I’m guilty of applying the word “debugging” to practically anything. My kids’ Legos won’t fit, let’s debug that. Observability is one of the few disciplines that actually warrant that moniker: it is debugging. But traditional debugging doesn’t really fit with observability practices. I usually call it “precognitive debugging.” We need to have a rough idea in advance of what our debugging process will look like for effective observability troubleshooting.

Note that this doesn’t apply to developer observability, which is a special case. That’s a more dynamic process that more closely resembles a typical debugging session. This is about more traditional monitoring and observability: where we need to first instrument the system and add logs, metrics, etc. to cover the information we would need as we will later investigate the issue.

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