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Interview with Spoons, CTO, Lightstep

About Spoons

Daniel “Spoons” Spoonhower, CTO and Co-Founder at Lightstep

Daniel “spoons” Spoonhower is a co-founder at Lightstep, where he’s building performance management tools for deep software systems. Previously, Spoons spent almost six years at Google where he worked on developer tools as part of both Google’s internal infrastructure and Cloud Platform teams. He has published papers on the performance of parallel programs, garbage collection, and real-time programming. He has a PhD in programming languages from Carnegie Mellon University but still hasn’t found one he loves.

About the session

Microservices and other loosely coupled architectures create a new set of challenges for engineers who are responsible for reliability and performance: not only is the performance of each service important on its own, but understanding the way services interact is also a critical part of improving end-user experience. And while adopting DevOps practices creates tighter feedback loops between teams and their users, it often makes it more difficult to catch performance issues before they are pushed to production. Whether you’re oncall or not, you need to understand dependencies between services and the role each service plays in handling requests. In this presentation, we’ll show how distributed tracing provides context that can:

  • Map out dependencies in ways that are specific to each type of request
  • Quickly connect changes in service-level indicators (SLIs) back to their root causes
  • Make sure that alerts are delivered to teams that are best positioned to address them
  • Catch performance regressions earlier in your deployment pipeline
  • Inform performance optimization work so you are making the best use of your time

We’ll also talk about the steps you need to take to leverage distributed tracing for your application and your organization, including when and how to instrument your code and how to manage the costs of your observability solution as a whole.

This session will be presented at the Performance Engineering in the Time of DevOps Virtual Summit



Presentation Date/Time: August 18, 11:00 AM EDT


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