Off-by-none: Issue #65

November 26, 2019

Serverless is a journey, not an event destination… 🪐

Welcome to Issue #65 of Off-by-none. It’s great to have you here! 😎

Last week, we looked at the first major batch of announcements and feature launches leading up to re:Invent. This week, there were about a thousand more (give or take 😉)! We’ll try and cull that list down for you, plus we still have plenty of content from the serverless community.

Before we jump in, I just want to thank the sponsors of the #ServerlessForEveryone Community Party @ AWS re:Invent 2019. Stackery, Thundra, AWS, CloudZero, Lumigo, Protego, Serverless, Inc., Edrans, and New Relic Serverless have made this entire event possible.

Okay, now prepare for serverless announcement overload! 🤯

Guides to at Serverless re:Invent 🗺

re:Invent is going to be a nonstop onslaught of information, technical sessions, product announcements, parties and more. Here are some guides to help you plan your time. (BTW, if you’re not going to re:Invent, take note of some of these sessions and watch the videos once they’re posted.)

AWS re:Invent Serverless Survival Guide
Trisha Paine provides a list of can’t miss re:Invent sessions for developers, cloud architects, and security folks.

re:Invent Guide: Advanced Serverless
I’m including Eric Hammond’s excellent guide to Advanced Serverless sessions again. Great stuff in here.

Serverless at re:Invent
I had a chat with Farrah Campbell, Chase Douglas, Serhat Can, and Emrah Şamdan about some of our favorite upcoming re:Invent sessions.

re:Invent Guide: Databases
This isn’t exclusively serverless, but there are a few DynamoDB sessions in here that should be super interesting.

Serverless Stories 📖

How Small Startups Move Incredibly Fast With Serverless
Serverless and startups go together like peanut butter and jelly. Dadi Atar recounts why serverless was the right decision for his latest startup journey.

Serverless Big Data: lessons learned building an event ingestion pipeline on Amazon Web Services
Luca Bianchi dives into the details of building a big data ingestion pipeline with serverless.

Story of serverless (Lambda) to move large data from DynamoDB
Always love seeing experiments like this. Bala Dutt and Sachin Maheshwari discuss their experiment that got to processing 7k records per second using DynamoDB and Lambda.

Using CodePipeline to Automate Serverless Applications Deployment
Pedro Lourenço shows you how to build a fully automated CI/CD pipeline with CodePipeline and CodeBuild. He then explains why after using it for six months, his team outgrew it.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

How to access VPC and internet resources from Lambda without paying for a NAT Gateway
Paul Swail points out a workaround for synchronous Lambda workflows needing VPC access and Internet access. Lambdas calling Lambdas, yup, sometimes it just makes sense.

What are Serverless Components?
Ryan Jones has a series of articles on Serverless Components from the makers of the Serverless Framework. These are definitely worth knowing about. Also see: What are the benefits of Serverless Components? and How to use Serverless Components?

Take the legwork out of API Gateway troubleshooting
This is a great new feature in Serverless Framework Pro. Verne Lindner explains why tracking down API Gateway errors can be hard, and how the new request explorer makes corresponding logs easier to find.

The State of AWS Lambda Supported Languages & Runtimes (Updated November 2019)
AWS has released several new Lambda runtimes, Fernando Medina Corey gets you up to speed on all the latest ones.

Data Analytics with Serverless Services
Emrah Samdan outlines the pros and cons of building a serverless analytics pipeline.

Serverless Patterns implemented: using an SQS queue as a DLQ for a SNS topic
Vicenç García has implemented another pattern from my serverless patterns post. This time he tackles the Notifier pattern with the added benefit of the recently released SNS DLQs.

Serverless Tutorials 🏗

Implement the new Stripe checkout workflow with a React Amplify project (serverless and SCA compliant)
Straightforward use case for creating a simple checkout workflow using Stripe and a serverless backend.

Building a serverless data pipeline using Kinesis > Lambda > S3 Glacier pt.2
Part 2 of Serkan Özal’s series covering how to build a serverless data pipeline with Kinesis, Lambda, and AWS S3 Glacier.

Using the AWS CDK to build scheduled Lambda Functions
Maarten Thoelen provides a complete sample for creating Lambda functions and building a CI/CD pipeline using infrastructure as code.

