Reduce Logging Costs and Improve Developer-First Observability

The trend of developer-first observability has gained significant traction in recent years, revolutionizing how we approach debugging. By shifting the focus to developers and providing them with tools that offer real-time, contextual insights into application behavior, developer-first observability has empowered developers to diagnose and resolve issues more efficiently. This approach eliminates the need for extensive logging. It enables developers to dynamically extract the necessary information they need when they need it, minimizing blind spots and reducing the time spent sifting through irrelevant logs. The impact has been profound, streamlining the debugging process, accelerating development cycles, and fostering collaboration between developers and operations teams, ultimately leading to more resilient and high-performing software systems.

Today we are delighted to welcome Irit Angel, the Vice President of Product at Rookout. In this conversation, we will dive into Irit’s expertise in the tech industry, exploring her journey from developer to her current role at Rookout. We’ll discuss the transformative impact of developer-first observability on the debugging process, highlighting why this trend is crucial for improving software development practices. Additionally, Irit will share her valuable insights on managing product and engineering teams, emphasizing the significance of collaboration and understanding between these two functions. Join us as we uncover Irit’s perspectives on cutting-edge technology, team dynamics, and the future of software development.

Join us as we uncover Irit’s perspectives on cutting-edge technology, team dynamics, and the future of software development.

Watch the full interview episode here!

Irit Angel

VP of Product at Rookout

Irit, for those who aren’t familiar with your background, can you tell us more about the career path that led you to your current position at Rookout?

Sure! Over two decades ago, my journey began as a developer, immersing myself in coding and leading teams across various Israeli companies. It was a time of passion and dedication to my craft. However, after ten years, I felt the urge to explore new horizons. Driven by a desire for change, I decided to leave my job and embark on a different path – I pursued a social worker degree and became a certified cognitive behavior therapist. 

While my venture into social work provided valuable experiences, I soon longed to combine my technological expertise with the interpersonal skills I had acquired. This desire led me to Product Management. Joining Logz.io, an observability tool company, as their inaugural Product Manager, allowed me to merge my passion for technology with my people-oriented skill set. As the company grew, my role progressed from Product Director to Product VP. After spending six years at Logz.io, I felt the need for a new adventure, which led me to my current endeavor at Rookout.

Logz.io is renowned for its log solution, but Rookout believes that logging needs to be updated. From your perspective, what role does logging play in debugging?

Having gained extensive knowledge about logs during my tenure at Logz.io, I understand the challenges associated with their usage. One major challenge is the unstructured nature of logs. When developers write code, they include logs to gain insights into the behavior of their applications during production. However, this can result in a large volume of logs, making it difficult to determine which ones will be relevant and useful in specific scenarios. 

Throughout my experience at Logz.io, I focused on assisting customers in finding the crucial information they needed within the vast sea of logs. With hundreds of millions of logs to sift through, it can be daunting to locate a specific log when needed the most. This highlights the importance of efficient log management and the need for tools and techniques that facilitate effective log analysis, enabling users to identify the proverbial needle in the haystack. 

Though I was genuinely amazed when I first learned about Rookout and its technology. Rookout’s technology allows developers to extract real-time data from their applications without extensive logging. Rookout enables developers to streamline the debugging process and accelerate issue resolution by providing instant access to relevant information within the appropriate context. This paradigm shift indicates that logs can now assume a secondary role in the debugging landscape, while Rookout’s dynamic debugging takes center stage as a more efficient and practical approach. 

Can you please explain what developer-first observability means compared to traditional observability tools? 

Traditional observability solutions are typically geared towards DevOps teams and rely heavily on developers manually preparing and writing logs in advance. If developers haven’t logged the relevant information, they are essentially left blind to what is happening within their applications. This limitation is a fundamental problem that traditional observability tools fail to address. 

In contrast, developer-first tools prioritize the entire development lifecycle, providing support from working with remote environments to testing, deployment, and production. These tools are designed to deliver real-time and on-demand information precisely when developers need it. At Rookout, our focus revolves around empowering developers with the necessary insights at every step of the development process. By embracing a developer-first approach, we ensure that developers have the tools and visibility to effectively debug and optimize their applications, enhancing their productivity and overall software quality. 

Managing engineering and product teams effectively requires a collaborative and inclusive approach that fosters a sense of shared ownership and mutual understanding. From your extensive experience, what tips can you share on efficiently managing these teams? 

The way to achieve effective collaboration between the development and product teams is by working closely together, where developers actively define the roadmap and identify the problems to be solved. By involving developers in the product design process, their valuable insights and ideas can be utilized, leading to better outcomes and increased satisfaction among the team members. This approach ensures that decisions are not made in isolation but through a collective effort that considers the expertise and perspectives of engineering and product teams. 

Creating an environment where developers feel involved and proud of the decision-making process helps to minimize frustration and pushback. When developers have a voice in shaping the product and its features, they become more invested in its success. Product managers should try to understand the needs and architectural requirements of the developers. By acknowledging and respecting the technical expertise of the engineering team, product managers can establish a foundation of trust and collaboration. This mutual understanding between the two teams leads to a higher tolerance for mistakes. It promotes a culture of problem-solving and cooperation, where issues are addressed collectively rather than assigning blame. 

What key skills do you consider necessary for succeeding in your role?

Curiosity is a fundamental skill for successful product managers. Rather than having all the answers, being curious allows you to tap into the expertise of various specialists within the organization. You need to recognize that many brilliant minds have valuable thoughts, ideas, and experiences. As a curious product manager, you must seek input to determine the best path forward. 

The ability to prioritize and embrace mistakes is another crucial skill for product managers. You must acknowledge that plans may not always resonate with users as expected. A successful product manager demonstrates the courage to experiment, fail fast, and engage in continuous discovery. You must understand that the initial launch might not achieve the desired outcome. View it as an opportunity to learn and iterate. By tolerating and leveraging mistakes as learning experiences, product managers can refine their strategies and improve the product over time.