As the WeWork footprint continued to expand, in mid-2018 the team began to explore the next generation of identity management to handle the global scale of the business.
The team decided to vet three languages for building microservices: Go, Kotlin, and Ruby. They compared the three by building a component of an identity system in each, and assessing the performance apples-to-apples.
After building out the systems and load testing each one, the team decided to implement the new system in Go for a few reasons. In addition to better performance under heavy loads, Go, according to the team, is a simpler language that will constrain developers to simpler code. Additionally, the development lifecycle is simpler with Go, since “there is little difference between running a service directly on a dev machine, to running it in a container, to running clustered instances of the service.”
In the implementation, they the Go grpc framework to handle various common infrastructure patterns, resulting in “in a clean common server pattern that we can reuse across our microservices.”