Off-by-none: Issue #106

September 8, 2020

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Serverless Adoption at AWS… ๐Ÿš€

Welcome to Issue #106 of Off-by-none. Glad you could join us!

Last week, we learned how to integrate SalesForce with EventBridge, created aggregates with DynamoDB streams, and found out why opening the box is a bad idea. This week, we learn the names of all 168 AWS Services (via song), chat with Holly Mesrobian about adopting serverless at AWS, and get plenty of troubleshooting advice. Plus, we have a ton of amazing content from the serverless community.

When you want the latest news on serverless… ๐Ÿ“ฃ

The TriggerMesh guide โ€œWhat Every CIO Needs to Know about Serverlessโ€ compares major offerings and explains concepts like cloud native and microservices in plain English. Use it to inform your peers / managers on serverless benefits and options. Sponsored

Forrest Brazeal, aka The Cloud Bard, made good on his promise to “break AWS Twitter” by releasing the 168 AWS services in 2 minutes song, a work of pure genius. Not to be outdone, Eric Johnson responded with a two minute drum solo. ๐Ÿฅ

#ServerlessSeptember is happening again for all you Azure fans. There’s also a 2020 Content Collection post that will be updated daily with all the latest contributions.

Dr. Denis Bauer and her team at CSIRO have been doing some amazing work to leverage compute power to analyze genomic data and match donors. And yes, they’re using Lambda to power their VariantSpark platform.

In competitive news, StackPath is gearing up to take on hyperscalers at the network edge. Seems like an interesting play, though no surprise here, but AWS was named as a Cloud Leader for the 10th consecutive year in Gartnerโ€™s Infrastructure & Platform Services Magic Quadrant.

When you’re looking for a few serverless success stories… ๐Ÿ“–

Thomas Schoffelen explains how his team is migrating to serverless by introducing Amazon EventBridge as their message bus. This allows them to start triggering Lambda functions from their legacy systems.

Logan Cooper started going serverless by building a Linear Regression API on AWS Lambda, and Angel Broking is working with IT vendors to cut IT spending by migrating its workloads to serverless as well.

Sheen Brisals has another great piece titled, A Serverless Set-Piece Development Case Studyโ€Šโ€”โ€ŠBack-in-Stock Email Notification, that not only walks you through how this service was implemented at Lego, but explains the strategies and thinking behind it.

When you’re curious how you can use serverless… ๐Ÿ—บ

If you’ve got a simple use case like Levi Nunnink does, then perhaps sending data from an HTML form to a Google Sheet will solve your problem. For something a bit more advanced, Hasnat Shimul can show you how to customize Cognito verification emails with HTML using AWS Lambda.

Another favorite use case of mine is using Lambda to spin up and shut down development machines. Akhil Kumar explains how his company does it in his How David tamed Goliath article.

Giving customers access to serverless functions baked into your platform seems like a winning strategy to me. Pankaj Singh shows you how to save data to an external datasource using Adobe Experience Manager Forms and the Adobe I/O Runtime.

And if you’re having trouble finding good podcasts, Olalekan Elesin will show you how to build a Serverless AI-First Podcast Platform on AWS.

How to increase your serverless knowledge… ๐Ÿง 

Even though there is no AWS Serverless Certification, you might be interested in The Ultimate Cheatsheet for the AWS Solutions Architect Exam. I also came across this Roadmap to Cloud Jobs that explains how and why to become a Cloud Engineer.

For some insights from the frontlines of serverless, Taavi Rehemรคgi shares his learnings from building battle-tested Well-Architected apps. Plus, Pierre Criulanscy shares a nice in-depth real-world Node.JS TDD example. If only I had the patience to build apps this way.

Sometimes a few tips and tricks can take you to the next level. Robert Bulmer explains how to create conditional resolvers in AWS AppSync using the Info context, Michael O’Brien shares a clever way to invoke HTTP from AWS Lambda without waiting, and Rony Lutsky shows you how to share API Gateway with multiple services in the Serverless Framework. I like the custom domain method better, but this works too.

