The Unmonitored Failure Domain: Mental Health

Wednesday, 2 October, 2019 - 12:0012:30

Jaime Woo, Incident Labs


As stigma around mental health slowly peels away, a lot of our current conversations are centered around this individual model: Operators are responsible for watching their own stress levels, well-being, and avoiding burnout.

Yet, mental health can be contagious among team members. Studies show that if one team member is feeling stressed, anxious, or burnt out, that feeling will slowly spread to their co-workers. We must start addressing mental health on a team, organizational, and systemic level.

Attendees will leave with a new perspective of how they can use existing SRE approaches to improve mental health (e.g. SLOs) and a set of strategies for improving mental health (e.g. self-compassion and mindfulness). They’ll understand how the benefits from improving team well-being are widespread, and that, just as there are patterns for ensuring our systems remain resilient in the face of pressure, we can arm our teams with techniques as well.

Jaime Woo, Incident Labs

Jaime began his career as a molecular biologist before following his passion for communications, working at DigitalOcean, Riot Games, and Shopify, where he launched the engineering communications function. He is an award-nominated writer, focusing his work on the locus between culture and technology, with recent works in the Advocate, the Globe and Mail, and He has spent two years learning about mental health and mindfulness. He is also an avid lover of dumplings.

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@conference {239543,
author = {Jaime Woo},
title = {The Unmonitored Failure Domain: Mental Health},
year = {2019},
address = {Dublin},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = oct

Presentation Video