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Day 10: Dependency Injection

by Aaron Crowder on in Programming

What is it?

Dependency Injection is a design pattern whereby an object/module’s dependencies are provided to it. It is one of several techniques for implementing Inversion of Control.

So rather than:

func NewClient() *Client {
    return &Client{
        Service: service.NewService(),

You would have:

func NewClient(service *service.Service) *Client {
    return &Client{
        Service: service,

Why tho??

If you wanted to write a test for the Client first example above, you wouldn’t be able to mock it’s Service. In the second example it would be trivial to inject a mock Service and write tests for your Client.

From Wikipedia:

  • Dependency injection allows a client the flexibility of being configurable. Only the client’s behavior is fixed. The client may act on anything that supports the intrinsic interface the client expects.
  • Dependency injection can be used to externalize a system’s configuration details into configuration files, allowing the system to be reconfigured without recompilation. Separate configurations can be written for different situations that require different implementations of components. This includes, but is not limited to, testing.
  • Because dependency injection does not require any change in code behavior it can be applied to legacy code as a refactoring. The result is clients that are more independent and that are easier to unit test in isolation using stubs or mock objects that simulate other objects not under test. This ease of testing is often the first benefit noticed when using dependency injection.
  • Dependency injection allows a client to remove all knowledge of a concrete implementation that it needs to use. This helps isolate the client from the impact of design changes and defects. It promotes reusability, testability and maintainability.
  • Reduction of boilerplate code in the application objects, since all work to initialize or set up dependencies is handled by a provider component.
  • Dependency injection allows concurrent or independent development. Two developers can independently develop classes that use each other, while only needing to know the interface the classes will communicate through. Plugins are often developed by third party shops that never even talk to the developers who created the product that uses the plugins.
  • Dependency Injection decreases coupling between a class and its dependency.

There are also some disadvantages (makes code harder to read, breaks “jump to definition”, etc.) but I feel that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. But that’s just like, my opinion man.


Why use a framework?

You can do dependency injection manually in a small app. But as your app grows manually wiring up dependencies becomes tedious and cumbersome. A dependency injection framework handles the wiring for you. This saves you from having overly complex functions that handle all the wiring.

You might also have lots of infrastructure components (metrics, logging, tracing, etc.). Without DI that boilerplate must be copied from repo to repo, or put in common components. But even with common components you still have to handle initialization and wiring of these things yourself.

With a DI framework you can simply import the common utilities and tell your framework how / where to new them up. Then they are provided to whatever parts of your application need them.