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Creating a Video Course Hosting Platform to Learn Go

In this episode of Running in Production, Jon Calhoun talks about building his video course platform with Golang. It’s hosted on a single DigitalOcean droplet and has been up and running in production since 2016.

Jon covers keeping it simple with a monolithic app that was rewritten a few times, using SQLite as his main database even with 15,000+ active users and spending his innovation tokens wisely.

Topics Include

  • 1:28 – Creating a custom platform lets Jon come up with new blog post / course ideas
  • 4:51 – It has roughly 15,000 active users and he built 2 separate platforms initially
  • 11:02 – Motivation for using Golang and figuring out when to add new features
  • 13:17 – Using Gumroad licenses to handle course access for users
  • 15:19 – It’s a monolithic app that was rewritten a few times to be ~15k LOC
  • 25:09 – Sweating over hello world requests per second benchmarks isn’t worth it
  • 28:24 – Server rendered templates using Golang’s template package + gotchas
  • 33:46 – Using TailwindCSS with PostCSS and Vimeo / YouTube for the videos
  • 36:56 – Using Golang’s built in web server and SQLite as a primary database
  • 39:00 – Only tracking stats about users that Jon plans to act on
  • 43:01 – Caddy sits in front of the Golang web server and deals with SSL certificates
  • 44:57 – Docker is being used in the React / PostgreSQL code update
  • 49:13 – Working with DigitalOcean block storage volumes and Spaces (S3-like object store)
  • 55:23 – The single $5 / month server is running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and was set up manually
  • 59:11 – The deploy process from development to production
  • 1:04:25 – Spend your innovation tokens wisely
  • 1:06:22 – How Jon assembles his courses with data structures in his source code
  • 1:12:24 – Daily backups of the droplet and how Jon deals with logging / errors / email
  • 1:18:09 – Best tips? Start simple and really stick to it
  • 1:19:13 – Jon is on Twitter at @joncalhoun and check out his site at https://www.calhoun.io/
πŸ“„ References
βš™οΈ Tech Stack
πŸ›  Libraries Used

Support the Show

This episode does not have a sponsor and this podcast is a labor of love. If you want to support the show, the best way to do it is to purchase one of my courses or suggest one to a friend.

  • Dive into Docker is a video course that takes you from not knowing what Docker is to being able to confidently use Docker and Docker Compose for your own apps. Long gone are the days of "but it works on my machine!". A bunch of follow along labs are included.
  • Build a SAAS App with Flask is a video course where we build a real world SAAS app that accepts payments, has a custom admin, includes high test coverage and goes over how to implement and apply 50+ common web app features. There's over 20+ hours of video.

Questions

Aug 03, 2020

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