Product Guy, Serverless Advocate & Startup Veteran

My name is Jeremy Daly. I appreciate the visit. 👍 I’ve been managing the development of complex web and mobile applications for businesses across the globe for over 20 years. I’m currently the Chief Technology Officer at AlertMe, but I always keep myself busy with several side projects and consulting clients. I’m also an AWS Serverless Hero.

I write a lot about serverless and I like to share thoughts and stories about programmingproduct managemententrepreneurship and productivity. Sometimes I’ll write reviews or have random thoughts that I need to get out of my head. I also like to post a how-to article every once in a while. Feel free to jump in to one of the categories above, view all my posts, or view my latest posts below.

If you want to keep up with what I’m working on, you can follow me on TwitterGithub and Facebook.

Also, if you’re interested in serverless, please subscribe to Off-by-none, a weekly newsletter that focuses on all things serverless, and be sure to listen to Serverless Chats, a weekly podcast that discusses all things serverless.


My Latest Posts:

Takeaways from Programming AWS Lambda by Mike Roberts and John Chapin

Recently, Symphonia co-founders Mike Roberts and John Chapin wrote a book called Programming AWS Lambda: Build and Deploy Serverless Applications with Java. I personally abandoned Java long ago, but I knew full well that anything written by Mike and John was sure to be great. So despite the title (and my past war stories of working with Java), I picked up the book and gave it a read. I discovered that it’s not really a book about Java, but a book about building serverless applications with the examples in Java. Sure, there are a few very Java specific things (which every Java developer probably needs to read), but overall, this book offers some great insight into serverless from two experts in the field.

I had the chance to catch up with Mike on a recent episode of Serverless Chats. We discussed the book, how John and Mike got started with serverless (by building Java Lambda functions, of course), and what are some of the best practices people need to think about when building serverless applications. It was a great conversation (which you can watch/listen to here), but it was also jam packed with information, so I thought I’d highlight some of the important takeaways.

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Making the Case for Serverless Use Cases

For quite some time, there was a running joke that “serverless” was just for converting images to thumbnails. That’s still a great use case for serverless, of course, but since AWS released Lambda in 2014, serverless has definitely come a long way. Even still, newcomers to the space often don’t realize just how many use cases there are for serverless. I spoke with Gareth McCumskey, a Solutions Architect at Serverless Inc, on a recent two part episode (part 1 and part 2) of Serverless Chats, and we discussed nine very applicable use cases that I thought I’d share with you here.

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12 Important Lessons from The DynamoDB Book

Fellow serverless advocate, and AWS Data Hero, Alex DeBrie, recently released The DynamoDB Book, which ventures way beyond the basics of DynamoDB, but still offers an approachable and useful resource for developers of any experience level. I had the opportunity to read the book and then speak with Alex about it on Serverless Chats. We discussed several really important lessons from the book that every DynamoDB practitioner needs to know. Here are twelve of my favorites, in no particular order.

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Takeaways from the State of Serverless Report

On a recent episode of Serverless Chats, I spoke with Stephen Pinkerton and Darcy Rayner of Datadog to dig into The State of Serverless report, which was released at the end of February 2020. After frequently fielding customer questions about the topic, Datadog looked at its data and customer use cases, and examined how they were using serverless. Datadog’s report is a way to break it all down, but it’s also an opportunity for its customers (and serverless users alike) to see how other people are using serverless in a data-driven way. I discussed methodology, findings, and key takeaways with Stephen and Darcy, and thought it’d be worthwhile to consolidate and share that insight.

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🚀 Project Update:

Serverless MySQL: v1.5.4 released

This update includes a minor bug fix that automatically handles reconnections when receiving the occasional EPIPE error. Special thanks to @kernwig for the PR. Read More...

Verifying self-signed JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) with AWS HTTP APIs

“Trust no one.” Or at least that’s what Fox Mulder told me back in the 90s.

