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Your essential guide to Learning OpenTelemetry

OpenTelemetry has become one of the most popular open source software projects in the world, and learning OpenTelemetry is a must for Software Developers, Systems Operators, Engineering Leaders, and Cloud Architects.

In Learning OpenTelemetry, you’ll learn the fundamentals of this exciting new technology from some of the people who helped create it. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of not just how to use OpenTelemetry, but the rationale behind its design, including topics such as:

  • How to instrument libraries, applications, and infrastructure for observability.
  • Real-world stories and advice from other organizations who have implemented OpenTelemetry.
  • How to set up cost-effective telemetry pipelines with the OpenTelemetry Collector.


The cover of the book, Learning OpenTelemetry

About The Book

Learning OpenTelemetry is designed to teach you not just the “how” of OpenTelemetry, but the “why.” Rather than just a missing manual, this book gives you a complete, end-to-end understanding of each component in the OpenTelemetry ecosystem, how they fit together, what they’re used for, and how it benefits you. This is a must-read title for anyone building modern software and struggling with how to implement an observability system.

Rather than focusing on one specific language or piece of the puzzle, Learning OpenTelemetry teaches you about the underlying components, and how they fit together. This is essential knowledge for developers, architects, or operators building an OpenTelemetry deployment. It’s also an invaluable resource for library and framework authors who are trying to integrate OpenTelemetry into their software. You’ll find real-world case studies on how other developers and observability practitioners have integrated OpenTelemetry into their systems, a deep dive into an end-to-end observability system built on OpenTelemetry, and practical guides on instrumenting applications, libraries, and infrastructure.

Learning OpenTelemetry isn’t just rewritten documentation, it’s a cohesive and holistic guide on how to use and benefit from this exciting new technology.

A comprehensive, insightful, and most importantly -- practical -- guide into the world of observability

Learning OpenTelemetry by Austin Parker offers a comprehensive, insightful, and importantly- practical – guide into the world of Observability. Using OpenTelemetry as the vehicle to achieve better Observability, this book demystifies complex concepts and empowers with practical knowledge and tangible actions you can take. Whether you need to deeply understand OpenTelemetry or learn “just enough to get by”, this book is an essential read. Look no further than ‘Learning OpenTelemetry’ if you are looking to elevate your understanding and application of modern monitoring and Observability techniques.”

Phillip Carter, Principal Product Manager @ and OpenTelemetry Maintainer

About the authors.

Ted Young is one of the cofounders of the OpenTelemetry project. Over the past 20 years, he has designed and built a variety of large-scale distributed systems, including visual FX pipelines and container scheduling systems. He lives on a tiny farm in Portland, Oregon, and makes comical movies, bad movies, and comically bad movies in his spare time.


Austin Parker is Director of Open Source at, a co-founder of the OpenTelemetry project, and a member of the OpenTelemetry Governance Committee. With over two decades in the IT and software industry, Austin has built and operated cloud-native platforms for a variety of functions, including banking, healthcare, and telecommunications. In addition, Austin is a frequent writer, international speaker, and community builder around open source and observability topics. He’s an author of Distributed Tracing in Practice (O’Reilly, 2022), a co-chair and organizer of Observability Day NA and EMEA, and the founder of the world’s first (and only) virtual DevOps event in Animal Crossing, Deserted Island DevOps. You can find more of his writing at


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