Eric D. Schabell: 2023 Year in Review - Observability around the World

Sunday, December 31, 2023

2023 Year in Review - Observability around the World

Deep into the winter of 2023 and counting down the last hours, I find myself working on this last task of the year. It's that time where one steps back and reflects on the past year of activities and travels.

This is also always one of the easiest articles to write, going back now since this blog started, meaning I've been doing them over 18 years now. Who would have imagined back in 2005 when I started publishing articles for this blog that I'd be at it 18 years later and have garnered almost 2.6 million views?

It takes a bit of research every year to get this article done, as I've been traveling, speaking, publishing, socializing, and generating so much content throughout the year. It's always fun to see all the code, writing, and travel adventures passing the review as I sit here in contemplation of what is coming for the new year.

This year was one of exploration for me, starting a new job at the end of last year in the cloud native observability (o11y) space, learning new technologies, learning the new Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) communities, meeting lots of new friends, and speaking to many of you on the challenges you are facing with stress, burn-out, cloud data, SRE tasks, and more.

It's been great fun getting my free under me in the cloud native o11y space and I tried very hard to take everyone following along with me on this journey step-by-step. I've tried to document it and preserve the learnings for those that follow in the future.

The year kicked off with acceptance as a CNCF Ambassador along with the rest of my team we can say we are 100% ambassador certified!

Travel and events

Travel ramped up in spades this year, from almost nothing last year to full gas across two continents this year. The year 2023 included 22 trips to 30 different cities and 11 different countries with destinations including:

  • London, UK (2x)
  • Austin, TX
  • Edinburg, Scotland (3x)
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Portland, OR (2x)
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Boston, MA (2x)
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Bristol, UK
  • Seattle, WA
  • Zadar, Croatia
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Aarhus, Denmark
  • Vilnius, Lithuania

These included both personal trips related to family illnesses and events or meetings. Some of the events I participated in on the road:

  • Monitorama
  • PromCon EU
  • KubeCon NA
  • KubeCon EU
  • Cloud Native Rejekts
  • Infobip Shift EU
  • Open Source 101 
  • All Things Open
  • WTFisSRE
  • Cloud Native London 
  • SRECon EU
  • KCD Czech & Slovak
  • KCD Denmark

It was quite the whirlwind and the plans for 2024 include getting a better handle on the time spent traveling. They are some of my favorite times, as I get to meet up with friends around the world and interact with the communities that I love to help.


This blog has entered its 18th year in production and is well on its way to +2.6 million views. I've published over 65 articles here this year on a large range of topics, but mostly focused on cloud native observability. 

I've also continued to find syndication across several sites this year, from DZone, Java Code GeeksTheNewsStack, and our company blog. 

The series I started to document my journey in observability, O11y Guide, continued to grow with an array on topics that were all part of my observability learnings in 2023.

My other writing hobby of sports journalism for the Boston Red Sox on basically halted in 2023 as I was too busy to devote much time to this hobby. To be honest, the Red Sox were so bad again, last place in their division again, that I had little positive to say about them anyway.

Workshop and other coding content

This year saw me and my team completing and keeping the following three cloud native observability workshops updated for you all as they are free and online:

You now have the 101 learning paths to get you started with:

The plans for 2024 will most likely include more CNCF projects and we are thinking about adding some workshop content around data pipelines and logging.

Fun side projects

I always have the Plan-B skills that I'm testing out in case this computer thing does not work out. This year I've been doing a lot around the house, from remodeling my office, laying flooring, painting, wiring the garden, garden renovations, and more. I definitely have a small applicable skill set that I can apply to construction and renovations around the home.

This year was also the first year I stepped away from being a full time pitching coach for the local baseball club. That did not mean I was not asked to occasionally hold bullpen sessions and tune up a few of my players from the past, but it did mean I had a lot more time to hit the golf course.

This year, for the first time in 37 years, I replaced my high school golf set with something that provided all the advancements they've included in a modern set. I got one that is from 2021 and my scores dived immediately and settled on a 14 handicap. Between the clubs and having time to play 72 rounds of golf this year and the new clubs, I was really starting to enjoy myself. I also got the chance to play with three generations of my family on summer break. 

The re-gripping of golf clubs has not quite turned into a side business, but I'm doing it fairly regularly for both family and friends. I'm happy to help anyone that needs new grips, just provide your clubs and the grips, I've got the rest covered.

Thanks for the journey

This journey would be nothing without our readers, listeners, watchers, and the ones providing feedback. For that I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I'm so very much looking forward to chatting with you in all the places where we get to share, discover, and spend time together around the world.

Happy holidays and end of the year to you and your families as you transition into 2024. See you soon on the other side!

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