With the recent GA of HTTP APIs for API Gateway, I decided to start evaluating my existing API Gateway REST APIs to see if I could migrate them over to take advantage of the decreased latency and reduced cost of the new HTTP APIs. Several of them were disqualified because they utilize service integrations (a feature that AWS is working to add), but for one of my largest applications, the lack of Custom Authorizers is what brought me to a dead end. Or so I initially thought. 😉

After a bit of research (okay, it was actually several hours because I decided to read through a bunch of specs and blog posts and then run a ton of experiments), it turns out that hosting your own OIDC Conformant “server” to verify self-signed JSON Web Tokens with HTTP APIs is actually quite simple. So as long as you can use JWT for your bearer tokens, you can utilize your existing authentication service (and probably dramatically reduce your latency and cost).

In this post, I’ll show you everything you need to know to set this up yourself. We’ll generate certificates, create our OIDC discovery service, set up our HTTP API authorizers, generate and sign our JWTs, and protect routes with scopes.

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🚀 Project Update:

Lambda API: v0.10.5 Released

Lambda API v0.10.5 has been released to fix a few minor bugs around ALB query string decoding and TypeScript definitions. Plus a new feature that allows you to disable error logging. Read More...
🚀 Project Update:

Data API Client: v1.0.1 Released

There was an issue with batch records via standard queries versus those wrapped in transactions. v1.0.1 includes a patch that checks the arguments and conditionally flattens the array for proper handling in each context. Read More...

Takeaways from AWS re:Invent 2019’s Amazon DynamoDB Deep Dive: Advanced Design Patterns (DAT403)

AWS re:Invent 2019 is a wrap, but now the real work begins! There are hundreds of session videos now available on YouTube. So when you have a few days (or weeks) of downtime, you can dig in to these amazing talks and learn about whatever AWS topics you fancy.

I was only able to attend a few talks this year, but one that I knew I couldn’t miss in person, was Rick Houlihan’s DAT403: Amazon DynamoDB deep dive: Advanced design patterns. At the last two re:Invents, he gave similar talks that explored how to use single-table designs in DynamoDB… and they blew my mind! 🤯 These videos were so mind-bending, that they inspired me to immerse myself in NoSQL design and write my How to switch from RDBMS to DynamoDB in 20 easy steps post. I was hoping to have a similar experience with this year’s edition, and I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED.

As expected, it was a 60 minute firehose of #NoSQL knowledge bombs. There was A LOT to take away from this, so after the session, I wrote a Twitter thread that included some really interesting lessons that stuck out to me. The video has been posted, so definitely watch it (maybe like 10 times 🤷‍♂️), and use it to get started (or continue on) your DynamoDB journey.

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Serverless Microservice Patterns for AWS

I’m a huge fan of building microservices with serverless systems. Serverless gives us the power to focus on just the code and our data without worrying about the maintenance and configuration of the underlying compute resources. Cloud providers (like AWS), also give us a huge number of managed services that we can stitch together to create incredibly powerful, and massively scalable serverless microservices.

I’ve read a lot of posts that mention serverless microservices, but they often don’t go into much detail. I feel like that can leave people confused and make it harder for them to implement their own solutions. Since I work with serverless microservices all the time, I figured I’d compile a list of design patterns and how to implement them in AWS. I came up with 19 of them, though I’m sure there are plenty more.

In this post we’ll look at all 19 in detail so that you can use them as templates to start designing your own serverless microservices.

Audio Version:

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Off-by-none: Issue #92

I know that this week has weighed heavily on all of us. I grappled with how to start off this newsletter and share this week’s content given that recent events are deserving of our attention. The goal of this newsletter has always been to share content with the serverless community, and I still intend on doing that this week. But I can’t do that without addressing what’s been going on in our communities across the United States.

There are no words to explain how saddened and sickened I am by the tragic events that have occurred during the past week. I’m not sure my voice carries much weight, or adds anything meaningful to the national conversation, but I do want to echo an important message that must be repeated over and over until it becomes a fundamental truth in American society: #BlackLivesMatter.


More Use Cases for Step Functions…

Welcome to Issue #92 of Off-by-none. Thanks for being here!

Last week, we saw how a “typical” serverless architecture sparked some strong opinions about serverless complexity. This week, we meet some new serverless heroes, Step Functions get more attention, and GCP jumps on the Java train. Plus, we have lots of great posts from the serverless community.

