Preslav Mihaylov

Software Engineer, Consultant, Speaker & Technical Trainer

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Getting The Most Out of Your Logs with ELK

When you start developing your application, you typically instrument it with some logging to be able to debug problems later.

Some skip it in the development phase, but once the application hits production, then it is crucial to have some logging.

After all, once users complain that something isn’t working, how would you be able to find the root-cause?

And although logging proves to be useful, many companies don’t really capitalise on its potential as they’re still clinging to the classic way of writing freestyle logs and grep-ing them on their prod machines afterwards.

However, there is so much more potential that logging holds for monitoring our production systems. In this article, I will show you how to get the maximum value from your logs using the ELK stack.

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Managing Shared Components in Go Microservices with Fx

In many companies nowadays, microservices is the de facto way of handling service architecture.

Some do it out of necessity as their application has reached a scale where the monolith is a bottleneck. Others, simply like being onboard the hype train.

Whatever the scenario, the decision is often backed by the classical case for adopting microservices, which every junior dev studies extensively before their system design interview.

What gets often neglected, however, is the problems which come with such an approach.
Each of these problems usually demands a sophisticated solution, which raises system complexity.

One such problem is how to reuse the shared infrastructure components in your microservices. Each of your services will probably have a distinct business logic, but it will also come with a big baggage of infrastructure code.

These components usually don’t change too much between your services – healthchecks, monitoring configs, logging, standard service configurations, etc.

Fortunately, there is a very elegant solution for this problem for your Go services, which utilises the Fx Framework. It helps you by automatically managing your dependencies, but it can do much more than that as I’ll show you in the upcoming sections.

In this article, I will show you how to effectively extract your components into reusable & independent modules which can easily be shared across your Go services.

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Dependency Injection in Go using Fx

When you initially start a Go project, your main function typically has a bunch of wiring code – initialising your routes, plugging in middlewares, initialising your template engines, loggers, etc.

This is one of the great things about Go – you don’t have any magic happening behind the scenes. The code is all there and you can read it and debug it.

But as your software grows, you start feeling the growing pains – your main function starts becoming more and more convoluted. You start having all sorts of small bits and pieces plugged in here and there – healthchecks, database setup code, metrics, tracers, external API connections, etc etc.

And what if your application grows into a microservice architecture? What do you do when you have five different microservices demanding the same bunch of setup code, specific to your environment?

In this article, I will introduce you to Fx. It’s a Go framework which solves both problems outlined above using dependency injection.

Let’s jump in.

All the code from this article is available in this repo.

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Automate Your Initial OS Setup

There was a time in my life when a huge part of my time was spent reinstalling my Linux OS. Wonder why?

Well, the first time you install Linux, they warn you to never run rm- rf / as this would delete your entire system. Fair enough, that’s simple to follow.

What they don’t tell you is that you have another million ways to effectively do the same thing with commands which seem harmless at first glance.

However, there were some benefit form my misfortunes.

What irritated me the most was installing all the software I use from scratch every single time. I often forgot to install one or two programs I use and had to do it on the fly once I actually needed them which was very disturbing.

Hence, I came up with the idea to create a script which would automate this process via a single command. Every time I reinstall my OS, I simply run the script, go get myself a coffee and once I’m back, I have my OS all setup with what I need.

If you’re in a situation where you often have to do this yourself, read on.

Also, be aware that this guide is specific to installing Linux and Mac OS. You could probably apply the same concept in Windows, but I only speak bash, not bat.

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My Experience with Learning Golang

So you want to learn Golang?

Great! Perhaps I could help you. When I learnt I’d be joining Uber, I had some time to prepare for the tech stack ahead. One of the key things I had to get onboarded to quickly was coding in Golang.

So I started searching for good courses around the web, which could help with getting me caught up with the language and its paradigms. Some were great, others were pretty bad. And the bad part is, it isn’t obvious at first glance.

Actually, some of the most promoted courses on Golang are some of the most useless ones. So learning Go can be quite frustrating due to the lack of good courses out there.

In this article, I will share what good, bad and ugly courses I’ve encountered in the bumpy ride of learning Go.

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