Charity Majors
+ Your AuthorsArchive @mipsytipsy cofounder/CTO @honeycombio, co-wrote Database Reliability Engineering, loves whiskey, rainbows, and Friday deploys. I test in production and so do you. 🌈 Sep. 20, 2019 1 min read

This is an excellent, carefully observed piece on the cultural impact of observability tooling on an engineering team.

The architectural source of truth *has* to move out of our heads and into a shared tool, and tracing can really help here.

I'm always background processing about better, simpler ways of explaining observability and why it matters. (I have no hobbies 🙄) You can *almost* reduce it to this simple formula:

High Cardinality Events + Tracing == Observability

It's not completely accurate and does not account for all types of systems, but it ranks a lot higher than "three pillars" does on the truthiness scale.

It would not offend me as an engineer to make this statement in marketing material. It rounds up to true.

I realized this while writing a long post last week called "so you want an open source observability tool".

The post works backwards from the definition of observability -- handle unknown unknowns, understand any internal system state without shipping code to handle it --

-- and extrapolates the technical requirements for storage, retrieval, and UX. You can use it as a checklist to see if a vendor who claims to do observability actually does or not, or you can use it to build or cobble together OS o11y.

Please tell me if you do so. ☺️

I also link to existing efforts in that vein. The post isnt up yet bc it got swiped for honey blog, but will go up Tuesday so look for it then. 🐝

You can follow @mipsytipsy.


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