Engineer for the future of Cloud
June 10-13, 2019
San Jose, CA

Observability for developers: How to get from here to there

Christine Yen (Honeycomb)
2:20pm3:00pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Average rating: ****.
(4.54, 13 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Developers or ops/SREs interested in bridging the gap between themselves and developers



Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with (building and maintaining) software systems that have been deployed to production

What you'll learn

  • Learn how observability can supercharge your development process


There’s been a lot of talk about software ownership—but what does “owning code in production” really mean for developers day to day? Many development teams still reach for logs in production as the most familiar way to bridge the development environment with production.

Christine Yen makes the case that observability—and the skills to craft the right graphs and read them—benefits developers more than it does operators by examining several instances where well-informed devs can supercharge their development process, such as data-driven product decisions (or how to know more about what needs to be done than your PM), rewrites and migrations, feature flags and testing in production, and fine-grained performance analysis. Then, she lays out a series of steps to get your team from grepping unstructured text logs to outputting and analyzing well-structured traces. Instrumentation and observability aren’t all-or-nothing endeavors, and you’ll leave with an idea of the next step you can take to improve your ability to understand your production systems.

Photo of Christine Yen

Christine Yen


Christine Yen is the cofounder of Honeycomb, a startup with a new approach to observability and debugging systems with data. Christine has built systems and products at companies large and small and likes to have her fingers in as many pies as possible. Previously, she built Parse’s analytics product (and leveraged Facebook’s data systems to expand it) and wrote software at a few now-defunct startups.