Do you even log?


One significant challenge in software development is debugging when something goes wrong. It can be daunting to identify the root cause of an issue without proper visibility into the system’s behavior. To address this problem, implementing logging becomes crucial. By logging interesting events that occur within the system, developers gain valuable insights into its execution flow. For example, logging the receipt of an order or the execution of a specific function can provide clues for troubleshooting.

As the system grows more complex, with multiple services handling different aspects of order fulfillment, another challenge arises: identifying slow functions. Imagine a scenario where orders are arriving slowly, and there are various services responsible for order processing. In such cases, it becomes difficult to pinpoint the specific function causing the delay. To tackle this challenge, implementing a traceability mechanism is vital. Each incoming request is assigned a unique ID, which is then included in the logs throughout the request’s lifecycle. This enables developers to trace the journey of a request across various functions and services, aiding in performance analysis and troubleshooting.

However, as the system scales and multiple services generate numerous logs, managing them becomes overwhelming. Manually processing and correlating logs from different sources can be time-consuming and inefficient. To streamline log management, a centralized logging system comes to the rescue. Instead of logging events locally, logs are sent to a centralized service that aggregates and organizes them. This centralized service offers powerful capabilities that are difficult to achieve at an individual service level. It can perform log aggregation, sampling, visualization, and even set up alerts for exceptional events. This consolidated view of the system’s performance allows developers to gain actionable insights and efficiently monitor system health.

Once the fundamental logging infrastructure is in place, developers can explore advanced techniques to further enhance logging capabilities. One such technique is Aspect Oriented Programming (AOP). AOP enables the separation of business concerns from logging infrastructure, making logging more streamlined and scalable. By following specific naming conventions, functions can be automatically logged without the need for explicit logging code. This approach frees developers from worrying about the intricate details of logging and allows them to focus on core business logic.

How do you log in your own org: Talk to me on my Twitter @jchex


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Software Project Manager