Off-by-none: Issue #122

December 29, 2020

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Here's to a very serverless 2021! ๐Ÿฅ‚

Welcome to Issue #122 of Off-by-none. Thanks for being here!

Last week, we got tumbling windows and checkpointing, we watched the Jamstack space start to heat up, and we congratulated our new serverless writers. This week, we look back at the most popular posts and big serverless moments from 2020. Plus, we share a few new posts from the serverless community.

Also, don’t miss Serverless Chats Episode #81: The Best of 2020!

Looking back at 2020! ๐Ÿ‘€

2020 was quite an interesting year (I’m sure you can think of some better adjectives). But despite the global pandemic, protests, wildfires, and murder hornets, somehow serverless managed to get better and better. Here are some of the most popular articles and announcements from Off-by-none this past year.

First of all, Off-by-none finally got its own website, with some very cool features, and more coming in 2021.

Other popular announcements included the release of Alex DeBrie’s The DynamoDB Book, the release of the Serverless Framework V2 and Serverless Components GA, and launch of Serverless Redis.

Tim Wagner and Shruthi Rao launched Vendia, the team at Theodo announced sls-dev-tools, Adrian Hornsby started The Cloud Architect publication, and Mike Roberts and John Chapin wrote a book on Programming AWS Lambda.

The AWS Serverless Developer Advocate team launched, accompanied by a very helpful YouTube channel. Plus, the Serverless Lens was added to the AWS Well-Architected Tool.

Webiny released their Serverless Headless CMS, Datadog shared The State of Serverless report, and Cloudflare launched Workers Unbound.

Lambda got a lot of updates, including using Amazon EFS for AWS Lambda, packaging AWS Lambda functions as container images, and AWS Lambda Extensions, which Yan Cui explains really well.

Popular articles from the year included Davide Taibi catalog of 32 Serverless Patterns, Marko’s DynamoDB Design Patterns for Single Table Design, and Matt Coulter’s walk through of all 20 Serverless CDK Patterns for AWS.

Updates to the Serverless Framework were always popular, including support for Lambda Destinations, HTTP APIs, native CloudFormation variables, and the launch of Serverless CI/CD.

Xavier Lefรจvre turned some heads when he shared what a typical 100% Serverless Architecture looks like in AWS. Plus, there were lots of opinions on serverless best practices, including here, here, and here.

Chris Bailey said skip lambda, save data to DynamoDB directly using API Gateway, then process later with streams, and Yan Cui shared five reasons you should consider AppSync over API Gateway, plus five reasons why you should use EventBridge instead of SNS.

Andrew Titenko shared three things he wish he knew about AWS Lambda functions early on, Capital One showed us how they scaled to billions of serverless requests, Thomas Recouvreux explained how his team built a multiplayer card game in 1 week.

People flocked to Michael King’s Ultimate Cheat Sheet for the AWS Solutions Architect Exam, Serverless, Inc. published The Official Guide to AWS HTTP APIs, and Tj Blogumas shared a Serverless Monitoring Guide.

Naresh Waswani had a good post on AWS Serverless and Microservices,
Thomas Schoffelen created magic links with AWS Cognito, and George Mao answered where do you store secrets for AWS Serverless apps?

EventBridge got a lot more love this year. James Beswick explained the process of decoupling larger applications with Amazon EventBridge, Gavin Cornwell discussed Event Driven Architectures with EventBridge, and Ben Ellerby showed us how to do EventBridge Storming.

There were some other useful posts, like building a static serverless website using S3 and CloudFront, batch processing using AWS Lambda, and Proxies vs Presigned URLs vs Presigned POSTs with S3 uploads.

Paul Swail explored the pains of testing serverless applications, Maciej Radzikowski shared his AWS toolbox, Ben Ellerby came up with Serverless-Flow, a CI/CD branching workflow optimized for speed and quality.

Aditya explained why he went serverless with his new startup, and why you should (probably) too. And finally, Julian Wood shared his series on building well-architected serverless applications.

Serverless Concepts ๐Ÿ—

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If you’re looking for some last-minute 2020 learning, Chameera Dulanga shares some tips to optimize serverless in AWS, and Dhaval Nagar has an extensive post on event failures (and retries) with AWS serverless messaging services.

Serverless Tutorials ๐Ÿ‘ทโ€โ™€๏ธ

And here are a few tutorials to keep you busy until the new year. Oliver Jumpertz shows you how to build a containerized Lambda function, Harris Geo will help you deploy your first Serverless function in 5 minutes with Cloudflare Workers, and Muhd Mohaiminul Islam shows you how to run a NestJS application in the Serverless Framework.

And if you still want to give the AWS CDK a look, Matt Martz gives you some ideas for moving S3-triggered Lambdas to EventBridge with CDK.

New from AWS ๐Ÿ†•

Not a lot of news out of AWS this week, but this one caught my eye. AWS Compute Optimizer now delivers recommendations for AWS Lambda functions, including memory size recommendations. So, that could be pretty cool.

Serverless Tools ๐Ÿ› 

I came across a few new tools this week as well, including this one that provides cost estimates for Terraform, and a new tool from EventBridge called evb-cli.

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.

Serverless Architect – Theodo
We build massively scalable, resilient, low cost and high quality systems for our clients in record time using our expertise, technology and methodology. This role is client facing, hands on architecting and building the end solution within a team. Work alongside thought leaders with constant experimentation and innovation, plus dedicated time to work on open-source and content and encouraged to speak at world conferences.

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.

January 12-14, 2021 – AWS re:Invent (Part Deux)

Serverless Star of the Week โญ๏ธ

There is a very long list of people who 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 Kesha Williams (@KeshaWillz). Kesha is an AWS Technical Instructor at A Cloud Guru, an AWS Machine Learning Hero, and Founder of SalaryOverflow, an initiative aimed at democratizing and offering transparency into salaries in tech. Sheโ€™s highly active in the AWS community and has authored courses for organizations like Manning Publications, Packt, LinkedIn Learning, A Cloud Guru, and Cloud Academy. Kesha also speaks around the globe, having appeared at events such as AI World, DataSciCon.Tech, NDC{London}, Pluralsight LIVE, and AWS re:Invent. Thank you, Kesha, for working to make the community a better (and more equal) place! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Final Thoughts ๐Ÿค”

Wow, 2020 is finally over. It feels like a lifetime ago, but at the beginning of 2020, I started dedicating more time to this newsletter and the podcast. I grew a small team, and with their help, we published 52 issues of Off-by-none and 52 episodes of the Serverless Chats Podcast. We also launched the new site, added video to Serverless Chats, produced and released Lambda: A Serverless Musical, and continued to create serverless blog posts and open source projects. I hope that you’ve all found the content useful and enjoyed reading and listening to it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

I have some big news to announce at the beginning of 2021 that will allow me to continue to fuel my passion for serverless and help even more people. I’m looking forward to 2021, and I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!


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 #121December 22, 2020

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Issue #123January 5, 2021

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About the Author

Jeremy is the CEO and Founder of Ampt 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 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!