YOW! Conferences, Workshops & Nights are events for software developers to help them stay up-to-date with the latest best practices and to network with their peers. We run these events throughout the year to showcase the current and future direction in software development and delivery. We have expanded beyond the signature conference series held in December each year in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to include other conferences held in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. YOW! also runs intensive Workshops and networking nights focusing on specific niches.



YOW! Conferences, Workshops & NightsYOW! was founded in 2008 by Dave Thomas, a Canadian based software visionary, in answer to pleas from local developers for Australian events featuring top quality international speakers. Each year, YOW! sponsor approximately 50 leading overseas experts to speak at different YOW! events as well as providing opportunities for local thought leaders to share the stage and present their experience.

YOW! first started in Australia in 2008 as an offshoot of the Danish JAOO (Java and Object Orientation) Conference. Dave Thomas was on the planning committee of JAOO and in response to conversations during a visit to Brisbane, he convinced JAOO to run a similar event in Australia.


Change happens at lightning speed in many industries but this is even more applicable in IT. However, knowing what trends and advancements to follow and adopt and what to ignore can be confusing.

YOW! aims to simplify this process. One of the ways we do this is by remaining vendor independent. You won't find any vendor sales pitches, technology platform bias or language preferences at our events.  Speakers are chosen based on their expertise and because they can prove excellent, technically rich content, not on who has a product to sell or who is willing to sponsor an event. 


Dave Thomas is the founder and past CEO of OTI until it was bought out by IBM.  He is Chief Scientist with Kx Systems, and Co-Founder and past Chairman of Bedarra Research Labs, creators of the Ivy visual analytics workbench.

Dave has a wide spectrum of experience in the software industry as an engineer, consultant, architect, executive and investor.  With a unique ability to see the future and translate research into competitive products, Dave was recognised as an ACM Distinguished Engineer in 2006 and is on the ACM awards committee. 

As well as being adjunct research professor at QUT in Australia, he is also an adjunct professor at Carleton University in Canada. Dave has been an investor and virtual executive and advisor to numerous high tech start-ups in Australia, Canada, Europe and US.  He was a co-founder of the OCRI (now Invest Ottawa), and active contributor to Student Venture Competition and Lead to Win supporting start ups.



YOW! uses an independent Program Committee with strong ties to the international GOTO conferences to select international speakers for each event. The 8-10 members of the Committee change frequently and are made up different nationalities, gender, technical specialties and geographic locations. This diverse mix allows us to draw on a range of experiences, contacts and expertise.

Up to 50 world class experts are selected each year.  Read more about the selection process here.



Since launching in Australia over 30,000 people have attended YOW! events and we are now the largest independent event organizer in Australia for software development.

We are able to achieve this through support from loyal company sponsors, over 100 usergroups, media outlets, government organizations and publishers.


News & updates 2

“YOW! is one of the highlights of my year”  Katie Miller, Software Engineer at Red Hat

“Expand your mind far beyond your current job, spend time face to face with the people who invented this industry”   Nigel Dalton, CIO, REA-Group

“YOW! is undoubtedly the best technology-agnostic developer-focused conference available in Australia…learn about what really matters, not the PR reviewed vendor-biased guff you’ll get elsewhere”   Jason Yip, Principal Consultant, Thoughtworks
More testimonials here