You are viewing content from a past/completed QCon

Presentation: Better Resilience Adoption through UX

Track: Chaos and Resilience: Architecting for Success

Location: St James, 4th flr.

Duration: 10:35am - 11:25am

Day of week: Wednesday

Share this on:

This presentation is now available to view on

Watch video with transcript

What You’ll Learn

  1. Hear several use cases of product success achieved by listening to people.
  2. Find out why people are the most important part when designing the UX of an application.


Too often, attempts to bring resilience engineering to an organization fall flat. Perhaps there’s some initial interest, but that wavers under the crushing weight of JIRA queues and sprint reviews. The tools are there but no one’s using them.

This session will go over three case studies where teams achieved success (and a few that didn't!) by focusing on the human element of engineering tooling. In each one, we’ll look at a specific UX technique that team employed to put their company on a path to resilience.


What is the work you're doing today?


I'm working for a small startup. I do UI engineering, and people think that I write JavaScript and CSS. That's the least of what I do. Partially because I work across the stack, partially because in my opinion, I work with what matters, the people. Writing code is the easy part, getting a button aligned is hard, but making sure that the button does what people expect, that the button is where people need it to be is so much more important. That's what I do. That's one of the things that's important to me.

I've worked in developer tooling for a long time now. And that's what I've found, it's important to build a tool for developers that's easy to use.


What are the goals for your talk?


I want to talk about real world case studies. I don't want to talk about abstract concepts. I'll talk about real world case studies where a company's software got better. Usually through resiliency. And I don't mean using Kubernetes and other buzzwords, AI. They built a tool that wanted to be used, and engineers around the company said, oh, this is easy. I click the button and I get what I want. And now my software is better. One of the cases I want to talk about is just through monitoring and alerting, being able to see you get a better idea of what's going on and be alerted when things may start going haywire. It doesn't matter how powerful your metrics are if no one can access them.


What key takeaways would you like people to leave the talk with?


I think the most important thing is people walk away with is that people are the most important part of software. If the software is unusable, no one enjoys it. I want people to build tools, in my case resilience tools that are useful and make other people's days better and do that by talking to people.

Speaker: Randall Koutnik

UI Engineer

Randall's career can be politely summed up as "interesting". He's worked at everything from tiny startups to Netflix to teaching introductory programming at a bootcamp. He wrote a book on RxJS, which didn't impress his cats much.

You can find his words in written form at and shorter words at

Find Randall Koutnik at

Last Year's Tracks