Build & maintain complex distributed systems
October 1–2, 2017: Training
October 2–4, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

From zero to distributed traces: An OpenTracing tutorial

Bryan Liles (Heptio), Yuri Shkuro (Uber Technologies), Won Jun Jang (Uber), Prithvi Raj (Uber)
9:00am12:30pm Monday, October 2, 2017
Location: Nassau
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Developers and DevOps engineers with some programming experience building and maintaining production systems

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience working on a live system in production
  • Familiarity with making changes to both sides of an internal HTTP request or RPC call (e.g., a web client and the service it communicates or a client and server pair in a microservice-to-microservice RPC)

Materials or downloads needed in advance

  • A laptop (Windows 10, Linux, or macOS) with at least 8 GB of RAM and a current version of Docker (Docker for Mac or Windows or the latest deb/rpm) installed
  • A development environment for at least one of the following languages: Go, Java, Python, Node.js

Additional instructions:

  • Please see

What you'll learn

  • Understand how distributed tracing works and how to employ it in the development and operations of your applications


Modern applications have evolved from single-threaded monoliths to concurrent, asynchronous, distributed microservices. Those who build them are beginning to understand the role and importance of distributed tracing. After all, it’s the most direct way to understand how and why complex systems misbehave, by visualizing transactions as they go through a system, crossing process boundaries. Every organization that’s adopted microservices at scale has had to deploy a distributed tracing solution—first with Dapper at Google, then with Zipkin at Twitter, and now with various open source and commercial tracing solutions at many other technology companies.

As our industry migrates toward microservice architectures, distributed tracing will become the table stakes for visibility into production systems; thus, developers must learn how to integrate and deploy tracing technology effectively. Yuri Shkuro, Bryan Liles, Won Jun Jang, and Prithvi Raj take you from zero to implementing useful traces with OpenTracing, walking you through visualizing the critical path for transactions with microservices, enabling debugging, latency monitoring, and overall performance gains.

The goal throughout is to demystify distributed tracing and convey best practices through interactive lessons, placing a special focus on source-code instrumentation and integration strategies, as historically those have been the most daunting aspect of distributed tracing for newcomers.

Topics include:

  • Choosing OpenTracing over other solutions
  • The types of data that can be shared with tracing
  • The components of a tracing system
  • Viewing trace data
  • Using trace data to identify potential problems
Photo of Bryan Liles

Bryan Liles


Bryan Liles is an engineer at Heptio. When he is not writing software to help move teams to Kubernetes, he gets to speak at conferences on topics ranging from machine learning to building the next generation of developers. In his free time, Bryan races cars in straight lines and around turns and builds robots and devices.

Photo of Yuri Shkuro

Yuri Shkuro

Uber Technologies

Yuri Shkuro is a software engineer at Uber, working on distributed tracing, reliability, and performance. Yuri is the coauthor of the OpenTracing standard (a CNCF project) and the creator of Jaeger, Uber’s open source distributed tracing system (also a CNCF project).

Photo of Won Jun Jang

Won Jun Jang


Won Jun Jang is an observability engineer at Uber Technologies, working on distributed tracing, monitoring, and performance. In his spare time, he gets lectured by his life coach to write a more interesting Bio to sell himself better.

Prithvi Raj


Prithvi Raj is an observability engineer working on Uber’s distributed tracing system, Jaeger.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Audra Carter
10/17/2017 7:45am EDT

Yes, that is correct, Yuri and Akshya. Cheers.

Picture of Yuri Shkuro
10/17/2017 7:02am EDT

@Akshya it was my understanding that if you were attending the conf you could get a 3month subscription to Safari Online where all videos should be posted (assuming our session was recorded, I am not sure).

Akshya Gupta |
10/17/2017 6:45am EDT

Is there any place where I could see the video again?