Inside Open Source: meet the contributors working on OpenTelemetry
Get to know Armin Ruech and Daniel Dyla, members of the Open Source Engineering team at Dynatrace.
At Dynatrace we are strong believers that Open Source is a key aspect in shaping the future of technology. That is why we are proud of having dedicated team members who actively take part in the creation, contribution, and maintenance of open-source projects.
We also understand the importance of contributing our expertise in enterprise-grade intelligent observability to the open-source community. This is why we have a dedicated team working on OpenTelemetry that has been deeply involved into the standard since the beginning of the project. We have members on both the Governance Committee, which takes care of the organizational aspects of the project, and the Technical Committee, focusing more on technical development.
What is OpenTelemetry?
In short, OpenTelemetry is an open-source standard with the aim of creating a common format for how observability data is collected and sent. This project recently announced OpenTelemetry specification v1.0 and is currently a Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) sandbox project and the ultimate goal is to provide a unified set of vendor-agnostic libraries/APIs for collecting and sending telemetry data to compatible backends. For a more in-depth explanation, check out our blog post on What OpenTelemetry Is.
Many other vendors are now working alongside Dynatrace to develop this standard further, and that’s where our colleagues Armin and Daniel come in. They are software engineers at Dynatrace and leaders within the OpenTelemetry community, actively collaborating with other members in the community on what is the second most active CNCF project worldwide.
Contributor insights: An interview with OpenTelemetry committee members
Armin: Hi! My name is Armin Ruech, I’m a Team Lead and Product Owner at Dynatrace and I started as a Software Engineer 4 years ago. I worked on providing code-level insights for Java and .NET services and applications before shifting gears and joining the OpenTelemetry community back in May 2019, where I still actively contribute.
Daniel: And my name is Daniel Dyla, I’m a Senior Open Source Architect at Dynatrace. I started 4.5 years ago as an intern working on the natural language processing pipeline for task automation and transitioned to the open-source office working primarily on OpenTelemetry about a year ago.
How are you involved with the OpenTelemetry project? What are your responsibilities?
Armin: I’m a member of the OpenTelemetry Technical Committee. For my daily job, this means that I’m involved in discussing issues and reviewing pull requests for the OpenTelemetry cross-language specification. I also participate in the weekly OpenTelemetry specification meeting as well as the OpenTelemetry maintainer’s sync.
Other Dynatrace team members who frequently contribute to the OpenTelemetry project are Mario Jonke (focusing on OpenTelemetry Python), Christian Neumueller (contributing as an approver to the tracing specification), Giovanni Liva (contributing to and approving the OpenTelemetry Java implementation), and Gerhard Stöbich (contributing to and approving OpenTelemetry JS).
Can you share a concrete example of one of your contributions to the OpenTelemetry project?
Armin: Dynatrace contributes distributed tracing knowledge, which was gained over years of experience via semantic conventions to ensure the highest quality of OpenTelemetry data. One example of how Dynatrace helps ensure enterprise readiness for OpenTelemetry is “named tracers and meters.” These allow for fine-grained configuration of sensors to identify and counter problematic instrumentation. Named tracers not only provide enabling or disabling of specific instrumentation, but they also provide additional semantics on the instrumentation source to users.
Daniel: As a maintainer of the OpenTelemetry JS SIG, I have contributed many features to the JS SDK and API including core features like the API structure, context utilities, named tracers and meters, and fast ID generation functions. I have also contributed instrumentations for modules like MySQL, and many smaller fixes and improvements to ensure that the JS API and SDK implementations are compliant with the specification.
How will Dynatrace continue to contribute to the OpenTelemetry project?
Armin: I’ll continue to work on the OpenTelemetry specification to ensure that it is suitable for both customers and vendors. Our goal as a community is to ensure OpenTelemetry is recognized as the open-source standard for observability and distributed tracing.
Daniel: I’m really excited about the future of OpenTelemetry at Dynatrace. With OpenTelemetry reaching General Availability (GA), we’ll see fewer major changes to the API, but we will also see many more users and interesting and challenging use cases which we’ll be happy to address. I’m excited to continue working with specification maintainers like Armin to help users make the most of OpenTelemetry.
What is your favorite thing about working at Dynatrace?
Armin: I’ve worked in companies from 10 employees up to hundreds of thousands. What I like about Dynatrace is that we have a large enough size to be one of the market leaders in our industry, yet we are small enough that each employee can produce impact and make decisions on their own. For instance, it’s great that I can positively impact the open-source community. There is a wide variety of aspects and interesting problems to solve in building such a comprehensive platform as Dynatrace, so there’s a new challenge every day. Our customers’ environments are constantly evolving, and we always need to stay up to date with cutting edge technology to be able to meet their needs in allowing them to observe and manage their systems at massive scale. I enjoy being part of a team of experts in different areas. This allows me to learn from them while solving customers’ problems every day. Working closely with other industry leaders and partners like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft as part of my involvement in OpenTelemetry is exciting, too.
Daniel: I love the diverse set of projects that I have worked on at Dynatrace. From natural language processing, to collaboration software, plugins for Jira cloud, CloudFormation providers, and now the OpenTelemetry project. Such a wide range of opportunities means I’m constantly challenged, constantly learning, and never bored.
Where can I learn more about OpenTelemetry?
If you’re interested in learning more about OpenTelemetry or joining the community, a good place to start is the OpenTelemetry GitHub repository.
To get involved with Armin, Daniel, and the community you can either join the relevant weekly SIG meetings or reach out to them on CNCF Slack. Both Dynatrace and the OpenTelemetry community are always looking for new, motivated people to join!
Inside Open Source: meet the contributors working on OpenTelemetry was originally published in Dynatrace Engineering on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.