Off-by-none: Issue #128

February 9, 2021

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17+ Hours of Serverless! ⏰

Welcome to Issue #128 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Epsagon, Stedi, Lumigo, and Theodo.

Last week, some awesome AWS Heroes recapped re:Invent 2020, we got the missing guide to API Gateway access logs, and we tried to reach serverless nirvana. This week, re:Invent goes live on YouTube, Lambda makes Node developers happy, and we learn how to build a business for serverless developers. Plus, there’s lots of amazing content from the serverless community.

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Serverless News & Announcements 📣

Vendia announced a $15.5M Series A Investment to expand R&D staffing to enable them to address new use cases, like virtual data lakes, and to extend Vendia Share to additional public cloud platforms to meet customer demand. Congrats to Tim, Shruthi, and the rest of the Vendia team for their continued growth.

In other big-money news, Kong raised $100 Million to accelerate cloud connectivity with their Kong Konnect SaaS platform. Apparently, APIs are pretty popular (and lucrative) these days.

Also, Second State released SSVM 0.7 which is promising to bring WebAssembly to the public cloud. The intersection between WebAssembly and serverless fascinates me, especially considering the implications for edge computing.

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

If you’re looking for some fun and useful serverless use cases, you can check out Brian White Eagle’s two-parter on using cloud functions and an event-driven architecture to recognize songs on Twitch. Or Jonathan Lee’s approach to deploying an 8 puzzle solver serverlessly on AWS.

For something with a bit more productivity usefulness, check out James Ridgway’s post on transcribing voice notes on the iPad with AWS Transcribe.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

Chris Bailey had a previous post on why you should skip Lambda and route requests directly from API Gateway to DynamoDB. Now he follows that up and explains a few reasons why you shouldn’t skip it.

With Lambda’s ever-expanding functionality, it seems as though there are multiple ways to share code. Kay Plößer explains three ways of recycling third-party code for AWS Lambda and when you might want to use each.

Danielle Heberling shares her experience with upgrading to the AWS SDK for JavaScript v3, plus Michael Wittig gives us a run-down of what’s new about it.

With the continued blurring of the lines between serverless and containers, you might just find yourself needing a container orchestration system. Serkan Özal explains the differences between AWS ECS and AWS EKS.

And if you’re looking for some optimization tips, Allen Helton will explain some concepts behind power tuning your serverless API.

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

Thinking about leveling up your AWS skills and getting a certification? Lou Bichard explains how much AWS Certifications cost, including all the extras.

Nick Van Hoof shows you how to build serverless data pipelines using an ETL workflow with Step Functions and Athena, Jacob Anavisca explains how to host Nuxt SSR apps on AWS using serverless, Paul Swail gives you a few handy strategies for syncing denormalized data in DynamoDB.

And speaking of DynamoDB, we often talk about using DynamoDB Streams to process changesets, but Marcin Sodkiewicz shows you that RDS streams are also still a (very powerful) thing.

Finally, Erik Ekberg explains how to test AWS Lambda locally. While this might work under certain circumstances, my advice is to not do this. Testing in the cloud is the only way to maximize fidelity.

Serverless Reads 🤓

In our serverless world, SQL seems to be getting a bad wrap, so Forrest Brazeal sat down with Brent Ozar to discuss the future of Microsoft SQL Server. I’m still not convinced.

Sarjeel Yusuf explains the theory and motive behind Active/Active multi-region architectures. You can decide for yourself if it’s worth the effort.

The Dashbird explains 7 reasons why Serverless encourages useful engineering practices. I would have to agree with all of these.

Jasper Moelker explains why Svelte Kit might be the first ‘serverless-first’ framework. More fascinating to me is the idea that we’ll hopefully see a lot more of these types of frameworks.

And finally, Joe Emison wrote an excellent piece that explains why you should invest in undervalued people. Finding people who support and believe in your mission is fundamental to the success of any startup. I also love this line, “A tremendous amount of software development is updating interfaces to add functionality or improve usability, not building back ends from scratch that have to scale to hundreds of millions of daily users.” #truth

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

There are 35 videos with over 17 hours of serverless content available on the AWS re:Invent 2020 Serverless Breakout Sessions playlist. There is a lot of really good stuff in here.

On Serverless Chats Episode #87: Building a Business Around Serverless, I spoke with Nofar Asselman about the current state of the “serverless” market, what opportunities exist for tools and solutions supporting serverless, how to leverage partnerships to build trust in your product, actions you can take right now, and much more.

I came across this interesting video that discusses Azure SQL Database serverless performance vs PaaS. It looks very similar to Aurora Serverless.

Dan Woods, the CTO for Biden for President 2020 explains the (serverless) tools they used to building tech at Presidential scale.

New from AWS 🆕

Lots of interesting stuff from AWS this week, including the announcement that AWS Lambda now supports Node.js 14! There are a lot of cool features you can now take advantage of, which Ben Smith explains here!

If you’re still adamant about running things locally, you now can use PartiQL with DynamoDB local to query, insert, update, and delete table data in Amazon DynamoDB.

Plus, AWS Amplify Hosting adds monitoring capabilities with Amazon CloudWatch integration, which is awesome. I have a few sites using it and sometimes you feel like you’re flying blind.

Insights is now generally available for AWS X-Ray, which adds a new level of anomaly detection to their native distributed tracing capabilities.

There’s also a new digital curriculum for managing Amazon S3. I’m assuming the first lesson has to do with locking down public access. AWS is also introducing the Amazon CloudFront Security Savings Bundle to reduce CloudFront costs by committing to a year upfront. It includes the use of Lambda@Edge as well, so perhaps something to look into.

Decidedly not serverless, but interesting nonetheless, were the announcements that Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) customers can now customize reverse DNS for their Elastic IP addresses and Application Load Balancer now supports Application Cookie Stickiness. I’m pretty sure ELB has supported sticky sessions for over 10 years, so not sure why ALB just recently got them. I will say, if you’re building a new app that needs sticky sessions, please rethink your life choices. 🤷‍♂️

Serverless Tools 🛠

The DynamoDB OneTable Migration CLI is a command line tool for orchestrating DynamoDB migrations when using DynamoDB OneTable and OneTable Migrate.

Serverless Jobs 👩‍💻 Sponsored

Serverless Engineer –
At Stedi, we’re working in one of the biggest markets on the planet – EDI, the technological backbone of the physical product economy. We’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 we’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 🗓

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 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 Rob Sutter (@rts_rob). Rob is a Senior Developer Advocate on the Serverless team at AWS. Before joining AWS, Rob designed and implemented cloud infrastructure projects for clients in the US, UK, and UAE, where he introduced infrastructure as code with Terraform and trained development teams on its use. He also worked in secure communications and identity management solutions where he integrated mobile apps, cloud-native microservices architecture, and a global virtual mobile network. When he’s not building and improving CI/CD pipelines with CircleCI, Docker, Amazon ECR, and Amazon CodeDeploy, you can find him on GitHub where he shares code from the AWS Step Functions series, or on Twitch where you can check out his show, Serverless Office Hours. Thanks for sharing your passion for serverless, Rob! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

I had watched several re:Invent sessions back in December, but still haven’t had the chance to dig in to the mountain of content that AWS dumped on us. I’m going to try to find some time and then start with the AWS re:Invent 2020 Serverless Breakout Sessions playlist. If you have any favorite sessions, please send your recommendations my way.

Take care,

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 #127February 2, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #129February 16, 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 ⭐️!