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

Ariadne's thread through the Labyrinth: Using observability to tame a rogue code base

Isobel Redelmeier (LightStep)
9:00am12:30pm Tuesday, June 11, 2019



Prerequisite knowledge

  • Comfort on the dev and/or ops side of production

Materials or downloads needed in advance

  • Laptop with Docker and the editor of your choice, as well as the basic knowledge of how to use them
  • Follow the setup instructions on the course GitHub repository (link to come)
  • A recent version of Golang and have gone through the basic tutorial (Go experience is nonessential.)


Every week, seven brave SWEs and seven brave SREs get sacrificed to the Minotaur: the legendary latency leech and the ravenous resource robber lurking somewhere in the labyrinthine depths of your code base. You, Theseus, have been tasked with rescuing your sleep-deprived comrades from their midnight pages. But even a hero as brave as you cannot possibly survive the maze without some help. This workshop will be your Ariadne, providing you with the thread to find your way to the beast—and back.

Isobel Redelmeier uses observability tools to unravel a number of common problems hidden in many code bases out there—maybe even yours. She covers the basics of tracing, metrics, and other observability tools, so you don’t need significant prior knowledge of observability concepts (or Greek mythology). For those with experience, the activities should still help you to better leverage your debugging toolkit.

Let’s conquer the Minotaur and root out your performance problems.

Photo of Isobel Redelmeier

Isobel Redelmeier


Isobel Redelmeier works on open source software at LightStep, where she focuses on OpenTracing and other observability solutions to improve performance management across distributed systems. She learned firsthand how difficult, and how valuable, observability can be when working at Pivotal, where she pushed code in about 10 languages to different production systems while working with Pivotal Labs. She later focused on security in Cloud Foundry.

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