gnikyt Code ramblings.

Microservices... don't create a problem

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Big Fat No #

This post is about creating unnecessary problems for yourself.

In browsing the various tech and programming feeds I read weekly, I’ve seen a trend of developers asking questions such as:

“Should I use {hip language} instead of {well-trusted language}?”

“New project! Should I create this], {that}, and {those} as microservices in {hip language}?”

I don’t know if its some sort of tech-culture pressure to learn these languages and create microservices out-of-the-gate for new projects… but it seems to be becoming more commonly asked.

The answer is always no. A big fat no. If you’re currently in the start of doing this, turn around.

The Issue #

Monolith: This is when the entirety of your project’s business is contained in one piece.

Microservices: This is when your project’s business is split up into multiple pieces.

The trend lately seems to be people attempting to write with a microservices-first mindset. Not only that, but people are also wanting to write these microservices in Golang, Rust, Erlang, etc, instead of a more popular/mature language with a full-featured framework.

I’ve used/use some of those languages, and while I like them, I would not start with them. Even with adding packages to fill gaps, its still not as a smooth of a process as a mature avenue can offer.

You end up trying to connect dots yourself, writing a bunch of code to handle the basics a framework already provides. In the end, spending a lot of time creating a loose framework rather than writing your project’s business logic. You then also have to write tests for this new framework, then do this X times over for each microservice.

Here are some things to consider about if you’re thinking about starting with microservices, and microservices in less popular languages/frameworks:

The list goes on and on… starting with a monolith, with a well-matured ecosystem, can handle most (if not all) of that list for you. So that’s where you should begin. Let yourself, and your team, write the business logic and focus on the project’s goals itself, rather than trying to manage all sort of separated services in various languages.

You will regret it once you go down the path of microservices to start, then your deadline looms over your head and you and your team are still patching together the basics a framework would’ve provided to you.

You and your team will be able to develop at a much higher rate of speed with the proper initial setup. That initial setup should not include microservices.

A Good Process #

Build a monolith to start. Don’t worry about your imaginary server load, mystical scaling needs, and whatever nonsense you’ve read on some clickbait article.

Worry about it when the time comes to worry about it - you will know when you reach that point. Also, most things never reach that point for many new company projects. Most end up with short lives.

What you want to do is keep your core as a monolith and separate your external resources… like database, caching, queue, logging, etc.

If your project requires Postgres for a database, Redis for a cache layer, RabbitMQ or Redis or a queue hold pen, and logging… then those are items you should separate from your app. Allow them to run in another instance, either self-managed or preferably managed.

This way you have a good base.

All this can be handled easily, and with services that DigitalOcean, Azure, Heroku, AWS, and many others provide, it can happen with a click of a button… all without the need to microservice the core of your project.

When your core project is forecasted to approch it’s scaling limits, this is when you need to think about microservices, but not before.