Go Design Pattern — SOLID Principles

Akhilesh Mahajan
4 min readSep 12, 2023

In software Engineering, it’s important to have a set of design principles to guide you in creating high-quality, maintainable, and scalable code. One such set of principles is the SOLID.

SOLID Principles

SSingle Responsibility Principle

This principle states that a struct should have only one reason to change, meaning that a struct should have only one responsibility. This helps to keep the code clean and maintainable, as changes to the struct only need to be made in one place.

Let’s say I have a struct Employee that keeps track of an employee's name, salary, and address:

type Employee struct { 
Name string
Salary float64
Address string
}

According to the SRP, each struct should have only one responsibility, so in this case, it would be better to split the responsibilities of the Employee struct into two separate structs: EmployeeInfo and EmployeeAddress.

type EmployeeInfo struct {
Name string
Salary float64
}

type EmployeeAddress struct {
Address string
}

Now, we can have separate functions that handle the different responsibilities of each struct:

func (e EmployeeInfo) GetSalary() float64 {
return e.Salary
}
func (e EmployeeAddress) GetAddress() string {
return e.Address
}

By following the SRP, the code has become more maintainable and easier to understand, as each structure now has a clear and specific responsibility. If we need to make changes to the salary calculation or address handling, we know exactly where to look, without having to wade through a lot of unrelated code.

O — Open Closed Principle (OCP)

This principle states that a struct should be open for extension but closed for modification, meaning that the behavior of a struct can be extended without changing its code. This helps to keep the code flexible and adaptable to changing requirements.

Let’s say We have a task to build a payment system that will be able to process credit card payments. It should also be flexible enough to accept different types of payment methods in the future.


package main

import "fmt"

type PaymentMethod interface {
Pay()
}

type Payment struct{}

func (p Payment) Process(pm PaymentMethod) {
pm.Pay()
}

type CreditCard struct {
amount float64
}

func (cc CreditCard) Pay() {
fmt.Printf("Paid %.2f using CreditCard", cc.amount)
}

func main() {
p := Payment{}
cc := CreditCard{12.23}
p.Process(cc)
}

As per OCP, Payment struct is open for extension and closed for modification. Since we are using PaymentMethod the interface, we don’t have to edit Payment behavior when adding new payment methods. Adding something like PayPal would look like this:

type PayPal struct {
amount float64
}

func (pp PayPal) Pay() {
fmt.Printf("Paid %.2f using PayPal", pp.amount)
}

// then in main()
pp := PayPal{22.33}
p.Process(pp)

L — Liskov Substitution Principle

Consider the struct:

type Animal struct {
Name string
}

func (a Animal) MakeSound() {
fmt.Println("Animal sound")
}

Now, let’s say we want to create a new struct Bird that represents a specific type of animal:

type Bird struct {
Animal
}

func (b Bird) MakeSound() {
fmt.Println("Chirp chirp")
}

This principle states that objects of a superclass should be replaceable with objects of a subclass without affecting the correctness of the program. This helps to ensure that the relationships between classes are well-defined and maintainable.

type AnimalBehavior interface {
MakeSound()
}

// MakeSound represent a program that works with animals and is expected
// to work with base class (Animal) or any subclass (Bird in this case)
func MakeSound(ab AnimalBehavior) {
ab.MakeSound()
}

a := Animal{}
b := Bird{}
MakeSound(a)
MakeSound(b)

This demonstrates inheritance in Go, as well as the Liskov Substitution Principle, as objects of a subtype Bird can be used wherever objects of the base type Animal are expected, without affecting the correctness of the program.

I — Interface Segregation Principle

ISP states that clients should not be forced to depend on interfaces they do not use, meaning that the interfaces should be designed to be as small and specific as possible. This helps to keep the code flexible and avoids unnecessary coupling between classes.

D — Dependency Inversion Principle

This principle states that high-level modules should not depend on low-level modules, but rather both should depend on abstractions. This helps to reduce the coupling between components and make the code more flexible and maintainable.

Suppose we have a struct Worker that represents a worker in a company and a struct Supervisor that represents a supervisor:

type Worker struct {
ID int
Name string
}

func (w Worker) GetID() int {
return w.ID
}

func (w Worker) GetName() string {
return w.Name
}

type Supervisor struct {
ID int
Name string
}

func (s Supervisor) GetID() int {
return s.ID
}

func (s Supervisor) GetName() string {
return s.Name
}

Now, for the anti-pattern, let’s say we have a high-level module Department that represents a department in a company, and needs to store information about the workers and supervisors, which are considered a low-level module:

type Department struct {
Workers []Worker
Supervisors []Supervisor
}

According to the Dependency Inversion Principle, high-level modules should not depend on low-level modules. Instead, both should depend on abstractions. To fix the anti-pattern example, We can create an interface Employee that represents both, worker and supervisor:

type Employee interface {
GetID() int
GetName() string
}

Now We can update the Department struct so it no longer depends on low-level modules:

type Department struct {
Employees []Employee
}

Considering SOLID principles while code requires a shift in the way of thinking, but the benefits are well worth the effort. These principles can be complex and challenging while implementing the code, but they provide robust, scalable software that will continue to meet the needs for years to come.

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