Off-by-none: Issue #161

October 26, 2021

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Infinite Serverless Workflows ⚙️

Welcome to Issue #161 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Lumigo, Courier, and Cockroach Labs.

Last week, Serverless Cloud launched its Public Preview, we discussed serverless complexity, and we totally denied ever writing recursive invocations. This week, there’s a new serverless database, we do a deep dive on serverless workflows with Step Functions, and we ask if serverless needs to get opinionated. Plus, there’s plenty of awesome content from the community.

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Serverless News & Announcements 📣

Lots of great serverless/cloud news this past week! CockroachDB Serverless launched, promising that you can “build what you dream and never worry about your database again.” I really like all these new DBaaS offerings.

Webiny released version 5.16.0, which introduces export and import of Pages, boasts an improved Webiny CLI, and much more.

Cloudflare added support for backwards-compatibility in Cloudflare Workers. Plus, you can now write Netlify Functions in Rust. brings VS Code to the browser, and it is awesome.

And finally, the AWS Pricing Calculator now supports Amazon CloudFront. So now you can “estimate the cost of CloudFront workloads, which primarily includes costs associated with data transfer and requests.” I appreciate the transparency, but a data transfer price drop would be even more welcome.

Serverless Stories 📖

Nadtakan Futhoem shares the origins of her cloud journey and offers some advice for where to start if you want to get into Cloud.

Aleksandr Zakharov shares some lessons learned after burning thousands of dollars thanks to AWS Lambda. Another tale of developers accidentally writing recursive invocations. He also warns to expect no mercy from AWS, which hasn’t always been my experience.

Introducing CockroachDB Serverless, the only bug you’ll ever love.
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Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

Principal Developer Advocate and serverless tutorial G.O.A.T., James Beswick, shares two excellent pieces this week. One that explains how to build dynamic Amazon SNS subscriptions for auto scaling container workloads, and another that shows you how to create AWS Serverless batch processing architectures.

Kuvam Bhardwaj demonstrates how to create Serverless Functions with Vercel for free, Ankit Gupta explains how to configure an AWS account and set up billing alarms, and Igor Soroka shows you how to automate the deployment with CDK Pipelines.

Sebastian Bille teaches you how to combine Serverless Framework & AWS CDK, Sean Bailey gives an overview on how to deploy and run a serverless, pure Lambda machine learning inference engine, and there are two new installments in this Production-ready Serverless series (AWS S3 Automation & AWS API Gateway).

Wojciech Matuszewski’s piece on Amazon CloudWatch Logs Insights query snippets as code shows you how to create predefined queries.

And Paweł Piwosz’s two-part series shows you how to enable X-Ray for API gateway and Lambda and then calls Lambda insights to the rescue to round out your monitoring.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Isabella Ferreira shares some thoughts on serverless and microservices architecture and how they work together.

Great piece by Maciej Radzikowski that discusses a number of serverless CMS solutions and why he settled on a headless CMS with Gatsby on AWS for $0.00 per month.

Sam Farid asks for serverless to have an opinion on its surrounding ecosystem to prevent downstream failures on less scalable services.

Allen Helton shares some opinions on how to refactor serverless applications the right way.

Michael Walmsley discusses AWS Lambda Powertools and does a deep dive on its idempotency features.

The Developer’s Guide To Notification Systems
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Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats Episode #116: Infinite Serverless Workflows, Rebecca & I chat with Sam Dengler and Justin Callison about Step Functions support for 200+ AWS services, what developers should think about when building their serverless workflows, the role of orchestration across bounded contexts, and a lot more.

Marcia Villalba shares how to manage your application configuration in CDK and CDK Pipelines.

In this recent talk from QCon Plus, Matthew Clark discusses how the BBC’s website is designed in a scalable, performant, and resilient way, what the architectural solution is, and some of the technologies used.

New from AWS 🆕

There were plenty of interesting AWS announcements this past week, including AWS Amplify for JavaScript now supporting resumable file uploads for Storage, Amazon RDS Proxy now supporting Amazon RDS for MySQL Version 8.0, and Amazon CloudFront adding support for client IP addresses and connection port headers.

Plus, the Amazon DocumentDB team was busy, releasing support for literal, $map, and $$ROOT, a JDBC driver to connect from BI tools and execute SQL Queries, Access Control with User-Defined Roles, and storing, querying and indexing Geospatial data.

Also, AWS Security Hub added support for cross-Region aggregation of findings to simplify how you evaluate and improve your AWS security posture.

Serverless Tools 🛠

Kotless – Kotless stands for Kotlin serverless framework. Its focus lies in reducing the routine of serverless deployment creation by generating it straight from the code of the application itself.

Thoughts from Twitter 🐦

While the code is the truth, it is not the whole truth. There is a loss of information from design to code: rationale, patterns, and cross cutting concerns are not visible in the code itself and therefore must live in comments, documentation, or institutional memory. ~ Grady Booch
Even more so when it comes to building distributed systems. Documentation always seems like extra work, but it’ll save you tons of time when you inevitably need to revisit some part of your system.

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

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

October 26 – 28, 2021 – Monitoring Kubernetes vs. Serverless-based Applications at Microservices World

November 3 & 4, 2021 – CascadiaJS 2021

November 29, 2021 – Help Make BugBusting History at AWS re:Invent 2021

November 29 – December 3, 2021 – AWS re:Invent

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 Sarah Drasner (@sarah_edo). Sarah is the Director of Engineering, Core Developer Web at Google. She’s also the co-organizer of ConcatenateConf, a free conference for Nigerian and Kenyan developers and is also the co-founder of Web Animation Workshops. Also a former VP of Developer Experience at Netlify, Sarah has given Frontend Masters workshops, been a speaker at ServerlessDays London, and most recently, published a book Engineering Management for the Rest of Us.​​ Sarah, thank you for your work in educating the serverless & cloud communities!

Final Thoughts 🤔

re:Invent is right around the corner, and I just learned of some really cool serverless announcements that, unfortunately, I can’t share with you because of these things called NDAs. 😬 But I can promise you that they are worth the wait!

And how about all these other amazing serverless things? CockroachDB Serverless, Kotless, the new Webiny release? It’s never been a better time to be part of this ecosystem! 😎🚀


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 #160October 19, 2021

Next Issue

Issue #162November 2, 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 ⭐️!