Serverless News & Announcements 📣

Webinar: How to Use Knative to Build Event-Driven Application Flows
Join Sebastien Goasguen, TriggerMesh co-founder, Kubeless creator, and author of the Kubernetes Cookbook for a live webinar on June 11. Sebastien will demo how the Knative API and TriggerMesh let you trigger functions on any cloud with a single mechanism and cap your EventBridge costs. Learn more and register here. Sponsored

Introducing the latest AWS Heroes – May, 2020
Congratulations and welcome to all the new AWS Heroes including serverless heroes Kyuhyun Byun and Serkan Özal!

Understanding the pains of building serverless applications
Paul Swail is running a serverless adoption survey, and he’d like you to participate. It’s a very short survey, so it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes.

Introducing Java 11 on Google Cloud Functions
Google Cloud Functions now supports Java, so you can now write Cloud Functions using your favorite JVM languages (Java, Kotlin, Groovy, Scala, etc) with their Functions Framework for Java, and also with Spring Cloud Functions and Micronaut.

Serverless Express – Easy APIs On AWS Lambda & AWS HTTP API
This uses the new Serverless Components and configuring it requires about 5 lines of YAML. I’m a big fan of these higher levels of abstraction that incorporate sane defaults and best practices for you. Also, the development feedback loop is screaming fast.

ACG Cloud Playground
Get your hands cloudy with A Cloud Guru’s new Cloud Playground. This is really cool. Set up environments on the major cloud providers and break stuff to your heart’s content, without affecting any of your own environments.

Serverless Stories 📖

How to start your blog for 20 cents
I found this post to be interesting because it makes the case for serverless, but is also sprinkled with misleading information about use cases and some potentially bad options for accessing and saving state. I appreciate authors writing these posts, but I don’t know if these do more harm then good.

HTML5VideoBank — How We Got $5M of IT Infrastructure For Next to Nothing
Akeel Din points out the infrastructure cost differences from what would have been a traditional system years ago to the cost of doing it now using FaaS.

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

10 Recommendations for writing pragmatic AWS Lambdas in Python
Jan Groth outlines a collection of design patterns and best practices to implement AWS Lambdas in Python. Lots of good stuff in here about DevOps use cases.

Serverless ETL using AWS Step Function -100,000 files under $30
Sohit Kumar points out a great use case for serverless, running ETL tasks. In his scenario, they have a bit of complexity, so Step Functions work really well in this situation. I’m wondering if they could get the cost down using Express Workflows?

Serverless Concepts 🏗

Logging within AWS Lambda Functions (python edition)
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about logging in Lambda functions written in python (and perhaps even some things you didn’t) by Keith Rozario.

Hello Serverless
Tom McLaughlin has an excellent 5 part series that is meant to be a primer for individuals or teams building their first serverless application. This series addresses the common conceptual and tactical questions that occur during the serverless development and operational lifecycle.

Stupid Simple Kubernetes
I think Czako Zoltan got at least two words right in his article title 😉, but for those that really want to get a better understanding of Kubernetes, this article will give you a good overview.

AWS API Gateway vs. Application Load Balancer (ALB)
Renato Byrro gives you a breakdown of the differences between API Gateway and Application Load Balancers. There are some use cases that could make ALBs a better choice, but the majority most likely fall to API Gateway.

Caching with AWS Serverless Applications
Serkan Özal has a great post that shows you different levels of caching within AWS serverless applications and when and how to use them.

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

Serverless: Breaking a large serverless.yml into manageable chunks
Hussain Ali Akbar has a quick tip for helping to maintain some sanity when building larger serverless projects with the Serverless Framework. This is a handy trick for when you have multiple people working on different functions in the same project, as each function configuration can be updated independently.

Serverless: Simple CRUD Application in 10 minutes on AWS
Roberto Frontado has an excellent tutorial that shows you how to build a serverless TODO application using TypeScript, AWS Lambda, and DynamoDB.

How to Use TypeScript for AWS Lambda in 3 Steps
Zijing Zhao shows you how to compile your TypeScript and deploy it to AWS Lambda. TypeScript has a lot of great features, and if you’ve never used it, this simple guide will show you how easy it is to start benefiting from it in your serverless applications.

Simplifying application orchestration with AWS Step Functions and AWS SAM
Another really well done tutorial by Rob Sutter that shows you how to use the newly added AWS Step Functions support in AWS SAM.

