Is a News and Podcast Platform for Developers

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In this episode of Running in Production, Jerod Santo and Gerhard Lazu go over their news and podcast platform which is using Phoenix and Elixir. It was rewritten in Phoenix back in 2015 and it runs on Linode’s Kubernetes Engine across a 3 node cluster.

Jerod and Gerhard talk about building a context-less Phoenix app, using Turbolinks, caching, transitioning to using Kubernetes, automating as much as possible while focusing on patterns that work for small teams and so much more.

Topics Include

  • 6:06 – Motivation for choosing Phoenix and Elixir
  • 10:34 – The MVP didn’t require too many changes to make it deployable
  • 13:43 – It’s an open source monolithic app in 1 git repo and it doesn’t use contexts
  • 17:35 – Gerhard was happy to see it was a monolithic app when it came to deploying it
  • 21:09 – A few useful libraries that help power the podcast CMS
  • 24:09 – Using embedded schemas for handling email subscription settings
  • 25:19 – Using Docker but Jerod hasn’t gone all-in with it in development
  • 33:47 – It’s mostly server side templates with sprinkles of JavaScript and Turbolinks
  • 37:45 – Choosing not to use Live View because Turbolinks is working at the moment
  • 41:51 – nginx, Linode’s load balancer, Fastly as a CDN and handling metrics
  • 47:42 – Motivation for choosing Linode and using their Kubernetes Engine
  • 54:42 – Serving about 200 requests per minute and how caching is done with ETS
  • 59:54 – Creating very thin wrapper modules for certain libraries when it makes sense
  • 1:02:36 – The deployment process from development to production
  • 1:08:29 – What was it like to transition to using Kubernetes?
  • 1:11:45 – Polling for new versions of the app instead of giving CI the keys to the kingdom
  • 1:13:38 – Dealing with inserting secrets into the app through Kubernetes
  • 1:17:48 – The embodiment of dev and ops working very well together
  • 1:19:01 – Database backups, making small changes and health checks
  • 1:27:43 – Best tips (Jerod)? Team up with people who fill in your knowledge gaps
  • 1:30:16 – Best tips (Gerhard)? Be honest about what you like and enjoy doing
  • 1:31:57 – Gerhard has a personal site, Jerod is on Twitter & check out
📄 References
⚙️ Tech Stack
🛠 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.


Dec 28, 2020

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