 2018

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, two featured speakers, and 30 breakout sessions from people using GitHub to build the future every day

Universe 2018 is looking ahead and asking our community, “What will you build next?” This year, we’re highlighting the people and projects shaping the future of software and exploring the paths teams take to turn ideas into realities. We want to hear about the projects you’re working on and the tools, systems, and processes you’re using to build them. After all, the future isn’t so far off—you’re building it right now.

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 50th. We are looking for stories that spotlight developers taking the reigns and making their ideas a reality.

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, and happen all throughout the day. After three years of GitHub Universe, we have a few tips to help smooth out your session:

  • You’ll have time to address questions 1:1 with your audience after your session, so please don’t incorporate Q&A time into your talk.  It doesn’t translate well for people who can’t attend, following along in the livestream or watching recordings 
  • Live demos sometimes don’t go as planned, and we don’t recommend them
  • The best sessions are concise and focused—overviews aren’t 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 the heart of Universe. We want to hear from you on what the future holds, what the possibilities are, and the ways we can get there. 

  • 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, and how an API-first approach informs what features you're building. Or tell us how your team balances 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.

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 people to join the 21 million developers building and collaborating on GitHub.

  • Discuss how collaborating on GitHub changes the way your team builds software.
  • How have you overcome barriers 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 will be executive leaders.

Selection process

Submissions are initially anonymized and reviewed by a panel of GitHub employees from a range of departments and backgrounds with the submissions. We’lluse speaker information in any final reviews to break ties and bring a balance to the speaking lineup.

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 with check-in on October 15th and check-out on October 17th
  • 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 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, June 1.

If you have any questions, please email events@github.com.