Off-by-none: Issue #133

March 16, 2021

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Serverless for the power of good...

Welcome to Issue #133 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Epsagon, Lumigo, and Stackery.

Last week, EventBridge expanded its reach, we discovered a plethora of new serverless tools, and we shared one of the best arguments for serverless we’ve ever heard. This week, S3 turns 15, serverless helps the homeless, and planning for disaster recovery becomes strangely entertaining. Plus, we’ve got some amazing serverless content from the community.

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Serverless News & Announcements 📣

Jeff Barr writes about Amazon S3 turning 15 years old and how it now stores more than 100 trillion objects. I wonder how many of those have been accidentally left publicly accessible? 😜

We also got a few new AWS Heroes, including a new serverless hero! 🙌

Webiny v5 was released. Lots of cool features added including DynamoDB support.

In fundraising news, Aqua Security announced a $135 million Series E to drive cloud native platforms and Snyk raised a Series E to advance developer-first security.

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

Webhooks with a serverless function? Um, yes. Jérôme Pott explains how.

Plus, Arseny Yankovski came up with a way to do serverless full-text Search with AWS Lambda and EFS.

And, Sarah Wray shares the story about Baltimore piloting a ‘digital document locker’ for homeless residents so that they have a secure place to manage digital copies of essential documents they need to obtain housing services. Not only is it built on AWS serverless infrastructure, but it’s open-sourced on Github.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

James Beswick has another excellent series on operating Lambda. Part 1 focuses on debugging code and part 2 on debugging configurations. Stay tuned for part 3 that’ll cover common integration errors.

Jason Wadsworth has an interesting idea to use Step Functions to eliminate your NAT gateway, Gal Bashan shares a very useful Amazon Athena Technical Guide, and Dave Hall invites Parameter Store and Secrets Manager to an old-fashioned street fight.

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

Webinar: Boost your serverless apps with EventBridge
Join experts from AWS and Lumigo to learn how to make the most of Amazon EventBridge with your serverless applications. The webinar is on Thu, March 18 at 10:00 AM PST / 1:00 PM ET / 18:00 CEST. Save your spot! Sponsored

Diego Guevara shows you how easy it is to build and deploy serverless functions with Vercel, Aaron Garvey explains why size matters when it comes to image compression with Lambda and S3, and we learn how to deploy big python packages to AWS with serverless.

Zac Charles shares a really interesting post on how to enable/disable a Lambda trigger on a schedule. Lots of interesting use cases for this.

Nader Dabit has an awesome tutorial/guide/manifesto on turning the cloud inside out using GraphQL. Whatever it is, you should take the time to read it.

And Carsten Wirth shares his team’s Serverless.yml configuration for their URL shortener service and explains how they do collision handling.

Serverless Reads 🤓

If you really want some serverless reads, check out these five book recommendations for serverless developers. They’re mostly about microservices, but Sam Newman’s is a must-read.

Borislav Hadzhiev apparently thinks that AWS Cognito and Amplify Auth are bad, bugged, and baffling. I’ve had some similar experiences.

If you’re still looking for some good serverless tooling, then here are ten serverless frameworks to watch in 2021.

If you’re still looking for a good way to get your serverless apps into production using CI/CD, then take a look at the most popular technologies.

Claudio Cicali shares a couple of things about serverless development. I think there are some good points in here, and they may even mirror some of your own experiences.

Finally, Esther Shein shares the result of a recent study that shows the “need for speed” heightens expectations (and security risks) for software development.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats Episode #92: Streaming Data at Scale Using Serverless (PART 2), I finish my chat with Anahit Pogosova about where and why we’d use Kinesis, how Lambda helps you supercharge it, how to embrace (and deal with) the failures, common serverless misconceptions, and much more.

I was also a guest on Pablo Puig’s Podcast and answered 10 questions about cloud.

Marcia Villalba shares how web developers can get started in the cloud using AWS Amplify Admin UI.

And Forrest Brazeal wrote The Disaster Recovery Song, apparently against his better judgment.

New from AWS 🆕

Not much in the way of “serverless” announcements this week, but a few interesting things that caught my eye.

The general availability of Amazon Redshift Data Sharing and Amazon Redshift Cross-database queries was announced. These are super helpful features.

AWS Fault Injection Simulator was announced, which lets you inject failures into your AWS infrastructure to build more resilient systems. This will come in really handy since many “failures” were impossible to replicate (and therefore test).

And a few more noteworthy updates:

Serverless Tools 🛠

Just released: to audit your CloudFormation templates
Stackery just launched, a public tool to help you improve your serverless security and reliability. Drop in any GitHub link to see how your template scores against best practices, identify specific errors, and find the resources you need to build better serverless applications. Sponsored

Vadim Nicolaev created a Serverless-Bonk-Boilerplate based on serverless-webpack and TypeScript.

And Michael Bahr built a very handy Cognito Wiki because nobody actually knows how it works.

Thoughts from Twitter 🐦

🎲Let’s play a game: Try explaining the difference between the #AWS #Lambda service and a Lambda function in a single tweet without mentioning #serverless or #undifferentiatedHeavyLifting… the tweet with most ♥️ wins. ~ Ben Smith
I’m not sure there were any good answers.

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

If you have an event, webinar, etc. that you’d like me to mention, please email me.

March 15 – 18, 2021 – AWS Pi Week 2021

March 18, 2021 – Boost your serverless apps with EventBridge (webinar)

March 23, 2021 – State Of Serverless Livestream

March 24 & 25, 2021 – Cloud Community Days – Learn Serverless & DevOps

March 25, 2021 – Enterprise Serverless Migration and Adoption (webinar)

March 29, 2021 – Fixed Cost Cloud Migration with Operations and Compliance (webinar)

April 30, 2021 – CDK Day (be a speaker)

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 Nicki Stone (@kneekey23)! Nicki is a Senior Technical Evangelist at AWS and is focused on enabling software developers from all different backgrounds with her content on Twitch and talks on YouTube where she teaches developers who are new to AWS or development how to be successful on AWS. Thank you, Nicki, for your continued passion for helping developers to succeed! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

It’s always great to see the amazing serverless tools that people are building and what they’re being used for. The fact that they are so inexpensive and simple to run is what empowers people and organizations (like the city of Baltimore) to build and share tools like the digital locker for homeless residents. Imagine setting that up and running it on Kubernetes or VMs? 🤷‍♂️

Anyway, I love when serverless is used for the power of good. If you have any other examples of this, please send them my way.

Have a great 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 #132March 9, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #134March 23, 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 ⭐️!