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Cost does matter in Software Arcitecture!

This is a dreaded topic by all software engineers. Moving off Ruby has been amazing. At my one of jobs, people complain and complain about JavaScript and Node.js and how Ruby will magically get faster and better with every release. I don’t get in these arguments because I already know… its really far behind in performance and to be clear, the story that I write about, I did not architect this. I like to learn from other people’s mistakes.

We are running into scaling issues with Ruby. Gasp No!

I should have learned my lessons but I joined another Ruby shop. Larger scale companies who used Ruby on the front end and backend, are moving away from it. Twitter moved to Scala and Groupon moved Node.js. Okay, even Groupon learned their lesson. The guys at Groupon are super smart and I only make that remark because of their product, to clarify. My side project started on Ruby and since it was a baby project, I nipped that in the butt early and move the web to Node.js.

As an software architect, I do care about cost and I do support service oriented architecture. Over $8000 to run a set of servers for one service that is not even serving 100,000 people. Como say what? Oh let me add some icing to the cake, that is one of about 20 services that we run. That must be your main service, right? Nope.

Throwing more servers at problem doesn’t solve the issue.

My co-worker proved a proved a point and rewrote the service in Go. Guess how much we are saving now? We are saving about $8000. Thats how much performance matters. I know he is writing about it for the company blog but it felt necessary to drive the point home.

Ultimately, performance does matter because the end user will experience it. Choose the right tool for the job. Stop treating program languages as a hammer when its really a screwdriver.

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