About me

Hi, my name is Charity, and I am professionally caremad about computers.

charity 2019-01-03

I am an operations and database engineer and sometimes engineering manager.  Right now I am the CEO and cofounder of Honeycomb, where we build observability for distributed systems.  (“Monitoring” doesn’t have to be a dirty word; give us a try.)

Until recently I was a production engineering manager at Facebook.  I spent 3.5 years working on Parse (both pre and post-acquisition by FB).  I also spent several years at Linden Lab, working on the infrastructure and databases that power Second Life.  I am the co-author of “Database Reliability Engineering” by O’Reilly.

I was a classical piano performance major in college, but dropped out because it turns out I prefer not being dirt poor.  I have been building systems and engineering teams ever since.

I love startups, chaos and hard scaling problems, and somehow I always end up in charge of the databases.


40 thoughts on “About me

  1. Brian Akey says:

    Why do people think that dev and ops goes together. Programmers are artist and System Admins are mechanics. Left brain, right brain. If you are good at one you are not good at the other.

  2. Pallika Kanani says:

    Your engineering management piece is BRILLIANT!! I just started my year three, completely determined that it’s time to swing back. It was so reassuring to know that the mad feelings of inadequacy of the last two years were normal, and that swinging back is the right thing to do. You are a GENIUS!

      1. Janet Springer says:

        Hi Charity,
        I am a Research Assist for the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology. I have been tasked with finding data related Engineering Leadership. I have worked on stats with pre and post writing skills of engineers and now developing a certificate curriculum. I am reaching out about your piece on Engineering Leadership. Do you have any data that supports your statement about the demand? I love your humor and writings! Also intellectually entertaining! Thank you.

  3. Anonym is Goog says:

    Please add an e-mail subscription button to your blog. I enjoy your content and I don’t want to miss updates.

  4. Hello!

    I watched the talk you gave this past November for the Ops Show on Observability Driven development. Wonderful discussion. Any chance you would be willing to do another discussion?

      1. Jan says:


        I really enjoyed your interview on CoRecursive. It really highlighted how much of a pain wading through heaps of unstructured logs is when I have to do it. I like your approach much better! Didn’t even know something like it existed before hearing you talk about it 🙂
        Also, congrats on finding you a CEO and getting what you want.

        In short: You rock and I hope you continue to pursue whatever’s meaningful to you.

        Warm regards,

  5. Tom Tammann says:

    Hi Charity

    I have been following you since I worked at Lightstep in 2019. Your curiosity is very inspiring and I love that you dont only address technical aspects in a very deep and sound manner but emphasize the importance to bring our humanity (leadership in business speak ;-)) to the table.

    I also just listened to the latest pagerduty podcast. Outstanding!! Thank you for sharing!

  6. Mathias says:

    Hi, some made me curious Bout your posts. So here am I to subscribe 🙂

    thank you in advance
    & love + peace ..hope so!

  7. Sujith Sudhakaran says:

    Lady, power to you!

    I found it hard to get around the rainbows and kitties. But that’s me. My 7 year old twins loved them. (they like to keep a tab on their dad’s reading).

    Frankly every blog is a masterpiece and should be framed on the walls*
    Several points also sent my primal brain mewling (“that’s too hard”, “when would I get any real work done”) into a corner, esp on diversity and culture, bits I find difficult to champion actively. (Shame on me)

    I have forwarded your blog to my team. There is so much wisdom and mentorship distilled here that the ‘great resignation’ generation can learn from.

    Thank you for this! Stay awesome.

    P.S.: *I might actually do that

  8. Hi Charity, would love to read more but it’s very small great and there’s no text engagement button. Any chance of adding one for better accessibility? Thanks? ❤️

      1. Yes please, size button. The font you chose is lovely but a little bit small and hard to read on my phone without my super strong glasses. So I was hoping you would be kind enough to pop a little font size button. Thanks!

      2. It looks like there are a number of wordpress plugins to do that functionality. I thought I posted this the other day but I must have forgotten to submit it. Thanks! wordpress.org/plugins/tags/font-size/

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