Building a location-based, scalable, serverless web app – part 1
James Beswick is knocking it out of the park with these serverless application tutorials he’s been writing, and this one is no exception. Lots of detailed explanations, code references, and years of experience wrapped up in a nice package for you.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Innovator Island: A free, hands-on, virtual serverless workshop with AWS expert James Beswick
Innovator Island debuted as a hands-on workshop at re:Invent last year. This year, the AWS Serverless team is bringing it to you in virtual format, totally free. Sign up to join AWS Serverless expert James Beswick for an hour a day, June 8 – June 12, to build a complete serverless web application using AWS Amplify, AWS Lambda, AWS SAM, AWS IoT Core, Amazon EventBridge, and more. You’ll get hands-on instruction and have access to all sorts of help from AWS experts. Sponsored

Challenging the Status Quo! Serverless Casserole — Part 2
I always enjoy reading Sheen Brisals’ posts, and in this one he lays out an excellent rationale for why his team started adopting Lambda Destinations for both the failure and success modes of asynchronous invocations. (And thanks for the mention 😉)

Serverless Eventing: Why You Need an Event Bus!
Jay Smith makes the case for using event buses in your serverless microservice communications. There are a lot of options in this space (as he points out), but he actually missed Amazon EventBridge, which should be your default choice in AWS.

State of the Jamstack Survey 2020: First results
If you’re building serverless applications and you’re not thinking about the Jamstack, you might need to do some rethinking. This study probably tells most of us what we already knew, but seeing 11ty making a strong showing for SSGs is really interesting.

Shelves are well-stocked with cloud-native tools, but simplicity remains a moving target
Interesting discussion here. We have a ton of cloud-native tools available to us, but there is a lot of overlap that is making the adoption process harder.

Serverless Podcasts and Videos 🎥

Serverless Chats – Episode #51: Globally Resilient Architectures with Adrian Hornsby
In this episode, I chat with Adrian Hornsby about why you need to embrace failure at scale, how to avoiding cascading failures, when to cache for resiliency, and much more. Watch on YouTube.

Using a custom runtime with AWS Lambda (example with Deno the new JS framework)
Deno as a custom runtime with first-class support for TypeScript? What could be better? Marcia Villalba walks you through connecting an existing Deno Lambda Layer and shows you how to run a TypeScript file directly in Lambda.

New from AWS 🆕

AWS SAM adds support for AWS Step Functions
This is awesome, and the implementation is really well done. AWS Step Functions are not that complicated to implement, but integrating them with deployment frameworks has always been over-complicated. First class support from SAM was much needed.

Announcing General Availability of Amplify iOS and Amplify Android, with new authentication, data, and AI/ML support
The Amplify team keeps making it easier and easier to build full-featured serverless applications, and now with the iOS and Android libraries, building native apps should be much simpler as well. More info here.

Amazon RDS Proxy (Preview) Now Available in 8 Additional AWS Regions
I really like what RDS Proxy is trying to solve, but it’s still not a silver bullet, and it doesn’t work with Aurora Serverless. However, for those that didn’t realize the Lambda/RDBMS problem when they created their apps, this can be a nice bandaid.

AWS Fargate now encrypts data stored on ephemeral storage by default in platform version 1.4
This is a great security improvement, even if the likelihood of this data being exposed was low in the first place.

Amazon RDS Data API and Amazon RDS Query Editor are available in additional regions
I’m a huge fan of the Data API, mostly because it doesn’t require your Lambda functions to be in a VPC to use it. It might not be the best choice for all synchronous workflows, but for async, it was a game changer for me.

CodePipeline supports invoking Step Functions with a new action type
This is another awesome feature. Imagine being able to coordinate multiple processes (like schema changes, DNS routing updates, multi-region deployments) and then having the ability to rollback the entire thing if there are errors? Well, now you totally can!

Serverless Tools 🛠

New LaTeX.CSS Library Enables Websites to Look Like LaTeX Docs
Nothing to do with serverless, but totally worth mentioning. This almost class-less CSS library turns your HTML document into a website that looks like a LATEX document. Very cool stuff.

Thoughts from Twitter 🐦

I have spent quite a bit of time with AppSync on a few projects, and it’s really grown on me, big time. So much of what’s difficult with API GW comes out-of-the-box. Here are 5 things that really stood out. ~ Yan Cui
Excellent thread by Yan Cui about his experience adopting AppSync and what about it makes it so advantageous to API Gateway. There are a lot of good points in here that has me itching to start thinking more seriously about it. I’ve been stuck in REST land for too long.

