Last week of the Kickstarter!

We’re less than a week away from the end of our SD Expo Europe Kickstarter, with a current total of $23,491 raised! If you haven’t secured space, we have a super limited number of discounted tickets available for SD Expo Europe, as well as a handful of early bird tickets for SD Expo Americas! You know how the old saying goes: The early bird gets the…. Best price on Expo tickets. The Kickstarter ends on March 4, so this is your last chance to get those early bird tickets.


If you supported the Kickstarter and need an invoice for your pledge, look no further! Let us know the information that you need on the paperwork using this form and we’ll send you an invoice for your pledge.


When in Belgrade…

Great news! Booking deadline for Crowne Plaza has been extended to March 15. Rate is 120 EURO for Expo attendees. Details and steps to take advantage of this pricing is available on our Locations page. And to answer a burning question: yes, breakfast is included.

If you’re anything like us, you’re already daydreaming about all the fun adventures you’ll be having in Belgrade between Expo sessions. What better way to enjoy the city than with the SD community?

Whether you’re interested in hosting or just have a great idea to share, we’re looking for community-led meetup initiatives for SD Expo Europe. Check out this blog post on how to organize an SD meetup, and fill out this form to host or suggest a meetup. Email with questions!


Featured Speakers

Everybody helps: Making All-Hands Support Work for Your Customers and Your Company

James Glazebrook, Basecamp



We already know the benefits of providing all-hands customer support. When everyone has direct exposure to customers and the challenges they face, designers and developers get to know their products inside and out, and how to make them better. People from other teams appreciate the importance of the work that we do, and the customers we support. A lot of us have experimented with all-hands support, but those efforts don’t always stick. At Basecamp we’ve learned the hard way that scaling all-hands customer support requires real commitment. You have to make sure that your support team is happy and healthy before you can think about onboarding outsiders. And you need a dedicated point-person to ensure that your work aligns with your customer support values, and that folk on and off your team have everything they need to succeed. As that person at Basecamp, I’m happy to share how we made “everyone on support” a permanent part of our customer strategy which continues to reap rewards.


I See You! The Art of Solving Other People’s Problems Valentina Thörner, Automattic




Customers who contact support usually are in pain. Somehow your product or service is not fulfilling their expectations. Instead of shunning you, they have decided to engage with you – sometimes hurling a full set of emotions through your contact channel, at you. As a dedicated customer agent, your specialty is problem resolution. You are ready to dive in, dig deep, and find the perfect solution. And yet – the customer doesn’t listen, gives you a devastating review, or screams back at you. How can you create rapport with your customers? How can you set the stage so that they are able to listen to you, even if they came through the (virtual) door steaming with rage? The magic starts with acknowledging their pain – even if it seems small and trivial for you. Give your customers space, allow them to hurt, and only then, move towards a resolution. I’ll share with you practical examples, concrete phrasings and a framework that allows you to engage with your customers not to simply delight.


Evolving Ticket Handling: A Story of Scale

Justin Victor, Fastly



What should you do when your support team is at a good place? Should you change your processes if everything is going OK, or should you wait for things to go bad before making changes? These are some of the questions the Fastly Customer Support Team had to answer earlier in their life. Like other, similar organizations, they had started off small with a group of talented individuals, some of whom later moved into other teams, and the initial dynamic and way of working that they started with had changed over time. To compound matters, ticket volume was increasing and there was an increasing number of chat rooms to look after. In other words, the type and volume of work to be done was changing and increasing, and it was seen that if we did nothing, our team would start to struggle under the load. This is a recount of what we chose to do, how we handled the decision of what to do, the effects of implementing it, and the effects on our Customer Support Team.


He’s a customer and he’s angry. What do you do?

Nancy Dandolos, Signal Ocean 



Google returns about 87,300,000 results for “angry customers”. I’ll try to cut through all the information, examples, horror stories and give you the low down on how to simply diffuse any situation with an angry customer. Any customer in any industry, no matter what has gone wrong. A series of simple steps, that after a while become second nature to you, will provide a happy ending to what has started off like horror film. Go through each one, arm yourself with empathy and the end is near: angry customer turned happy customer. And you will find that customer come back time and time again because of the way you handled your mistake. A mistake is not something to be eliminated, no one can do that. Think of mistakes as opportunities to build a deeper relationship with your customer. And all your fear of angry customers will soon disappear!


You are Your Team’s Quarterback – Let’s Own It!

Kathy Oelbrandt, Showpad



You are your team’s quarterback. You have the honor to lead your team towards success, by motivating, engaging and believing in them. This is easier said than done: you need to be aware of the “what’s” first: what motivates them? What engages them? What drives them? With this talk, I’d like to give you some specific tools to get better insights into your team members and these “what’s”. The tools I’ll provide will help you to see the bigger picture and find a happy place for every team member at work. You are the game changer for your team’s success here, let’s own it!


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