#57 - Observing Your Production Systems and Yourself - Jamie Riedesel

Tech Lead Journal

Sep 27 2021 • 1 hr 6 mins

“Software telemetry is what you use to figure out what your production systems are doing. It’s all about shortening that feedback loop between the user experience and the engineers who are writing the user experience."

Jamie Riedesel is a Staff Engineer at Dropbox working on the HelloSign product and also the author of “Software Telemetry”. In this episode, Jamie shared an overview of software telemetry and explained why it is important for us to understand how our production systems are behaving by using those telemetry data. She also explained different software telemetry types, concepts such as observability and cardinality, and shared some software telemetry best practices.

In the second part of our conversation, Jamie opened up and shared her own personal experience dealing with toxic work environments. She emphasized the importance of self-awareness and psychological safety, as well as went through the five key dynamics to a successful team based on Google’s re:Work blog post.

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:05:15]
  • Software Telemetry - [00:07:22]
  • Knowing Your Production System - [00:12:13]
  • Types of Software Telemetry - [00:16:45]
  • High Cardinality - [00:22:34]
  • Observability & Buzzwords - [00:27:08]
  • In-House vs. SaaS - [00:30:04]
  • Some Telemetry Best Practices - [00:32:35]
  • Toxic Workplace - [00:38:45]
  • Identifying Your Toxicity - [00:44:18]
  • Psychological Safety - [00:49:02]
  • Identifying a Person’s Baggage - [00:53:52]
  • Who is On The Team Matters Less - [00:58:09]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [01:01:49]


Jamie Riedesel’s Bio
Jamie Riedesel has over twenty years of experience in the tech industry, and has spent her time as a System Administrator, Systems Engineer, DevOps Engineer, and Platform Engineer. She is currently a Staff Engineer at Dropbox, working on their HelloSign product. Jamie’s blog at sysadmin1138.net has been there since 2004 and survived the apocalypse of Google Reader shutting down. Jamie is the author of “Software Telemetry” through Manning Publications, and also has a deep interest in reforming team cultures to be less toxic.

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For more info about the episode (including quotes and transcript), visit techleadjournal.dev/episodes/57.

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