Off-by-none: Issue #149

July 6, 2021

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The impact of Infinidash 🤨

Welcome to Issue #149 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Lumigo, Fauna, and Cockroach Labs.

Last week, Serverless Chats got a new co-host, AWS launched a crusade against software bugs, and we got a free masterclass in developer relations. This week, we discuss the impact of Infinidash, get a Q2 serverless recap, and embrace continuous refactoring. Plus, we have plenty of excellent posts from the serverless community.

Five Reasons to Use DynamoDB in Serverless Applications
In this webinar, Alex DeBrie, AWS Data Hero and author of The DynamoDB Book, and Uri Parush of Lumigo, talk about what makes DynamoDB unique and why it’s so popular in serverless. Please join us! July 8, 10:00 AM PT / 19:00 CEST Sponsored

What is AWS Infinidash?

For those of you who don’t follow the who’s who of AWS Twitterers (or don’t check Twitter every few minutes), you may have missed last week’s “announcement” of AWS Infinidash. If you were confused by tweets from Werner Vogels and Jeff Barr, then you’re probably not alone. You may have come across the Awesome Infinidash GitHub repo with links to resources, integrations, and official merchandise. People have even been adding the skill to their LinkedIn profiles.

The problem is that Infinidash isn’t real. It started as a tweet (with an absolutely brilliant premise) from Joe Nash suggesting that a few influential Twitter devs could tweet about a made-up AWS service and have it show up as a job requirement within a week. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, but this is the Internet, so of course, they did.

The initial posts referenced the original tweet, but as people started to pile on, the original context got lost. And when trusted names piggybacked on #infinidash without that context, it led to a lot of confusion (which I suspect will last for a very, very long time). Ian Coldwater may have said it best, “If you’ve never heard of this nonexistent service and/or it makes no sense to you, it’s not you and you’re not dumb.”

It was easy to get fooled by this and then feel bad about yourself once you (hopefully) realized the truth. AWS has so many services, that even someone who writes about them every week doesn’t know what half of them actually do. Trust is important, and if you felt left behind or excluded by this, I won’t try to convince you otherwise. And to reiterate: you’re not dumb. Now go listen to this song about Infinidash to cheer yourself up. 😉

Serverless News & Announcements 📣

James Beswick shared the AWS Serverless team’s quarterly ICYMI: Serverless Q2 2021 post. Lots happened in Q2 including Step Function Workflow Studio, updates to EventBridge, and the GA of Lambda Extensions.

Aidan Gee took a first look and measured start up times for Deno Deploy Beta.

Webiny v5.9.0 launched with improved scaffolding and development workflows.

Fauna announced Fauna Labs, including the release of the Fauna Plugin for the Serverless Framework.

We mentioned the release of Red Hat OpenShift 4.8 last week, but there are some additional write-ups and context here and here.

Also, a new “serverless database” named Eulerio has been released.

Serverless Stories 📖

Whether you’re building new microservices or augmenting existing services and applications, Fauna lets you simplify code, reduce costs, and ship faster. Learn more. Sponsored

Payam Moghaddam has an excellent post on going serverless on AWS that discusses the reasons behind Galvanize’s decision, as well as how they (and probably you) should handle things like code organization, modularization, testing, and more.

Deen David shares a serverless journey for enterprises that recounts a few use cases and implementations by enterprises succeeding with serverless.

Jean Baptiste Muscat discusses the evolutionary process he went through to build an app to detect locked bicycle stations. He started out with Kafka, and then realized the benefits of a completely serverless approach.

In this short post, Ronny Roeller describes the serverless architecture they used for a multi-tenant SaaS, switching away from Kubernetes for both the isolation and cost benefits.

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

Mohammed Brückner explains how redirection can be done better, with CloudFlare Workers.

If you’re looking for another simple, scale on-demand, never pay for idle, serverless use case, why not enable cross-posting to Tumblr?

Emery Silberman shows us how to find openings in campsites using Dart and AWS Lambda.

Enes Akar demonstrates how to build a Serverless Leaderboard API at edge using Cloudflare Workers and Redis.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

Jones Zachariah Noel can help you understand AWS Amplify.

Sebastian Bille explains how to get lightning-fast and simple Typescript Serverless builds using esbuild.

Hayk Simonyan gives you some background on how to go serverless with 7 core AWS services.

Joe Coburn shares five AWS Lambda tricks to save you money and improve performance. My only advice is to think long and hard about whether you need to keep your Lambdas warm.

