cover image by uppsa uppsa
I want to talk to you about observability, the art of understanding errors and performance of your technology stack by implementing monitoring and some kind of tool to view that monitoring.
Listen, if you're making money as an engineer in the tech industry, you're doing a good job. Functional? Object-oriented? Microservices? One big scary monolith?
If what you do is paying for groceries and keeping a roof over your head then it's good code, good architecture, and you have nothing to apologize for.
So when I say 'I can't believe you're not doing observability' it's not about whether your technology is good in any absolute, Manichean sense. I completely understand how observability can seem like a reach goal, a nice-to-have, something that might be useful in other shops but not here, always moved to the next sprint.
Like, what happens when the site goes down late at night? I've been on teams without any kind of standardized monitoring so I know what happens: the best operations person you have gets woken up. If she's unavailable or can't figure it out then everybody gets woken up until someone finds the problem from scouring logs, reverting changes, or testing the system by brute force.
And I've also been in teams where performance trends were invisible, so it was impossible to explain to our PM's why we needed 2 weeks to handle tech debt.
So I think observability is something everyone should be doing. DevOps in its purest form. A concern shared across all technical roles and appreciated by management.
I cannot bring you to this promised land of restful nights and pretty charts, but I can show you how to get there. New Relic can monitor dozens of services using a free tier account, and our free conference next week can show you how to monitor everything from front-end React to Kubernetes clusters.
Register for Data Nerd Days November 3rd, I'll be talking about monitoring serverless. As of the time of writing this article, the next few hundred registrants will get sweatshirts.
If you don't use New Relic use another tool, but for all love do add some observability to your stack soon.