Off-by-none: Issue #165

November 23, 2021

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Welcome to pre:Invent 2021! 🔥

Welcome to Issue #165 of Off-by-none. This issue is sponsored by our friends at Lumigo and Courier.

Last week, Cloudflare stepped on the serverless gas, the Serverless Framework launched v3, and we learned about the unfulfilled promises/potential of serverless. This week, pre:Invent is most definitely here, Cloudflare tries to offer the serverless moon, and Vercel isn’t far behind in the web space race. Plus, we have loads of excellent content from the community.

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Serverless News & Announcements 📣

It came with some fits and starts, but there’s no doubt that pre:Invent is here. There were a plethora of announcements from AWS this past week (see below), but the one that really caught my eye was the ability to publish batch messages to Amazon SNS topics (official announcement here). Might seem like a little thing, but glad it’s finally here.

And re:Invent is next week! If it’s your first time, or you just forgot how conferences work because you haven’t been to one since 2019, check out this Newbies Attendee Guide.

Now, if you’re excited about serverless announcements from AWS, you might want to take a look at what Cloudflare is doing! Their “Full Stack Week” was no let down, with announcements like 15 minute Workers with no egress fees, wrangler 2.0, new features for Cloudflare Images, Cloudflare Pages integration with Workers, JavaScript modules support, and Worker Services to build composable, distributed applications. Yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

Other providers in this space aren’t sitting idle. Vercel just raised $150M in a Series D as it looks to build an end-to-end front-end development platform, Netlify acquired OneGraph, and MongoDB Atlas Data API is now available in preview.

We mentioned last week that Epsagon was extending its free tier, but just missed the official announcement at the time of publishing.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

There are a lot of links today (thanks pre:Invent), so we’ll just get straight to it.

In case you need a refresher, Taavi Rehemägi explains AWS Lambda pricing and provides some examples and Shivang Chauhan dives into AWS Cognito pricing and features in 2021. You might also want to jog your memory on when to use SNS, SQS, and EventBridge.

Jérôme Van Der Linden has a really interesting piece about using Step Functions with an API Gateway integration to call third-party sites. There are a few ways to accomplish this, but this method has been something I’ve done in the past.

Vishwasa Navada K from AntStack outlines a few different ways to build and deploy serverless applications, Jeremy Care explains the AWS Lambda Lifecycle, and Timothy Teoh compares data solutions on AWS and GCP.

Marc Khair discusses how to decouple and orchestrate Lambda Functions using AWS State Machines, plus, John Lee and Isael Pelletier help you understand how AWS Lambda scales with Amazon SQS standard queues.

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

Ben Freiberg and Markus Ziller show you a much needed and clever way to deploy AWS Lambda layers automatically across multiple regions.

Wojciech Matuszewski (who someone suggested we rename the newsletter after) has another great post sharing an Amazon S3 to AWS Step Functions pattern.

Juan Andrés Castro shows you how to generate PDFs on AWS Lambda with @react-pdf/renderer, NodeJS and Webpack, and then explains how to clean them up.

Jean Baptiste Muscat shared some thoughts on performance tuning for an AWS Lambda-based API in part 5 of his series on detecting Paris’ locked bicycle stations. 🚲

Israel Aminu has quite the popular post on building S3 event triggers for AWS Lambda using Terraform and Justin Wheeler show you how to create serverless websites with AWS, Bref, and PHP.

And if you’re into the whole containers as a packaging format thing, Joseph Keating and Virginia Chu show you how to modernize deployments with container images in AWS Lambda.

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Serverless Reads 🤓

Someone wrote this post about steering clear of some Lambda pitfalls. I wouldn’t say they’re all 100% agreeable, but it gives some good information nonetheless.

Paul Garnier writes about why Flaneer chose AWS, a story of security.

Vinicius Ronconi shares what 18 months of using the Single Table Design pattern in DynamoDB has taught him.

Sanyogita Ranade talks about scaling a Salesforce alerting service using AWS Lambda Functions.

And finally, Lee James Gilmore shares something he calls Serverless TACTICAL DD(R) to compliment a team’s DoR (Definition of Ready) and DoD (Definition of Done) in their agile process.

Podcasts, Videos, and more 🎧

On Serverless Chats Episode #120: Mastering AWS Freelancing, Rebecca and I chat with Adam Elmore about his journey to become an AWS freelancer, the value of achieving all 12 AWS certifications, how starting the AWS FM podcast may have changed his perspective on the AWS CDK (as well as other things), and much more.

Want to become an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner? Andrew Brown and bring you this free AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification Course (CLF-C01) on YouTube.

Dave, Mark, and Mike from The Serverless Edge talk to Matt Coulter about CDK Patterns and reminisce on the serverless journey at Liberty Mutual.

And Marcia Villalba shows you how to add maps and search to your web applications with few lines of code.

New from AWS 🆕

This is just a fraction of the AWS announcements that dropped this week, but I tried to select a sampling of ones that could make an impact on your serverless workloads. I’m sure many more will be coming soon!

AWS Amplify

Database Related

Monitoring & Troubleshooting


Service Features & Enhancements

Service Launches


Thoughts from Twitter 🐦

The two most transformative technologies AWS released after Lambda are Step Functions and EventBridge. No contest for me. ~ Bryson Tyrrell
Hard to argue with this.

Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

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

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

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

November 30, 2021 – Lars Jacobsson – Open Source Demos

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 Labrina Loving (@chixcancode). Labrina is an Engineering Manager at Microsoft. She started there as a Cloud Solution Architect, then worked as a Principal Customer Engineer – ISV/Startups and Director of Cloud Advocacy, Gaming Ecosystem, before rising into her current role. With over 18 years of experience, Labrina is a thought leader in many areas, including cloud architecture, and has been a speaker at Azure Serverless Conf. She also recently launched and co-hosts a podcast called Disrupting the Cloud that focuses on how the Cloud Engineering space can become more inclusive and diverse. Thank you, Labrina, for your amazing work in the cloud!

Final Thoughts 🤔

It’s that time of year again and the AWS announcements are just insanely overwhelming. Add in more crazy news from Cloudflare, Vercel, and others (like Serverless Cloud 😉), and we are heading towards full on cognitive overload 🤯!

I’ll be physically at re:Invent next week, masked up 😷, fully-vaccinated (with the booster 💉), and ready to absorb all that the information firehose has to send my way. If you’re going to be there, join us at the Dev Lounge on Monday night at 6pm for a sticker swap. Plus, Rebecca Marshburn and I will be recording a LIVE Serverless Chat from the Caesar’s Forum on Wednesday, December 1st at 3:30pm PT. Stay tuned for more details!

Hope to see you at re:Invent,

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 #164November 16, 2021

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Issue #166November 30, 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 ⭐️!