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Infrastructure & Ops Superstream: Observability

Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Jan. 12, 2022

4 - 8 p.m. Coordinated Universal Time

This event has ended.

What you’ll learn and how you can apply it

  • Gain a deeper understanding of system performance so you can perform ongoing maintenance and ship the features your customers need
  • Understand how to build an observability-driven development practice
  • Discover how your production services are really performing right now

This live event is for you because…

  • You’re a developer who wants to learn the basics of observability and how to use it in your system.
  • You want to better understand how observability can be used with data.
  • You want to know what the future holds for observability and infrastructure and operations.


  • Come with your questions
  • Have a pen and paper handy to capture notes, insights, and inspiration

Recommended follow-up:


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing.

Sam Newman: Introduction (5 minutes) - 8:00am PT | 11:00am ET | 4:00pm UTC/GMT

  • Sam Newman welcomes you to the Infrastructure & Ops Superstream.

Ben Sigelman: From the Trenches (45 minutes) - 8:05am PT | 11:05am ET | 4:05pm UTC/GMT

  • Join us for a special conversation with Lightstep cofounder and CEO Ben Sigelman. He’ll recount some of the challenges he’s faced during his career and shed light on the things that worked well (and those that didn’t) as he worked on the OpenTracing and OpenTelemetry projects and built his own company.
  • Ben Sigelman is a cofounder and GM at Lightstep. He’s a cocreator of Dapper (Google’s distributed tracing system), Monarch (Google’s metrics system), and the CNCF’s OpenTelemetry project. Ben's work and interests gravitate toward observability, especially where microservices, high transaction volumes, and large engineering organizations are involved.
  • Break (10 minutes)

Charity Majors: The Glorious Future of Observability (45 minutes) - 9:00am PT | 12:00pm ET | 5:00pm UTC/GMT

  • Distributed systems, microservices, containers and schedulers, continuous delivery… We’ve been through one paradigm shift after another when it comes to architecture, but when it comes to observability we’re still using crufty old logging and metrics tools that date back to the LAMP stack era. But these tools fall apart past a certain level of complexity. Charity Majors digs into some of the deep technical reasons why, then shares some modern approaches to debugging complex systems, including Honeycomb and distributed tracing.
  • Charity Majors is an ops engineer and accidental startup founder at Honeycomb. Previously, she worked on infrastructure and developer tools at Parse, Facebook, and Linden Lab—and always seemed to wind up running the databases. She’s the coauthor of Database Reliability Engineering and the upcoming Observability Engineering (both from O’Reilly). She loves free speech, free software, and single malt scotch.
  • Break (10 minutes)

Jiaqi Liu: Observability for Data Pipelines—Monitoring, Alerting, and Tracing Lineage (50 minutes) - 9:55am PT | 12:55pm ET | 5:55pm UTC/GMT

  • Data-intensive applications, with their many layers of transformations and movement from different data sources, can often be challenging to maintain after they’re initially built and validated. To truly expand and develop a codebase, developers must be able to test confidently during the development process and monitor the production system. But monitoring and testing data pipelines or real-time streaming processes can be very different from monitoring web services. Jiaqi Liu draws on her experience building and maintaining both batch and real-time stream data pipelines to explain how to leverage monitoring tools like Prometheus and Grafana to define and visualize metrics, how and when to alert on common health indicators, and how to gain visibility in monitoring not just the system's health but the health of the data.
  • Jiaqi Liu is a senior engineering manager at GitHub, where she leads the database infrastructure team. Previously, she was a platform engineer and data scientist, roles that both involved building data pipelines that had multiple points of failure. Jiaqi is passionate about open source and investing in infrastructure and champions inclusivity in the workplace. She’s also active in the Write/Speak/Code and Women Who Code communities. Outside of work, you can find her hiking with her very hyper dog, Remi.
  • Break (10 minutes)

Michael Hausenblas: Embracing Observability in Distributed Systems (55 minutes) - 10:55am PT | 1:55pm ET | 6:55pm UTC/GMT

  • Michael Hausenblas discusses good practices for observability in distributed systems and explores current developments around CNCF open source projects and specifications, including OpenTelemetry, Prometheus, and FluentBit.
  • Michael Hausenblas is a solution engineering lead on the open source observability service team at AWS. He covers Prometheus, Grafana, and OpenTelemetry upstream and in managed services. Previously, Michael worked at Red Hat, Mesosphere (now D2iQ), MapR (now part of HPE) and spent 10 years in applied research.

Sam Newman: Closing Remarks (10 minutes) - 11:50am PT | 2:50pm ET | 7:50pm UTC/GMT

  • Sam Newman closes out today’s event.

Upcoming Infrastructure & Ops Superstream events:

  • Distributed Computing - April 27, 2022
  • Linux Fundamentals - September 14, 2022
  • Operationalizing Kubernetes - November 9, 2022

Your Host

  • Sam Newman

    After spending time at multiple startups and 12 years at Thoughtworks, Sam Newman is now an independent consultant. Specializing in microservices, cloud, and continuous delivery, Sam helps clients deliver software faster and more reliably through training and consulting. An experienced speaker, Sam has given talks at conferences across the world and is the author of Building Microservices and Monolith to Microservices, both from O'Reilly.

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