Off-by-none: Issue #157

September 28, 2021

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Getting serious about the serverless developer experience 🧑‍💻

Welcome to Issue #157 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Lumigo.

Last week, Cloudflare Workers turned 4, we got an ultimate guide to re:Invent, and someone thought Infrastructure as SQL was a good idea. This week, AWS scoops up Stackery, Lambda gets an ML team, and we get our first case of #ServerlessConferenceFOMO in a very long time. Plus, we have lots of awesome content from the serverless community.

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Serverless News & Announcements 📣

There were a bunch of really interesting serverless announcements this past week. Perhaps the most impactful is the news that the team at Stackery will be joining AWS to bring their “expertise in developer-friendly serverless visualizations and optimizations to an even larger customer base.” Congrats to Chase and the team over at Stackery, and congrats to AWS for finally realizing the value of that service.

In other exciting AWS news, Dougal Ballantyne is building a team to make machine learning on Lambda easier. This is something to pay attention to.

Adam Elmore has started bringing you a weekly dose of cloud with Lots of amazing guest coming up, and it appears that he’ll be doing 3 shows a week!

Rafal Wilinski did a demo to show how a single-table designer feature is coming to Dynobase.

Also, Serverless Days Paris is happening in person today. There have been so many online conferences this past 18 months, that I totally forgot about #ServerlessConferenceFOMO. 🙁

And finally, CloudZero launches the first code-driven approach to organizing cloud spend with CloudZero Dimensions. It’s about time someone came up with a better way to do this!

Serverless Stories 📖

Robert Gibb recounts how his team built their e-commerce platform with serverless FaaS.

Jonas Peeck explains how they utilized AWS Lambda Functions with 11TBs of RAM. Spoiler alert, they didn’t really, but implemented a slick workaround.

Not specific to serverless, but Tola Ore-Aruwaji discusses the process and thinking behind moving from a monolith to microservices on AWS.

Pubudu Jayawardana tells us how he created a Photo Booth with AWS serverless.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

Alan Bird explains how to create a very inexpensive serverless database with cloud object storage.

There is a very lengthy write up on how to build a serverless event-driven workflow with AWS Glue and Amazon EventBridge that give a great overview of both services. And don’t miss part 2.

Taavi Rehemägi outlines the top 6 AWS Lambda monitoring tools. It might be a bit biased, but he mentions plenty of good options in there. 😉

This is behind a paywall, but Adi Simon discusses the Saga Pattern and some misconceptions and serverless solutions on AWS. Definitely worth the read.

Bruno Schaatsbergen goes behind the scenes of AWS Lambda.

And Jaewoo Ahn has some advice for identifying low hanging fruit to reduce API Gateway to Lambda latency.

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

Lots of great tutorials to share this week, so let’s get to it.

James Beswick has an excellent tutorial on creating a serverless face blurring service for photos in Amazon S3. While the use case is great, I think the world needs more of James and Eric, not less.

Yogita Kumar demonstrates implementing AWS Lambda in C#, Parth Trambadiya shows us how to send push notifications from Amazon SNS to MS Teams as a Webhook, and Timur Khadimullin has a solution to get an AWS Lambda Dev environment up and running in 120 seconds.

For Serverless Framework users, Jaymit Bhoraniya builds an AWS AppSync ToDo API with AWS Lambda resolvers, Shams Nahid walks you through setting up a custom domain to API Gateway, and Aniket Patel shows you how to trigger a Lambda Function after a file is uploaded to an S3 bucket.

Pubudu Jayawardana shared another piece on creating a simple OTP (one time password) system with AWS Serverless, Balkrishna Bhat explains how to use custom Python modules in AWS Lambda, and Igor Soroka shows you how to build a serverless API with a database using AWS CDK.

Finally, Lee James Gilmore gives us a practical example of using AWS S3 Object Lambda to watermark an image with metadata on the fly using Amazon Rekognition, AI, and machine learning.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Karthik Mahalingam explains why serverless is beautiful, and Nemanja Jovic explains why serverless simply works.

Mark Albertson shares 5 insights you might have missed from the AWS Storage Day event. Interesting focus on primitives and why serverless has become a key part of the AWS storage strategy.

Chadchapol (Jemmy) Vittavutkarnvej outlines 5 things to consider before writing integration tests for serverless applications.

Last but not least, Ben Kehoe tells us why he trusts AWS IAM to secure his applications, but he doesn’t trust the IAM Docs to tell him how. Preach!

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats Episode #112: Abstracting Stateful Serverless, Rebecca and I chat with Jonas Bonér about stateful serverless with Akka Serverless, the use cases that stateless serverless opens up, why reactive principles are important for distributed applications, and what future abstractions will mean for infrastructure.

Marcia Villalba, Romain Jourdan, Kris Howard, Ali Spittel, and Christian Nwamba have a conversation about what a day in the life of a Developer Advocate at AWS looks like.

New from AWS 🆕

Couple of notable announcements from AWS this week that could help you support your serverless applications.

Thoughts from Twitter 🐦

I recently talked to a startup who were almost apologetic for having a monolith. Don’t be ashamed of your monolith. It’s often the right choice early on, when you’re understanding the problem and the domain. ~ Andrew Harvey
Couldn’t agree more. I’m a big fan of microservices and the flexibility that they provide, especially as teams scale. But companies can go a long way with a monolith, even when taking a serverless approach.

One of the perks of no longer working at big tech, and having no plans to go back: I can write *very* honestly about some of the negative stuff I’ve seen. Stuff I would definitely not write about in public if I was still a manager at Uber. Like Promotion Driven Development. ~ Gergely Orosz
Building the wrong things is an inevitability in tech, but building things for the wrong reasons is something we could (and should) fix.

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

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

September 28, 2021 – Serverless Office Hours: AWS Messaging & Events – Large payloads with EventBridge

September 29 & 30, 2021 – Azure Serverless Conference September 2021

October 11 – 13, 2021 – Serverless Architecture Conference

October 21 & 22, 2021 – ServerlessDays Warsaw

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 Filip Pýrek (@FilipPyrek). Filip is an AWS Serverless Architect and Full-Stack TypeScript Developer at Purple Technology. Dubbed “one of the youngest people to know the most about serverless in Europe,” Filip began working for Purple Technology at only 18, after discovering serverless in only 2015. He’s been building with serverless ever since, and heavily pushing its adoption at Purple Technology. He recently appeared on the podcast, Talking Serverless, and frequently publishes articles describing his team’s role in serverless adoption. Thank you, Filip, for joining the serverless community so early in your career, and for your admirable work!

Final Thoughts 🤔

There’s so much to wrap our heads around this week! Stackery bringing their expertise to AWS is huge, plus a new team to work on serverless machine learning, better ways to track costs, new tools for #SingleTableDesign, and more great cloud conversations. The serverless community is on a rocket ship, and I know of several more announcements coming up in the next few weeks. Exciting times.


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.

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Issue #156September 21, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #158October 5, 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 ⭐️!