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Shalvah
Shalvah

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at blog.shalvah.me

My book on observability

Almost a year ago, I began writing a book about observability. I had a visionβ€”a small book designed to explain the basic ideas of observability to devs and show how it could help them. Each chapter would have practical exercises where you'd try to implement the concepts in a real-world (ish) app.

I did it, sort of. I finished the explainer content in a few months, but then I had trouble with the exercises. My vision for them was pretty ambitiousβ€”zero install or setup needed; with one click or command,you'd have all the apps running with simulated real-world traffic and behaviour. You could then either try the challenge yourself or run another command to switch to the "solved" state and explore for yourself.

I made a couple of apps in PHP, JavaScript and C# for the exercises. But there was too much friction involved in setting up, integrating and running them properly. I and a friend brainstormed new strategies and started from scratch a couple of times, but nothing stuck.

Eventually, I decided the stress I was going through wasn't worth it (for a book I planned to sell for like $10), and called it quits. However, I recently realized that, even without the exercises, there's still some valuable content there (especially when combined with some blog posts I've published this year). I shared the draft with a few people and they liked it.

So I've decided to publish it for free. Link below πŸ‘‡. Enjoy! And if you find it helpful, please let me know. I put a lot of work into this, and it's always nice to know your work is appreciated.

Observability Basics [PDF]

Top comments (2)

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edemagbenyo profile image
Edem Agbenyo

Going to read it for sure. Congratulations on this Shalvah!!!

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Shalvah

Thanks!

Timeless DEV post...

How to write a kickass README

Arguably the single most important piece of documentation for any open source project is the README. A good README not only informs people what the project does and who it is for but also how they use and contribute to it.

If you write a README without sufficient explanation of what your project does or how people can use it then it pretty much defeats the purpose of being open source as other developers are less likely to engage with or contribute towards it.