observability can be a democratizing force

give folks better tools and watch them do a great job

shelby spees's photo
shelby spees
·Sep 16, 2020·

3 min read

(Copied from my original twitter thread and edited for readability.)

I hope I don't seem callous tweeting this with the west coast literally on fire and eugenics literally being practiced in concentration camps on US soil. I'm thinking about the folks who can't afford to lose their so-called cushy dev jobs. People who are hanging on by a thread.

I've been there too many times, and that was before the apocalypse. On the verge of burnout or already there, struggling to give a fuck about this Jira ticket because people are dying. Well, just like it's important to give yourself breaks in your personal life—replaying a video game or watching some guilty-pleasure TV show—I think it can benefit us to take little breaks at work to try something new and refreshing. This isn't some "what did you do during the pandemic? I wrote the great American novel" cult of productivity post.

This is for people who, like me, take pride in their work and want to do a good job. Small wins can help us get through the especially tough times. These threads are me somewhat selfishly doing exactly that. If I can help one person this week get data into Honeycomb and run their first few queries, it'll feel really good. It's not immediately making the company a ton of money, but I can feel like I made an impact.

In the same way, setting up Honeycomb for one of your prod services won't immediately make your company a ton of money, but it sets you up for a lot of easy wins in the beginning and potentially huge positive impact in the long-term. In the long term you'll be improving service reliability and customer experience, reducing alert fatigue and facilitating incident response, supporting production ownership among devs, and reducing burnout. human impact for dev teams as well as bottom-line impact for the business.

So in the short term, maybe I can help you hang on until the apocalypse eases up a bit. And in the longer term, I can help you not only have a healthier experience in your role as a dev, but also have a measurable impact to the health of the business (and get you promoted 😉). Because it's minoritized folks who are being hit hardest right now, and maybe with my work I can play a tiny part in helping you stay in your high-paying tech jobs with good health insurance instead of burning out (or being pushed out).

Observability can be a democratizing force, helping more people on the team understand and make improvements to their software services.

I want people linking to Honeycomb query results in their performance reviews, and then getting the raise/promotion they ask for.

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