Serverless Jobs 👩‍💻 Sponsored

Serverless Engineer – stedi.com
At Stedi, we’re working in one of the biggest markets on the planet – EDI, the technological backbone of the physical product economy. We’re building a next-generation platform: a ubiquitous commercial trading network to automate the trillions of dollars in B2B transactions exchanged by nearly every company on Earth. If you’re interested in what we’re building and how we’re building it, we’d love to hear from you.

Have a job listing you’d like to share? Please contact me for more information. 

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.

June 3, 2020 – Mastering AWS Organizations with Infrastructure-As-Code

June 4, 2020 – ServerlessDays Milan (Virtual)

June 4, 2020 – Sessions With SAM – The Step Functions Edition

June 9, 2020 – The State of Serverless in 2020

June 10, 2020 – Nordic Serverless – Serverless Developer Experience

June 10 & 11, 2020 – AWS Virtual Amplify Days

June 11, 2020 – How to Use Knative to Build Event-Driven Application Flows

June 26, 2020 – AWS Serverless Community Day

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 Takahiro Horike (@horike37). Takahiro is the CEO of Serverless Operations, Inc., which offers consulting and development services to help its customers design, develop, and maintain serverless applications. Takahiro is also a core contributor to the Serverless Framework, and creator of the Serverless Step functions and API Gateway Service Proxy plugins. His passion for serverless is a central fixture in all of his projects. Thank you for helping make serverless more accessible, Takahiro! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

I will continue to think of ways that I can make this newsletter more inclusive, but if you have any thoughts or ideas on how to add more voices and diversity, or how we as a serverless community can work together to bring about systemic change, please let me know. You can reach me via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or email.

Take care,
Jeremy

P.S. 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.

Off-by-none: Issue #91

Thinking about serverless complexity… 🤔

Welcome to Issue #91 of Off-by-none. Thanks for joining us!

Last week, we looked at a “typical” serverless architecture.  This week, we see how that “typical” serverless architecture sparked some strong opinions on both sides of the serverless complexity debate. Plus, we’ve got plenty of awesome posts from the serverless community.

Serverless News & Announcements 📣

Webinar: How to Use Knative to Build Event-Driven Application Flows
Join Sebastien Goasguen, TriggerMesh co-founder, creator of Kubeless, and author of the Kubernetes Cookbook for a live webinar on June 11. Sebastien will demo how to use the Knative API and TriggerMesh to simplify building event-driven applications with any on-premises and cloud service. Learn more and register here. Sponsored

Microsoft Introduces App Service Static Web Apps in Preview at Build 2020
There were a lot of announcements at Microsoft Build last week, but this one is really interesting. The future of serverless will rely heavily on edge-optimized static assets, and Microsoft is building tools to take advantage of this.

v3.2.0 of dynalite released to support empty string and binary values
I’ve been using dynalite over DynamoDB local lately for simulating integration tests, and I’m a big fan. And now it supports the new empty value feature.

Microsoft Reimagines Azure
Here’s another wrap up of Microsoft Build. There are some really interesting things happening with serverless over there, and the fact that they are adapting quickly to this new wave of modern application development is awesome. Also, Cosmos DB is getting a serverless makeover.

Announcing Epsagon’s Official Integration with PagerDuty
I love seeing companies partner to create a better solution for customers. Epsagon monitoring coupled with PagerDuty alerts, does just that.

Aqua Security Raises $30 Million in Series D Funding to Fuel the Expansion of Its Cloud Native Security Platform
More investment into the cloud native and serverless security space. According to the press release, Aqua has more than doubled revenue and headcount in the last 12 months and have expanding to more than 400 customers.

Serverless Stories 📖

3 Things I Wish I Knew About AWS Lambda Functions Early On
Andrew Titenko points out a few gotchas that he found when working with Lambda functions. You do need to be careful of global variables, but they also come in really, really handy when used correctly.

Xinja almost abandoned serverless backend built for Apple Pay
Great story about Xinja being able to launch Apple Pay capabilities in just six weeks using serverless and why it made achieving PCI DSS compliance even easier. There’s also a great example of serverless components getting better without your team needing to do anything.