How to build serverless cursor-based pagination service on the AWS Cloud
Andy Nguyen shows an alternate technique to pagination. If you’re using DynamoDB as your database, then this method would be your main option.

How to deploy a Lambda@Edge function with AWS CloudFormation
This is an interesting use case that merges audio files using Lambda@Edge to deliver audio responses to Alexa. Stephane Couzinier explains the whole process (including a CI/CD pipeline) and provides the finished code.

Serverless Security 🔒

How to build secure serverless applications for PCI-DSS compliance?
Thinking about storing data that requires PCI-DSS compliance? My advice: DON’T. But if you need to, this article from Ryan Jones will get you asking the right questions.

Serverless Reads 🤓

New Lambda Features – Pre-re:Invent – Nov. 2019
The number of new serverless announcements are overwhelming. Fernando Medina Corey picks out a few of them and gives us more detail on why they are important.

Is Your CI/CD Pipeline Ready For Chaos?
John Gilbert asks some important questions about your CI/CD process.

The top 30 Amazon products and services tech pros used this year
2nd Watch looked at their customer’s usage of AWS products, and there are some interesting ones at the top, including DynamoDB, SNS, and even Lambda, with 83% of their customer using it.

7 of the Best Benefits of AWS Lambda for Your Cloud Computing System
Trisha Paine outlines seven benefits to AWS Lambda. Hard for me to argue with these.

When you have time during your commute… 🚙

Episode #24: Serverless Application Security with Ory Segal (Part 2)
In this episode, I continue my conversation with Ory Segal about Serverless Application Security. We finish reviewing the CSA Top 12 Most Critical Risks for Serverless Applications, and discuss the future of security for serverless and ephemeral compute.

When the teams at AWS can’t even wait until re:Invent… 🤷‍♂️

Once again, AWS has flooded us with a plethora of announcements regarding new features and products. I haven’t had the time to read through all of these, let alone actually digest and process what they mean. I’ve included 54 links here to the announcements and related blog posts, and there are even more on the What’s New blog! I’m listing all of the ones that seemed interesting and relevant to serverless, and categorized them the best I could. It’s going to take us awhile to make sense of all these, so stay tuned for more in-depth analysis in the weeks to come.

Event-Driven Workflows:

Observability and Monitoring:


Developer Tools:

Machine Learning:



Upcoming Serverless Events 🗓

There are a lot of upcoming serverless events, webinars, livestreams, and more. If you have an event you’d like me to mention, please email me.

December 2-6, 2019 – AWS re:Invent 2019

December 3, 2019 – Taco Tuesday with the AWS Heroes

December 4, 2019 – #ServerlessForEveryone Community Party @ AWS re:Invent 2019

December 14, 2019 – ServerlessDays Fukuoka Japan

Serverless Star of the Week ⭐️

There is a very long list of people that 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 let me know.

This week’s star is Ryan Kroonenburg (@KroonenburgRyan). Ryan is the co-founder of A Cloud Guru and an AWS community hero (you might remember when I featured his brother Sam a few weeks ago). When Ryan was a solution architect five years ago, he taught himself AWS, and realized the community was underserved in AWS courses. Fast forward to today, and Ryan’s work with A Cloud Guru has reached over one million students and he continues to teach the community about AWS, serverless, and the cloud. Thank you for making serverless accessible to all who want to learn, Ryan! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

I don’t know about you, but my brain is fried from trying to process all these new AWS serverless announcements, and we’re still over a week away from the big keynotes at re:Invent. I have so many things I want to write about and share, but with all this information to look at, there just isn’t enough time in the day. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t sweat it. I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing some excellent posts, videos, and tutorials from the serverless community over the next few months to help us make sense of it all.

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Off-by-none. Please send me your feedback and suggestions as they help to make this newsletter better each week. You can reach me via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or email and let me know your thoughts, criticisms, or (perhaps) even how you’d like to contribute to Off-by-none. If you like this newsletter, and think others would too, please do me the honor of sharing it with friends and coworkers who are interested in serverless.

Hoping to see you at re:Invent,

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Issue #64November 19, 2019

Next Issue

Issue #66December 3, 2019

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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 ⭐️!