“Come on, come on let’s work together…” it’s more than 40 years since US blues rockers Canned Heat sang about a collaborative approach to problem-solving, but the tune has staying power. Amazon and Allianz are just two of the blue-chip companies that have used the song’s original lyrics and melody on tv adverts. So it’s a bit of a cliché, perhaps a little trite, but its message is important all the same. Moreover, it’s embodied by the fintech industry.
This is particularly true of microservices. A microservice is usually one small part of a larger infrastructure (the clue’s in the name, after all). To make a whole application work, all the underlying microservices must function well individually, but they must also meld together effortlessly.
A microservice has to work very closely with its client(s), too. The two sides of the relationship should foster ongoing discussion and maintain feedback loops. Both of these mechanisms are needed to make sure the solution performs as it should. In our recent guide to working well with a microservice, we talked about how important it is to set and manage expectations between vendors and their clients.
Putting simple rules in place sounds like an obvious starting point. This could be as basic as deciding how often (e.g. daily, weekly, or monthly) the parties will meet to review performance. To nurture a productive and useful working relationship, each side needs to be very clear about what it expects from the other. In this way, great progress is made.
Communication also comes to the fore when we think about application programming interfaces (APIs). After all, allowing interaction between different teams is what they do. It’s their essential nature, and the communication should be seamless. You can find out more about how APIs operate here.
Looking beyond the purely technical aspects, understanding and empathy are incredibly important. Whether or not you choose to term it due diligence, both sides of a microservice relationship should do their research. Each needs to understand what the other is bringing to the table. Microservices should offer an excellent level of communication, instilling confidence in their clients. Equally, clients should be vocal in ensuring that their demands are met and that their provider fully understands their proposition. We touched on this in Ten steps to working well with a microservice.
Of course, collaboration is also incredibly important for sparking new ideas. In a fast-moving industry such as fintech, teamwork is vital for creating disruption. Human beings have always been inspired by others of our kind, and software development is no different to any other art in this respect. If that means a daily brainstorming session, then so be it. It’s for the greater good, after all…