How AWS WAF saved us
Not specifically about serverless, but don’t forget, you can put AWS WAF in front of your API Gateways too. Riad Rifai tells the story of how AWS WAF helped mitigate a front-end bug, but of course, it’s applicable to many more situations.

A war story about COVID, cloud, and cost
Forrest Brazeal says that cloud cost-cutting stories are boring, yet somehow he’s made this one totally worth the read.

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

Expiration With DynamoDB TTL
Here’s a simple but powerful use case from Gavin Cornwell, using DynamoDB TTLs to trigger trial expirations on EC2 instances. The TTL feature isn’t as accurate as I’d like, but it works great for use cases like this.

Config Service using Google Sheet
While there are plenty of other ways to store configuration data, you have to appreciate the simplicity of just using a Google Sheet.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

Let Me Help You Build Serverless Well-Architected Systems With Proven Patterns
The cdkpatterns.com site by Matt Coulter is an awesome resource for the serverless community. And now he’s added a feature that lets you find a pattern by a AWS Well-Architected Pillar! Great stuff.

Roadmap to Backend Developer on Serverless Infrastructures
Another helpful post by Renato Byrro that should get you asking the right questions as you start your journey as a serverless developer.

Amplify, Amplify, and Amplify
Are you confused by all the things that have the name “Amplify” associated with them? You’re not alone, and Rowan Udell is here to help explain. Amplify (in all its parts) is extremely powerful, so long as you understand which part you’re actually using. 😉

3 Valuable Lessons Learned About AWS Lambda Destinations
Andrew Titenko provides a few quick tips for using Lambda Destinations. Also, +100 for adding asynchronous invocations to the AWS Lambda console “TEST” option.

Developing on AWS Lambda (Part 3): Some tips you can use!
Here are some more great AWS Lambda tips from George Mao. Lots of really useful information in here.

AWS Lambda Limits to Keep in Mind When Developing a Serverless Application
Emrah Samdan gives you some quick tips and tricks to avoid hitting different types of Lambda limits in your serverless apps.

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

AWS CDK for Beginners
Rani Lian has a great tutorial that gives you some background on the why of AWS CDK, and then walks you through launching a quick “hello world” project to show you the how.

How to Create and Use Layer for Python AWS Lambda Function
Simple and straightforward Lambda Layer tutorial from Ashutosh Karna using Python.

Reduce Lambda invocations and code boilerplate by adding a JSON Schema Validator to your API Gateway
Davide de Paolis has a great tutorial that’ll show you how to mitigate Lambda invocations by using schema validation on API Gateway. It might add a bit more complexity, but using this for mature routes can be very cost effective.

Cooking Serverless with AWS Amplify
If you want to get started with AWS Amplify really quickly, this simple tutorial from Shehan Wisumperuma will get your first project up and running in no time.

Building scalable serverless applications with Amazon S3 and AWS Lambda
Another incredibly helpful post from James Beswick that shows you how to build a serverless system that can quickly and reliably process S3 data with Lambda functions.

Serverless Security 🔒

DevSecOps report: Cloud IT complexity creates ‘immutable’ security issues
Tying the idea of immutable infrastructures to security is an interesting take. This also reinforces the notion that cloud deployments create a lot of complexity that needs to be managed and audited by someone, especially around security.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Why I’m excited about serverless as a frontend engineer
Tomasz Łakomy is definitely on to something. The idea of a full stack serverless developer is something we’re already starting to see, both through front-enders implementing serverless backends, to some seasoned backend devs moving down the stack. If you are a front-end engineer, start taking a look at things like Amplify, Vercel, and other platforms enabling this capability.

A day in the life of a serverless developer on AWS
Ryan Jones lays out some of the common tasks performed regularly by a serverless developer on AWS. I find that my work varies day to day, sometimes spending a day or two on IaC and experiments, then buckling down for a few days to work on implementation details, tests, and documentation. One thing is for sure, I spend a lot less time writing code.

Cloud Adoption in 2020
Interesting data provided here by O’Reilly, especially the fact that “serverless” adoption is “stagnant” according to their numbers. In terms of complexity, the article poses this question: “Is it possible that the complexity of microservice architecture, serverless computing, service mesh architecture, and other next-generation patterns is contributing to (if not driving) interest in SRE?” Good question.

