Off-by-none: Issue #123

January 5, 2021

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Welcome to a new year of serverless! πŸ—“

Welcome to Issue #123 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Epsagon, Stedi, Lumigo and Theodo.

Last week, we took a look back at the most popular posts and big serverless moments from 2020. This week, we take the first step toward becoming serverless ML experts, we combat serverless FUD, and we see how to continuously improve our serverless standards. Plus, we have plenty of great posts from the serverless community.

Serverless Stories πŸ“–

Sebastian Schlecht explains how his team used the Nest.js standalone applications feature to run microservices on top of Lambda functions without the need for HTTP listeners. Interesting workaround.

Pablo Rodriguez shares his experience with (almost) 2 years of using GCP Cloud Run. There’s lots of good info in there on what it’s good for, what it’s not, and everything in between.

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Serverless Use Cases πŸ—Ί

I love examples of serverless use cases that solve some small problem that would otherwise require piggybacking on an existing app infrastructure or setting up a new one. Miguel Calles has a good example for finding winning stocks with web scrapers and serverless .

Not sure it’ll be the most popular use case for serverless, but if you need to build a serverless Hogwarts sorting service with Node and AWS Lambda, Eva Greiner-Anzenbacher has you covered.

Serverless Concepts πŸ—

Miron Machnicki tells you everything he’s learned about serverless on AWS in about 10 mins. And there are some really good bits of knowledge in here.

If you still need a RDBMS for your serverless application, let Ismail Egilmez explain the differences between AWS Aurora and RDS for you. And Anthony Accomazzo shares some benchmarks for RDS proxy. Bottom line is that he discovers the real value is to relieve stress on the database, and for that, you pay a small price in added latency.

Kisan Tamang has another Ultimate Guide to DynamoDB, and David Sandor deconstructs AWS Lambda Functions for you.

Serverless Tutorials πŸ‘·β€β™€οΈ

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If you’re looking to become an ML expert in 2021, take a look at Ran Ribenzaft’s Introduction to Serverless Machine Learning (Part 1) & (Part 2)

Some smart folks from AWS can walk you through building a real-time notification system with Amazon Kinesis Data Streams for Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics for Apache Flink, or let Karl Kyck explain how to achieve safer Lambda Deployments with CodeDeploy Canary Deployments.

If you still haven’t tried it yet, let Vladyslav Didenko show you the basics of AWS Lambda Docker container support. Or if you want to go full throttle, Sejal Vaidya teaches you how to do containerized ML deployment with AWS Lambda.

For you Node.js developers, part 2 of Alex Zherdev’s Async Generators series, shows you how to run multiple DynamoDB queries in parallel. I also found this dissertation on building a Serverless Discord bot, but great if you want something step-by-step.

Finally, I came across the 7 best serverless and AWS Lambda courses to learn in 2021. It seems like a good list, but I’m skeptical of any serverless course not taught by theburningmonk. πŸ˜‰

Serverless Security πŸ”’

I had to include this article about The Advantages and Risks of Serverless Computing simply to point out how much I disagree with it. Serverless (by default) benefits from the shared responsibility model much more than containers or VMs, which dramatically reduces the attack surface. Yes, there are ways to exploit serverless applications, just like there are ways to exploit traditional applications, but saying that “serverless computing will quickly become a playground for cybercriminals” is just a bunch of nonsense. Security should always be top of mind, but sensationalizing the risk, especially when it’s actually lower than traditional apps, has FUD written all over it.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats, Episode #82: Continuously Improving Serverless Standards at the LEGO Group I spoke with Nicole Yip about the continued growth of the LEGO Group’s serverless development teams, the evolving audit process they use to improve serverless standards, the challenges they faced adopting those standards, and much more.

New from AWS πŸ†•

It looks like even the teams at AWS are still recovering from re:Invent, so not a lot of announcements this past week. But I did see that AWS CodePipeline now supports deployments with CloudFormation StackSets. So if you have a shared services account deploying to multiple accounts and regions, you can use CodePipeline to build the StacksSets for you, which is pretty cool.

Serverless Tools πŸ› 

Felix Haus’s post on why we self-host our serverless Next.js site on AWS with Terraform might read like a serverless story, but buried in there is a link to their open-sourced Terraform module so you can deploy Next.js to your own AWS Lambda functions.

Serverless Jobs πŸ‘©β€πŸ’» Sponsored

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

Upcoming Serverless Events πŸ—“

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 ⭐️

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 week’s star is Alexandra Abbas (@alexandraabbas). Alexandra is the founder of, which produces bite-size video tutorials for data engineers. She’s also a Google Cloud Certified Professional Data Engineer and Architect. Her experience includes working on large-scale innovation projects in data engineering and machine learning. Alexandra created the Modern Data Engineer Roadmap 2020 via GitHub, offers courses on Udemy, and has presented at events like ServerlessDays London and for TedX. Thank you, Alexandra, for your commitment to teaching others! πŸ™Œ

Final Thoughts πŸ€”

It was relatively quiet over the holidays, so no major serverless announcements this week. I hope everyone enjoyed some time off to ring in the new year with their loved ones and recharge. I’m really looking forward to 2021 and am eager to share everything we have planned. I hope you’re as excited as I am.

Until next week,

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.

Previous Issue

Issue #122December 29, 2020

Next Issue

Issue #124January 12, 2021

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About the Author

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


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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 ⭐️!