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Tech Lead Journal

67 EpisodesProduced by Henry SuryawirawanWebsite

Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building… read more


#36 - Building High-Performing Teams with Observability and CI/CD - Charity Majors

“A high-performing team is one that gets to spend almost all of their time solving interesting problems that move the business forward. Not doing a lot of toil. Not working on things they have to do in order to get to the things they want to do."

Charity Majors is the co-founder and CTO of Honeycomb, the observability tools for engineering teams to debug production systems faster and smarter. In this episode, we discussed in-depth about building high-performing teams by having observability and CI/CD as the critical pillars to support it. We opened up our discussion discussing what observability is and how Honeycomb helps to provide observability for distributed systems compared to the other monitoring tools available. Charity then shared her strong views on how to build high-performing teams by focusing on Continuous Delivery, the sociotechnical aspects of the team, and the 5th key metric as her addition to the widely known DORA metrics. Towards the end, we discussed the engineer/manager pendulum, how one should be conscious about it, and that we should not treat going into management as a promotion or a one-way street.

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:06:04]
  • Observability and Monitoring - [00:10:52]
  • Observability Mindset - [00:13:08]
  • Implementing Observability - [00:15:09]
  • Observability Pillars - [00:18:35]
  • Honeycomb Overview - [00:20:06]
  • Honeycomb Cool Use Cases - [00:27:02]
  • Writing Custom Database - [00:28:40]
  • Building High-Performing Team - [00:31:20]
  • 15-Min Continuous Delivery - [00:34:45]
  • Testing in Production - [00:36:05]
  • Shipping is Company’s Heartbeat - [00:38:47]
  • Sociotechnical Aspect of Teams - [00:41:01]
  • Good Traits to Look for in Engineers - [00:43:17]
  • The 5th Key Metric - [00:45:51]
  • Engineer/Manager Pendulum - [00:48:45]
  • Effective Manager - [00:54:21]
  • Concerns on Manager/IC Pendulum - [00:55:19]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:56:49]


Charity Majors’s Bio
Charity Majors is the co-founder and CTO of Honeycomb, provider of tools for engineering teams to debug production systems faster and smarter. Previously, Charity ran infrastructure at Parse and was an engineering manager at Facebook, where she ran next-generation distributed systems at scale. Charity is the co-author of Database Reliability Engineering (O’Reilly), and is devoted to a world where every engineer is on call and nobody thinks on call sucks.

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