Off-by-none: Issue #125

January 19, 2021

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Low-code, no-code, and distributed SQL! 🤖

Welcome to Issue #125 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Epsagon, Stedi, Lumigo and Theodo.

Last week, we got some bonus re:Invent content, found a better vantage point into our AWS accounts, and saw some love for the monolith. This week, SNS makes a new (very well-connected) friend, someone takes an interesting approach to the noisy neighbor problem, and we chat about compute at the edge. Plus, we have plenty of awesome serverless content from the community.

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Serverless News & Announcements 📣

In the world of raising capital, Webflow just closed a Series B funding round to the tune of $140M USD. I wonder how far they can push their no-code platform with this new bag of cash? Also, Cockroach Labs nabs $160M to grow its distributed SQL database, which continues to reinforce the need for a great cloud native data solution.

Instana became the first observability platform to deliver cloud-native BuildPack for monitoring Google Cloud Run. These seem like indicators of maturity for Cloud Run, I’m curious what the usage stats look like.

In other interesting serverless Google news, Ruby is now available on Google Cloud Functions. Better late than never.

If you’re looking for another FaaS provider, Second State Functions have been released in a developer preview. They’re using Rust and WebAssembly for computationally intensive tasks such as image processing and AI inference. Or if you want to learn a new language, this new Haskell-based web app specification language was released in Alpha and looks really interesting.

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

Can you think of a better use case for serverless than creating a simple activity logger to record annoying habits of your neighbor? Pubudu Jayawardana apparently couldn’t, and we’re better off for it.

Andro Babu takes the granddaddy of serverless use cases and explains some image handling approaches in AWS.

And Dennis Bauszus used his Coronavirus lockdown wisely by creating Cloud Chameleon, a serverless ‘whodunit’ game for the Zoom generation.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

James Beswick helps you understand event-driven architecture (in two parts), Christoph Gerkens shares a circuit breaker solution for AWS Lambda Functions, and Peter Njihia gives you some times for developing Serverless APIs with speed and confidence.

Emrah Şamdan explains why cold starts are a challenge in serverless architectures and how to solve them, Quynh Nguyen shows you how to do AWS resource tagging using the Serverless framework, and Taavi Rehemägi has three core ideas for effective serverless monitoring.

Terence Nero offers a quick take on whether you should migrate/start using container images with AWS Lambda Functions, plus Carlos Zambrano shares some learnings on boosting serverless app performance with Amazon RDS Proxy and Amazon Aurora.

And finally, Malcolm Featonby has an excellent new post in the Amazon Builders’ Library about making retries safe with idempotent APIs. My advice? Read it.

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Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

I had a hard time narrowing down so many great tutorials this week, so let’s just go firehose style. 🧑‍🚒

Yan Cui teaches you how to monitor and debug AppSync APIs, Paul Chin Jr. shows you how to do serverless static site generation with Eleventy and Begin, and Lou Bichard explains everything you need to start testing AWS Lambda.

Justin Hunter lets you know how to debug a .NET serverless app, Mario Arizaj gives you a step-by-step guide to building a Golang REST API using the Serverless Framework, PostgreSQL and AWS Lambda, and Muhd Mohaiminul Islam explains how to use DynamoDB in a NestJS application with the Serverless Framework.

AWS published a blog post that shows an interestingly awkward way to perform cross-account replication with Amazon DynamoDB. I feel like there must be an easier way to do this. 🤔

And if you’re looking to find new and exciting ways to deploy your applications, there’s a new digital course and lab which offers an AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) primer. Chris Spitzenberger and Matt Noyce explain how to deploy AWS Step Functions using GitHub Actions, Cedric Raeymaeckers gives you a look at developing AWS Lambda functions locally and using AWS SAM to deploy them, and Amlan Chakladar outlines four ways to deploy your Lambda Function.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Corey Quinn brilliantly explains Parler’s New Serverless Architecture, Alibaba offers three signs it’s time to leave your monolithic applications behind, and Jenna Sargent asks Emrah Samdan why chaos engineering in serverless environments is more useful than you’d think.

Joe McKendrick points out three low-code and no-code trends in the year ahead, but don’t miss the first comment. It’s longer than the original article and makes a number of really interesting points.

Finally, Sheen Brisals asks whether or not cost is still the main factor for adopting serverless? Lots of good information in here, including some real-world figures to help you understand just what type of impact serverless can have on your bottom line.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats Episode #84: Serverless Compute at the Edge, I spoke with Tyler McMullen from Fastly about the future of compute at the edge, what it means for things like data replication, security, and observability, what are the current limitations, whether it’s competitive or complementary to public clouds, and much more.

Plus, Brian Leroux joined a recent episode of the Syntax podcast to discuss Serverless, Deno and TypeScript, and Marcia Villalba answers all your questions about container support for AWS Lambda.

New from AWS 🆕

More great stuff from AWS this week, including Amazon SNS adding support for message archiving and analytics via Kinesis Data Firehose subscriptions. There’s a great explainer post here, but adding Kinesis Data Firehose as another SNS target opens up a lot of really cool possibilities.

Amplify DataStore launched support for sorting and selectively syncing app data so that you no longer need to replicate everything to a local device. Plus, Amazon Cognito Identity Pools enabled the use of user attributes from identity providers for access control to simplify permissions management, which is pretty cool.

Also, there’s an update to the AWS Solutions team’s Multi-Region Application serverless architecture reference. This update enables write operations when the application is failed over to the secondary region.

Serverless Jobs 👩‍💻 Sponsored

Serverless Engineer –
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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 🗓

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 21-22, 2021 – Predict 2021 Virtual Summit

January 27, 2021 – What you need to know: Container Image Support with Stackery and AWS (webinar)

January 28, 2021 – Why your next serverless project should use AWS AppSync (webinar)

January 28, 2021 – How to migrate a legacy system to Serverless and make it work post-transition? (webinar)

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 Vadym Kazulkin (@VKazulkin). Vadym is Head of Technology Strategy at ip.labs GmbH. Vadym has been involved with the Java ecosystem for over fifteen years. His focus and interests currently include the design and implementation of highly scalable and available applications, container and orchestration technologies, and AWS Cloud. Vadym is the co-organizer of the Java User Group Bonn and Serverless Bonn Meetup, has given talks at The Hague Hybrid Conference about measuring and increasing developer productivity using serverless, is a frequent speaker at various Meetups and conferences, and has been featured on Serverless Chats. Thank you, Vadym, for your work in serverless! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

We’re seeing lots of investments (both financially and with development resources) into these low-code/no-code products. And while I think there is definitely some space for these types of players, I always wonder how far you can push the abstraction before you alienate a lot of developers. Maybe I’m just too much of a purist (or a control freak), but I want to get my hands dirty, even if it means slightly more effort for me to understand what’s actually happening in my application. Then again, maybe I’m in the minority here.

See you 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 #124January 12, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #126January 26, 2021

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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 “server-full” 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 ⭐️!