Put open source to work
July 16–17, 2018: Training & Tutorials
July 18–19, 2018: Conference
Portland, OR

Introduction to OpenTracing: Follow your requests from mobile and web clients to microservices and monoliths

Priyanka Sharma (GitLab), Ted Young (LightStep), Aleksey Masluk (LightStep)
1:30pm5:00pm Monday, July 16, 2018
Distributed computing
Location: D135/136
Level: Beginner
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 4 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Engineering practitioners working on distributed systems

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience shipping software in production (useful but not required)

Materials or downloads needed in advance

You will need the following before coming on-site.

  • A laptop with Docker installed.
  • The Docker container required for this tutorial is `jaegertracing/all-in-one`.

What you'll learn

  • Understand the elements of a successful distributed tracing implementation
  • Learn instrumentation best practices, including how to decide what to instrument
  • Explore a methodology for choosing a tracer that supports your needs


Today’s enterprises have multiple clients, databases, and services. As more enterprises adopt microservices, using distributed tracing to monitor and provide a complete picture of a software system is an increasingly necessary skill for developers and DevOps engineers.

Priyanka Sharma, Ted Young, and Alex Masluk offer an introduction to the OpenTracing API, which allows engineers to understand how the components in their systems are interacting end to end. They explain its cross-language specification and walk you through a demo that follows a request all the way from the client to the database in order to solve a performance issue.

Topics include:

  • Project overview and structure
  • What OpenTracing is not (wire-protocol or tracer implementation)
  • OpenTracing specification and terminology
  • Example use case with a live demo
Photo of Priyanka Sharma

Priyanka Sharma


Priyanka Sharma is the director of technical evangelism at GitLab and serves on the board of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). She has deep expertise in DevOps and observability. A former entrepreneur with a passion for growing developer products through open source communities, Priyanka advises startups at HeavyBit industries, an accelerator for developer products. She holds a BA in political science from Stanford University and loves reading and playing with her dog, Ollie, in her spare time.

Photo of Ted Young

Ted Young


Ted Young is a software engineer at LightStep. He has spent the last 15 years building distributed systems in a variety of environments, including computer animation pipelines for VFX, national elections, and elastic compute platforms. Previously, he helped design the Diego Container Runtime for Cloud Foundry. Currently, he is focused on OpenTracing and tools for root cause analysis.

Photo of Aleksey Masluk

Aleksey Masluk


Alex Masluk is a senior technical account manager at LightStep, where he spends his time helping major software organizations integrate distributed tracing into their production systems. His work covers strategic rollout and sequencing efforts, service provisioning best practices, integrations with complementary technologies, and of course, hands-on instrumentation efforts with OpenTracing. Alex has worked closely with the engineering organizations at UnderArmour, DigitalOcean, InVision, and Sift Science (among others).

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Picture of Ted Young
07/10/2018 8:14am PDT

FYI, for those who can’t make it, we’ll be going over the following tutorials:

If you don’t want to install things locally, some of these tutorials are in the process of being ported to Katakoda:

Afterwards, we’ll post slides and notes from the talks and Q&A portions of the workshop.