I used strace (which is related) extensively at [midsize software firm]
S stands for syscall or signal
a syscall is how a process interacts with the OS, so tracing syscalls gives a pretty handy lowlevel debugging tool
And signals are how processes interact with each other, and how the os interacts with processes
Interesting to think of the obviousness of a tracing software for observability of important dynamics of a complex system.
That consideration has implications for social systems’ observability:
“The larger problem here is software observability, or more accurately, the pronounced lack of it. We have built mind-bogglingly complicated systems that we cannot see, allowing glaring performance problems to hide in broad daylight in our systems. How did we get here? And what can be done about it?”