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Milena Talavera, senior engineering manager, Slack (Slack Photo)

If you’re a plucky entrepreneur with a fresh idea on enterprise software in 2018, you’re going to deliver that idea as a service, running either on the cloud or on your own equipment. That’s a pretty complicated endeavor, which is why we’ve invited five experts on building a software-as-a-service tech organization to share their experiences at the 2018 GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit.

To hear more from them and other top tech leaders, make sure to pick-up tickets to the June 27th Cloud Tech Summit — our biggest technical conference of the year — here.

The days of installing big huge enterprise-resource planning software packages on self-managed servers are probably over.

Modern companies are picking tech suppliers department by department, with the marketing team choosing the best service for their mission separately from how the finance team chooses its applications. And there are clear expectations that those services should be provided in real time, putting a substantial burden on their providers to keep everything up and running.

At the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit, five speakers will explain how they are building their services against those expectations, and how budding SaaS companies might want to approach these problems. You’ll hear from:

  • Milena Talavera, senior engineering manager at Slack, who will discuss Flannel, a homegrown Slack project designed to deal with caching issues.
  • Mark Nelson, the former CTO at Concur who recently was named executive vice president of product development at Tableau, who will share lessons on how to build a SaaS company that needs to scale quickly.
  • Susan Galbraith, senior manager of software development at Smartsheet, who will explain how the newly public company built an email notification system for customers.
  • Bob Karaban, vice president of engineering at Skykick, who will outline how SaaS companies should think about onboarding their customers.
  • Catherine Renwick, vice president of platform engineering at Workday, who will review how Workday built its computing infrastructure around DevOps principles.

We’ll also feature talks during the day from experts in serverless computing, DevOps/containers, artificial intelligence and hybrid cloud. It’s a chance to hear directly from the engineers and product leaders who are defining the modern era of cloud computing and learn how their insights can be put to use inside your own companies.

Our goal with the Cloud Tech Summit is to host a platform-agnostic conference, where top technology minds can exchange information, lessons and insights about the future of computing. We think the Seattle area is the best place in the world for this type of conference given the heavy concentration of developers, engineers and technical leaders who are pushing the envelope in these fields. And with this year’s lineup, we think we’ve assembled the very best non-vendor aligned cloud computing conference in the industry.

More than 600 people attended the inaugural Cloud Tech Summit last year, which you can read about here. A third of attendees are engineers, developers, designers or technical leaders. This year, we’re expecting a bigger turnout, and we are also excited to showcase a business track that will dive into the economics, sales and marketing of cloud computing services, featuring leading venture capitalists, CIOs and analysts.

Make sure to grab your tickets today. If you are interested in sponsoring this year’s Cloud Tech Summit, please contact us at

A big thanks to the presenting sponsor of the 2018 GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit: Salesforce.

Also, thanks to gold sponsors: OfferUpStripeExpediaF5, Joyent, University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education and Skytap.

And to our silver, supporting and exhibitor sponsors: City of BellevueMozAcumaticaColocation NorthwestAvalaraFirst Tech Federal Credit UnionBellevue College, Imperva, Foster School of Business, Pluralsight, Procogia, Acute Angle, AWS and Qumulo.

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