Eric Johnson, drummer and serverless aficionado, walks you through troubleshooting Amazon API Gateway with enhanced observability variables, and the team at Dashbird put together The Ultimate Guide to Monitoring Serverless Applications for you to enjoy.

Finally, George Mao wants to remind you that Lambda Provisioned Concurrency AutoScaling is awesome. Just make sure you understand how it works!

When you’re looking to get your hands dirty… ๐Ÿ‘ทโ€โ™€๏ธ

Whether startup, SMB, or enterprise, AWS is building serverless for everyone. This week, we highlight some of the Serverless DA blogs including James Beswick’s Using Lambda layers to simplify your development process and Introducing larger state payloads for AWS Step Functions from Rob Sutter. Learn how to get started, and build more with less code. Sponsored

Yan Cui gives us a great lesson on debugging slow Lambda response times. It goes quite in depth, so definitely worth checking out. If you want to actually create something, this post will help you build and deploy a serverless ReactJS contact form with Nodemailer and Netlify Functions.

How to setup an AWS Lambda function to talk to the Internet and a VPC provides a handy guide for those that need it. As does this post on how to build a serverless Laravel queue using AWS Lambda if you’re into the whole PHP thing. Also, this post by Rajan Panchal about automating application deployment using GitHub Actions is quite interesting (and something I need to look into more closely).

If you’re looking to build your own mobile file hosting application with Flutter, Amplify, and AWS, look no further. This is another incredibly comprehensive tutorial that shows you how to create mobile cross-platform applications using the combined forces of Flutter and Amplify.

While I’m not a huge Kubernetes fan, Linda Nichols makes a strong case for Azure with The Curious Developer’s Guide to Portable Azure Functions. Her animate GIF usage is also very strong (as always).

When you’re looking for some good serverless reads… ๐Ÿค“

Interesting post and interview about how PerimeterX’s cloud native approach signals the rise of serverless security. Certainly good news from an overall adoption standpoint.

I liked this post by Mark Fowler that outlines some AWS and serverless best better practices for Resilient Engineers. Lots of useful tips and some solid advice. Allen Helton also drops some knowledge in How to Monitor Your Serverless Application. The Challenges of Stateless Architecture.

And for those of you laughing off “static-first,” just note that a 2020 study by Netlify found 1 in 3 sites serving over a million users use JAMstack. This quick read features Ryan Coleman, Stackery’s VP of Engineering talking about the impact of JAMstack on enterprises.

For the audio/visual crowd… ๐ŸŽง

On Serverless Chats – Episode #65: Serverless Transformation at AWS with Holly Mesrobian, I chatted with the Director of Engineering for Lambda about why teams at AWS are adopting serverless, how Lambda is helping to make other AWS services better by pushing their limits, how to correctly isolate your serverless microservices, and what’s next for Lambda and serverless at AWS. You can also watch this episode on YouTube.

Marcia Villalba does a deep dive into AWS SAM building and packaging (and how to share code between functions) with Eric Johnson. And Sheen Brisals has a great talk from ServerlessDays ANZ on how to grow a serverless team in an organization.

When you’re wondering what’s new from AWS… ๐Ÿ†•

AWS Step Functions increased payload sizes to 256KB, so you hopefully can send all the data you need to keep functions stateless and avoid unnecessary hydration. Plus, Amazon CloudFront announced support for TLSv1.3 for viewer connections, which will help with both security and performance.

They’re also making it easier to create, prototype and test GraphQL queries directly in the AWS AppSync GraphQL Console, which is pretty cool, Amplify CLI now supports tagging resources at a project level, and AWS announced a 86%+ price reduction for AWS IoT Events.

Finally, they introduced the AWS Data Streaming Data Solution for Amazon Kinesis that provides an automated configuration of the AWS services necessary to easily capture, store, process, and deliver streaming data. Something definitely worth checking out.

