Protobuffers is an encoding mechanism for message sending between servers & services. It is highly popular at many companies mainly because of its great performance in terms of

(1) encoding & decoding speed &

(2) its ability to save bandwidth by being able encode into binary.

This blog will describe the mechanisms of how objects gets encoded to be sent over the wire. Follow along with the examples on your own!

Part 1 — Message Structure

Let’s look the simplest…

Unheeded warnings from a distant age

8 years ago while in high school, a wise man gave a speech at our founders’ day celebration. His name was Bilahari Kaushikan and he was then the Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Re-reading his speech from all those years ago brings out many lessons in humility and introspection. I sincerely beseech you to spend the time to contemplate on this magnificent piece of writing.

Raffles Institution — my Alma Mater and that of Bilahari Kaushikan (Source: The Straits Times)

The Speech:

Eighty-five years ago an American writer by the name of Thornton Wilder published a short novel entitled The Bridge of San Luis Rey. …



In this world, we have two kinds of repositories:

  1. Application Repositories — repositories that is only used & seen by you and your team that contains the business logic of your App
  2. Shared Libraries — Repositories that are used by many other application repositories (think any standard library, SQL package, Redis, any open source…

Background — Spot the Bug!

A few months ago I was given a seemingly simple ticket. A downstream team wanted a simple API with the following logic

Request: Given a list of userIDs

Response: Find the number of conversations by these users with at least 1 unread message

We currently store the data of the unread messages in a redis sorted set with the following schema

║ Key ║ Value ║ Type ║
║ user_id{USER_ID} ║ {convo_id1, convo_id2…} ║ Sorted Set (Z) ║

To answer the query, we can write the following LUA script to retrieve the necessary Data, by inputting the proper key slice into the script

local t = {}
for i, key in ipairs(KEYS) do
table.insert(t,'ZCARD', key))
return t

There is currently a bug in the methodology described above. Can you find it?

Hint: Under some circumstances, it will give a wrong answer but under other…


Golang genetics is being planned for Go2. Here’s a sneak preview!

Here We Go!


A generic method is a function which objects of various types may be input as its argument. Below is an example of a Java generic method:

public static < E > void printArray( E[] inputArray ) {
// Display array elements
for(E element : inputArray) {
System.out.printf("%s ", element);

Above, the method accepts arrays of any type, be it int, string, bool etc etc…

Currently Go does not allow for generics. …

Ng Tze Yang

Core Server Software Engineer @ Shopee

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