Things to remember while building Microservices

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Microservices are much more than an engineering problem to solve and let’s look at some key engineering and non-engineering things to remember while building them.

Growth Opportunity

Microservices are a great growth opportunity given there are so many engineering and non-engineering challenges to solve. Every engineer or early leader should grab this opportunity to showcase his/her prowess and earn leadership brownie points.

Conflicts are inevitable

Engineers are passionate, and intra-team and inter-team conflicts are inevitable. But the conflicts should be gracefully by

  • taking data-driven informed decisions
  • consulting senior engineers
  • sometimes moving on without creating a fuss

Architecture Evolves

Vision evolves and so would our architecture. The decisions we took while building it might not be the best today and hence we should be okay with the code getting scrapped and seeing some dramatic changes in the flow.

Technical Debt

We cannot always build a Microservice in the best way possible. Engineering teams are always running against time and aim at delivering things quicker.

This requires us to cut some corners and make some inefficient decisions and this is called Technical Debt. Over time such debt piles up and reduces the development velocity.

It is important to clean up technical debt periodically, by reserving ~10% of the bandwidth of every engineer every sprint.

Enforcing Standardizations

Standardizations are essential for microservices as it provides a clear set of guidelines to use for building them.

To ensure that every team is not building and setting up their conventions from scratch, we create a Template that everyone can use and build on top of it. This aligns with the DRY principle ensuring we do not waste time doing repeated things.

Some engineers and teams might see standardization as strangling, and hence we might see a potential backlash. In order to ensure this is adopted smoothly

  • we should have a forum that decides the standards instead of a central team
  • the forum should have proper reasoning behind every decision taken for the template

This would help us keep such templates and best practices inclusive while ensuring a positive sentiment all around.

Business over Engineering

This is offensive, but it is true. Engineering exists because the business does and hence while building microservices we should always remain aligned with the strategic goals.

For example, if the business priority is profitability we should not have over-provisioned microservices that leak money.

Here's the video ⤵

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