OPEN TALK: Why Context is Critical for Observability


Dave Anderson
Scout APM, CTO

Dave Anderson is the CTO at Scout APM, a fast-growing B2B SaaS startup specializing in application performance and full-stack observability. In his over 20 years in IT and Tech, he has served as a Systems/Network/Cloud Infrastructure Engineer, Software Developer, Site Reliability Engineer, and CTO. With a broad technical background across infrastructure design, operation, and software development, he is passionate about designing and building observability products that provide answers to the complex problems facing modern Software and DevOps Engineering teams. His current interests focus on emerging technologies, including languages and runtimes like Rust and WebAssembly, Cloud r/evolution, and how to best enable observability among new and existing technologies through OpenTelemetry. 


Context is a crucial component of moving from Monitoring to Observability. Attaching rich context to application tracing allows us to answer fundamental questions required for true Observability, like "What changed?" In this talk, we'll discuss what context is, how it's applied, what problems it solves, and what challenges it presents.