Off-by-none: Issue #127

February 2, 2021

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Serverless Heroes! Assemble! 🦸‍♀️🦸‍♂️

Welcome to Issue #127 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Epsagon, Stedi, Lumigo and Theodo.

Last week, we got an updated look at Lambda security, Google launched serverless gRPC, and we looked at why some engineers don’t get serverless. This week, some amazing AWS Heroes recap re:Invent 2020, we get the missing guide to API Gateway access logs, and we try to ditch the dukkha by reaching serverless nirvana. Plus, we’ve got plenty of awesome serverless content from the community.

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Serverless News & Announcements 📣

Jeff Bezos sent an email to his employees, which will open up the top job at AWS when Andy Jassy takes his job. I’ve obviously submitted my resume, but I’m guessing Matt Garman has a better shot.

Google Cloud Workflows are now Generally Available, so if you’re looking for something similar to AWS Step Functions in Google Cloud, here you go. Also, Thundra introduced their Sidekick IntelliJ IDEA Plugin, which, according to Emrah Samdan, is supposed to make remote debugging with AWS really easy.

For security-concerned Kubernetes folks, U.S. based Rapid7 acquired Israeli cyber startup for $50M to boost its Kubernetes security offering. And speaking of security, a new Docker Container escape bug that affects Microsoft Azure Functions has been found. Obviously not great, but this shouldn’t make you question your serverless adoption strategy.

Pinecone, a serverless vector database for machine learning, leaves stealth with $10M funding. It’s built by the same team who create SageMaker, plus it’s both “serverless” and does “machine learning”, so it’s hard not to throw money at it. And if you have some extra money to throw at things, Alex Smith has some thoughts on whether Cloudflare is a stock to buy in 2021.

RapidAPI released their 2020-2021 Developer Survey and Insights report, and it looks like the API economy is stronger than ever (and so is GraphQL).

Serverless Stories 📖

Mohamed Barakat and his team built their own serverless URL shortener service because apparently just wasn’t cutting it.

David Mytton shares his experience with porting a serverless chatbot from Python to Rust. Some good insights for any Rust newbies out there.

Ryan Dowd shared real-world AWS serverless examples from Equinox Media and BMW, and Joshua Toth documented how he built a completely serverless, secure, VOD e2e platform on AWS in 5 days.

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

Michael Behrendt explains how you can use serverless to run your python code on 1000 cores by changing two lines of code. You’ll need to use IBM’s new Cloud Code Engine for this, but it’s a great solution to a number of use cases.

In another common use case, Anudeep Rallapalli gives us a high-level overview of how to build a real-time leaderboard with Amazon Aurora Serverless and Amazon ElastiCache.

And, Taavi Rehemägi outlines several common serverless use cases with some thoughts on what to bear in mind before migrating to serverless.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

Alex DeBrie has another great must-read, this time providing us with The Missing Guide to AWS API Gateway Access Logs.

Alex Gurbych explains serverless Microservices Architecture on AWS with some benefits, drawbacks, and a real-world example. And, speaking of microservices, Chris Harding has a great post on the need for monitoring managed cloud services with distributed tracing.

Praveen Sambu shares his list of AWS Lambda Best Practices, and Alejandro Pinola describes Lambda Layers as “a nice way to share code between Lambda functions.”

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

Webinar: Automate tedious serverless tasks with the Lumigo CLI
Join AWS Serverless Hero Yan Cui as he reviews the capabilities of the Lumigo CLI, a powerful “swiss army knife” of serverless utilities that save you time and hassle. Save your spot for the webinar next week, Feb 16 at 10:00 AM PST / 1:00 PM ET / 18:00 CEST Sponsored

Here’s a detailed tutorial by Anis Alam on how to build and deploy a serverless application with Webpack and TypeScript. You can also check out Jorge Freitas’ “Create an AWS Lambda using Typescript” post as well.

