Hard Problems in Frontend Platforms

Imagine you are tasked with building a platform to support a distributed system where your code executes in a remote environments. You don't control the hardware or the software, you have varying levels of API support, the network could cut out at any moment, you aren't guaranteed to have any observability, oh and there's a GUI but you have no idea what size the screen might be, but you must ensure there's always a great User Experience. If you don't run away screaming, then congratulations, you're now a Frontend Platform Engineer! 

This talk dives into the world of Frontend Platform Engineering, exploring the unique challenges, strategies, and best practices involved in creating robust, scalable, performant, and reliable Frontend architectures that simultaneously delight users. 

You'll leave with a better framework for making decisions about the vast array of Frontend technologies, libraries, patterns, and practices available. And, more importantly, you'll understand why these choices exist and the underlying hard problems that your frontend platform must solve.


Katie Sylor-Miller

Frontend Architect @Etsy

Katie Sylor-Miller, Frontend Architect at Etsy, has a passion for design systems, web performance, accessibility, frontend infrastructure, and the practice of Staff Engineering. As an invited expert on the W3C Web Performance Working group, she helps to guide browsers towards improving Web Performance APIs. As co-author of the Design Systems Handbook she helped to share best practices for engineering a design system with engineers and designers. She’s spoken about her multitude of specialities at conferences like Performance.now(), Lead Dev Staff+, Smashing Conference, PerfMatters, and JSConf US (to name a few). Beyond her day job, her website ohshitgit.com (and the swear-free version dangitgit.com) has helped millions of people worldwide get out of their Git messes (and has been translated into 28 different languages and counting), and led to a collaboration with Julia Evans of Wizard Zines on an Oh Shit Git Zine.

Read more


Thursday Jun 15 / 01:40PM EDT ( 50 minutes )


Salon D


Platform Engineering Frontend


From the same track

Session Platform Engineering

Demystifying Kubernetes Platforms with Backstage

Thursday Jun 15 / 10:35AM EDT

Developer platforms can help developers move faster, be more productive, and focus on delivering value.

Speaker image - Matt Clarke
Matt Clarke

Senior Infrastructure Engineer @ Spotify

Session Platform Engineering

Scaling Organizations with Platform Engineering

Thursday Jun 15 / 02:55PM EDT

Engineering organizations are often incentivized to prioritize short-term growth over long-term needs, leading to socio-technical consequences such as tech debt, organization siloes, and attrition.

Speaker image - Lesley Cordero
Lesley Cordero

Staff Engineer @nytimes

Session Infrastructure as Code

How DoorDash Ensures Velocity and Reliability through Policy Automation

Thursday Jun 15 / 11:50AM EDT

Infrastructure-as-code has grown in popularity over the past few years. With this codification, many companies have adopted review processes that keep their infrastructure engineers constantly reviewing code changes and busy with mostly tedious work.

Speaker image - Lin Du
Lin Du

Software Engineer @Doordash

Session Platform Engineering

Perils, Pitfalls and Pratfalls of Platform Engineering

Thursday Jun 15 / 04:10PM EDT

Platform engineering isn’t supposed to be just another name for SRE, DevOps, infrastructure, or backend software engineering teams; but if you aren’t careful, that’s what you’ll get.

Speaker image - Charity Majors
Charity Majors

CTO @Honeycombio, Previously engineer & manager @Facebook @Parse & @Linden Lab