When you need some good serverless tools… ๐Ÿ› 

Adrian Hornsby has put together a demo for an immutable infrastructure talk that does traffic shifting between two different Lambdas during a roll out. Check out aws-lambda-traffic-shifting to see how you can implement it in your projects.

Chris Plankey released a Lambda Monitoring to Slack Stack SAR app. Could be a handy little tool.

I always advise against implementing your own authentication system, but perhaps this Serverless OAuth Proxy may be a good open source choice.

If you’re looking for a bunch of serverless tools to get started, then you might want to jump-start your serverless development environment with these recommendations.

Serverless Jobs ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿ’ป Sponsored

Serverless Engineer –
At Stedi, we’re working in one of the biggest markets on the planet โ€“ EDI, the technological backbone of the physical product economy. Weโ€™re building a next-generation platform: a ubiquitous commercial trading network to automate the trillions of dollars in B2B transactions exchanged by nearly every company on Earth. If you’re interested in what we’re building and how weโ€™re building it, we’d love to hear from you.

Have a job listing you’d like to share? Please contact me for more information.

Upcoming Serverless Events ๐Ÿ—“

There are a lot of upcoming serverless events, webinars, livestreams, and more. If you have an event you’d like me to mention, please email me.

September 9, 2020 – Amplify with Friends

September 9, 2020 – OpenWhisk with Nimbella and Serverless Swift

September 17, 2020 – AWS Community Day Sri Lanka (Online Event) ๐Ÿ—ฃ

September 21, 2020 – Mastering the AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM)

September 23, 2020 – Amplify with Friends

September 23, 2020 – Nimbella and Postman: From APIs to Serverless Cloud Applications in Minutes

September 30, 2020 – CDK Day 2020 (Online Conference)

September 30, 2020 – Microsoft Create: Serverless – Conversations with Community and Industry Experts!

October 1-2, 2020 – ServerlessDays Hamburg 2019 ๐Ÿ—ฃ

Serverless Star of the Week โญ๏ธ

There is a very long list of people that are doing #ServerlessGood and contributing to the Serverless community. These people deserve recognition for their efforts. So each week, I will mention someone whose recent contribution really stood out to me. I love meeting new people, so if you know someone who deserves recognition, please nominate them.

This weekโ€™s star is Michael Bahr (@bahrdev). Michael is a Senior Software Development Engineer at AWS in Berlin. Michael runs a blog on his personal website where he writes about various serverless topics, including a recent article on how to archive your AWS data to reduce storage costs. He also volunteers at Hackerstolz, a local group that organizes tech events, and promotes the inclusion of more women in tech. Thank you, Michael, for your efforts to grow the serverless community! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Final Thoughts ๐Ÿค”

It’s been another busy week with plenty of serverless content rolling in. If you ever have any interesting articles, posts, or projects to share, feel free to DM me on Twitter or send them to my email. I try to find the most interesting stuff out there, but I know I still miss a lot. Help is always appreciated. ๐Ÿ™Œ

I hope you enjoyed this newsletter. We’re always looking for ideas and feedback to make it better and more inclusive, so please feel free to reach out to me via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or email.


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Issue #105September 1, 2020

Next Issue

Issue #107September 15, 2020

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About the Author

Jeremy is the GM of Serverless Cloud at Serverless, Inc. and an AWS Serverless Hero that has a soft spot for helping people solve problems using serverless. He frequently consults with companies and developers transitioning away from the traditional โ€œserver-fullโ€ approach. You can find him ranting about serverless on Twitter, in several forums and Slack groups, hosting the Serverless Chats podcast, and at (virtual) conferences around the world.


Nominate a Serverless Star

Off-by-none is committed to celebrating the diversity of the serverless community and recognizing the people who make it awesome. If you know of someone doing amazing things with serverless, please nominate them to be a Serverless Star โญ๏ธ!