Nahid Saikat will explain how to process AWS DynamoDB Streams with AWS Lambda using Terraform, and Nathan Cai shows you how to deploy a NodeJS application to AWS Lambda and automate it using Continuous Deployment using GitHub Actions.

For some more serverless training, AWS launched a free eight-week app development training series on Twitch. Keep your Thursdays free.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Gal Abramovitz compares going serverless to the Buddhist principle of letting go of attachments. It’s certainly the closest thing I’ve found to programming nirvana.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats Episode #86: AWS re:Invent 2020 Heroes re:Cap, I recapped the serverless announcements from AWS re:Invent 2020 with help from AWS Heroes Yan Cui, Serhat Can, Luca Bianchi, Farrah Campbell, Ran Ribenzaft, Ben Ellerby, Sheen Brisals, and Gillian Armstrong. You don’t want to miss this one.

Marcia Villalba sat down with Yan Cui and showed us how GraphQL with AppSync can be used to replace REST in our serverless projects. Plus she shows us how to build a full-stack cloud native application without any cloud knowledge using AWS Amplify AdminUI, of course.

New from AWS 🆕

Besides Andy Jassy’s promotion, several other announcements came out of AWS this past week. A little thin on serverless announcements, but plenty of related updates to the ecosystem that you might find interesting.

For example, Amazon SNS now supports 1-minute CloudWatch metrics, Amazon SES now lets you assign a configuration set to an email identity, and Amazon CloudWatch Synthetics now supports Amazon API Gateway in API blueprint.

From a data standpoint, AWS Glue DataBrew is now available in six additional AWS Regions and it now supports six additional delimiters for its datasets. Amazon Redshift now delivers better cold query performance to three additional AWS regions and Amazon Timestream can now be used for workloads subject to HIPAA, ISO, and PCI DSS. Also, Amazon Elasticsearch Service extends encryption at rest and node-to-node encryption to existing domains.

There were some helpful management tool announcements including AWS Control Tower now providing a bulk account update feature and extending governance to existing OUs in your AWS Organizations. Plus, IAM Access Analyzer can now be used to discover, review, and remediate unintended access to Secrets Manager secrets.

Finally, Amazon Elastic File System tripled read throughput hopefully giving you better performance if you’re using them with Lambda functions.

Serverless Tools 🛠

Frank Wang from introduces a new way to work on your Lambda functions live using the Serverless Stack Toolkit.

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.

February 3, 2021 – ServerlessDays Amsterdam ONLINE meetup

February 16, 2021 –Automating Serverless Tasks with the Lumigo CLI (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 Vicky Tanya Seno (@SysAdmGirl). Vicky is a Computer Science Professor at Santa Monica College, an AWS Container Hero, and an AWS Certified Trainer. A Hero since 2019, Vicky teaches numerous Amazon Web Services courses at SMC and is part of a team that helps train and mentor faculty in AWS to expand AWS course offerings. She is a co-organizer of AWS Cloud Day Conference at SMC and in 2019, AWS Educate appointed Vicky a AWS Cloud Faculty Ambassador for her contribution to AWS education. Vicky hosts a YouTube Channel of tech tutorials, has spoken at Amazon Summits on Containers, Kubernetes, and Amazon EKS as well as developed training material for A Cloud Guru. Over the years, Vicky has given numerous coding workshops to elementary, middle, and high school students, and has spoken on Women in STEM panels. Thank you, Vicky, for helping to educate the next generation of cloud developers! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

I wanted to thank Yan Cui, Serhat Can, Luca Bianchi, Farrah Campbell, Ran Ribenzaft, Ben Ellerby, Sheen Brisals, and Gillian Armstrong again for being part of the re:Invent 2020 recap episode of Serverless Chats. It’s always amazing hearing the different insights and opinions from this amazing group of people. I’d love your feedback on the episode and whether you’d like to see more like it in the future (just maybe not with nine people 😉).

Until next time,

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 #126January 26, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #128February 9, 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 ⭐️!