OpenTelemetry: Getting Started Series

Shannon McFarland

Thursday, March 2nd, 2023

2 min read

Welcome to the first post in a multi-part series on OpenTelemetry (OTel)!

In this multi-part series, we will tackle the following topics:

  • Resources for learning about the basics of OpenTelemetry (see below)
  • Getting Started Series:

Once we complete some of the Getting Started blogs shown above, we will have a solid foundation for working with the basics of OTel with tracing. We will then expand into deploying OTel with metrics and logging. We will also learn the different methods for instrumenting an application.

Next, we will dig into OTel use cases and even get into some gnarly topics like OTel Collector-specific design and configuration (deployment modes, scale, etc.)

But, before we get started on the how-to stuff, you will need to understand the basics of OTel, and there is no better place than the OpenTelemetry project site. All of the info you need to understand why you should care about OTel, how to get involved, and what the architecture and components look like is at https://opentelemetry.io/

Resources for Learning about OpenTelemetry:

Here are a few of my recommendations to get you going. I suggest you read through the docs in this order:

  1. OpenTelemetry Concepts (go through the whole list): https://opentelemetry.io/docs/concepts/
  2. OpenTelemetry Community (how to get involved): https://opentelemetry.io/community/
  3. OpenTelemetry per-SIG (special interest group) status: https://opentelemetry.io/status/
  4. A consolidated list of OTel-focused blogs: https://opentelemetry.io/blog/
  5. One of the most well-maintained observability newsletters available, o11y newsletter (shortened reference for “observability”): https://o11y.news/

Shannon McFarland is a Distinguished Engineer and open-source advocate in Cisco’s Emerging Technology & Incubation organization. You can follow him on Twitter @eyepv6.