Anuj Kothiyal shares another Serverless Diary entry. This one is The Ultimate Guide to Caching in the Cloud. “You should not cache the same data at multiple layers” is some sage advice.

Mariliis Retter asked a group of 7 serverless experts their advice on moving to serverless. It’s good.

Chinmay Gaikwad posted a DevOps checklist for distributed tracing. There are some useful tips in here.

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

Serverless SQL Database in the Cloud
CockroachCloud is a transactional database available as a PostgreSQL API. It’s simple and ops-free. No credit cards required. No commitments. Just connect your application to the database and instantly start building. Sponsored

Anna Geller helps you put a stop to Data Swamps with event-driven data testing.

Tauseef Malik helps you get started with AWS SAM to validate your Serverless apps before deployment.

Mohammad Abdul Alim explains how to manage external libraries in AWS Lambda functions, Ryan Soury justifies building a serverless web crawler (and shows you how to do it), and Pipat Sampaokit demonstrates serverless push notifications with AWS IoT.

Stephan Huber shares some thoughts on using secrets in AWS Lambda.

If you’re interested in getting started with Fauna, Abdulfatai Suleiman gets you up and running with Node.js using Express, and Fesse Blondie shows you how to use Serverless Framework and Fauna to build a serverless application.

Finally, Michael Bahr shows you 4 ways to reduce your serverless spending.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Sheen Brisals has an excellent piece on why serverless teams should embrace continuous refactoring. It’s behind the Medium paywall, but I’m sure you all know a way around that. 😉

Sarjeel Yusuf writes what CI observability means for DevOps.

In an interview with Sarah Schlothauer, Brendan O’Leary explains that “an automated testing program is easier to iterate on than starting from scratch” amongst other bits of useful knowledge.

Patrick McFadin discusses how to compose yourself with serverless data, and it makes a lot of sense.

Jeff Barr shared some metrics about Prime Day 2021. We get it, Amazon! You can handle a ton of traffic! 😂 But seriously, that’s a ton of traffic.

Finally, Paul Swail shares “Things I believe about software“, which is pretty darn close to the things I believe about it.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

Serverless Chats is on summer break, but be sure you check out Marcia Villalba’s video on how to host a WordPress website on AWS with a Custom Domain, CDN, and SSL using Amazon Lightsail.

New from AWS 🆕

Here are a few interesting AWS announcements that caught my eye this week.

AWS Amplify CLI added support for storing environment variables and secrets accessed by AWS Lambda functions, which is super cool.

AWS Lambda now supports SASL/PLAIN authentication for functions triggered from self-managed Apache Kafka, which is probably good news if you’re a self-managed Apache Kafka user.

The IAM Access Analyzer added new policy checks to help validate conditions during IAM policy authoring. Anything that helps with authoring IAM is a step in the right direction.

The Bottlerocket AMI for Amazon ECS is now Generally Available, so if you’re building with containers you can significantly reduce the attack vectors.

And AWS Amplify launches new full-stack CI/CD capabilities, which I’m looking forward to trying out since I’ve had a lot of trouble with it in the past.

Serverless Tools 🛠

Ken Collins released Lambda Punch that gives you the ability to do asynchronous background processing for Ruby on Rails using AWS Lambda Extensions.

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

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

July 8, 2021 – Five Reasons to Use DynamoDB in Serverless Applications (Webinar)

July 14, 2021 – AWS Dev Day Online on Data & Analytics

August 15, 2021 – ServerlessDays – Student Edition

September 14, 2021 – ServerlessDays – Nashville

September 17, 2021 – ServerlessDays – Hamburg

September 28, 2021 – ServerlessDays – Paris

November 3-4, 2021 – CascadiaJS 2021

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 Taavi Rehemägi (@rehemagi). Taavi is CEO and Co-founder of Dashbird, a serverless monitoring and intelligence platform designed to help organizations build and operate complex applications on the AWS environment. He shares his thirteen years of experience as a software developer and five years of building serverless applications on Hackernoon and other platforms around the web. On Episode #75 of Serverless Chats, Taavi talked about serverless observability, modern cloud monitoring and operations strategies, and how to continuously implement best practices to ensure well-architected applications. Taavi, your achievements with serverless make the community better for everyone! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

I hope you all had a great week. Today starts the beginning of our summer schedule, so there will be no issue next week. Thanks again for reading and for being a subscriber.

See you in two weeks,

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 #148June 29, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #150July 20, 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.


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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 ⭐️!