AWS Kendra is the Google to all of your organization’s knowledge
I really love the idea of Kendra, and the power and efficiency that it could bring to a lot of businesses. Unfortunately, the $5,000/mth price tag probably prices out many of the companies that desperately need a technology like this. I’m sure it’s expensive to run, but it would be great to see this cost come down to make it more accessible.

Podcasts, Videos, and Presentations…

Serverless Chats – Episode #50: Static First Using Serverless Front-ends with Guillermo Rauch
In this episode, I chat with Guillermo Rauch about the difference between front-end and backend serverless, how we should think about and build for scale, why latency down to the first contentful paint is so important, and so much more. Watch on YouTube!

Freedom! Bring custom binaries and runtimes to serverless using Cloud Run — Serverless Toolbox
Got to love the Bret McGown/Martin Omander duo. On this episode of Serverless Toolbox, they take you through importing custom binaries and runtimes into your Cloud Run containers.

TriggerMesh’s new EveryBridge: Event-driven apps are the endgame of serverless
Stu Miniman interviewed Mark Hinkle and Sebastien Goasguen from TriggerMesh to discuss their new EveryBridge product. I think most of us cloud natives don’t worry too much about legacy on-prem systems, but the fact that this aims to solve a missing piece for the vast majority of companies looking to bridge that gap, is pretty cool.

Patterns and practices for building resilient Serverless applications
Yan Cui gave a marathon session at the AWS User Group Delhi the other day, and it is chockfull of some amazing serverless know-how. It’s almost two hours long, but is worth the time. The slides are available too.

New from AWS 🆕

Amazon DynamoDB local adds support for empty values for non-key String and Binary attributes and 25-item transactions
Amazon DynamoDB local has been updated to support the new empty values feature that was just released. Make sure to update to the latest version so you have parity with the actual cloud version.

AWS Solutions: Serverless Bot Framework adds a remastered user interface and uses AWS Amplify
The solution now makes use of User Pools to allow users to securely sign in to the chatbot with Amazon Cognito. The web interface is re-implemented using ReactJS and AWS Amplify and uses Amazon CloudFront to securely deliver application web assets from Amazon S3 to the user.

Amazon Transcribe now supports vocabulary filtering for real-time transcription
This is a cool feature added to Amazon Transcribe. Being able to filter out words as well as mask or tag them during real-time transcription can be quite handy. I haven’t check in on the transcription quality lately, but all these new features might make me take another look.

AWS Global Accelerator is Now Available in Two Additional Regions
I’m sure that the AWS Global Accelerator could get a bit expensive, but the latency compared to standard routing is incredible. If you have to home run some of your data calls, this is definitely something you should look at.

Serverless Tools 🛠

dynamodb-size
Here’s an interesting tool from Chris Armstrong that will calculate the size of your DynamoDB payload. I can see this being useful in testing applications to help calculate costs.

I Built a Simple Serverless Storage Solution
Sometimes you need to scratch or own itch, and Eldad Bercovici did just that with his Cloud Local Storage project. There are lots of ways to implement something like this on your own (and likely a bunch of security requirements to think about as well), but you’ve got to love the level of abstraction.

Thoughts from Twitter 🐦

“Can someone explain Serverless to me like I’m 5?” ~ James Tucker
This question by James Tucker triggered a series of hilarious explanations. Some of them are dead on.

“Crying at this typical Serverless infrastructure. wtf happened to the “simple” functions-as-a-service idea?” ~ Paul Biggar
Well, that escalated quickly! This post by Paul Biggar sparked a series of reactions about whether or not serverless is more complex than some other traditional architectures. Much of the complexity is abstracted away for you through reusable components, though I still believe a new type of configuration complexity now exists. But it’s still 1000% easier than the old way.

Serverless Jobs 👩‍💻 Sponsored

Serverless Engineer – stedi.com
At Stedi, we’re working in one of the biggest markets on the planet – EDI, the technological backbone of the physical product economy. We’re building a next-generation platform: a ubiquitous commercial trading network to automate the trillions of dollars in B2B transactions exchanged by nearly every company on Earth. If you’re interested in what we’re building and how we’re building it, we’d love to hear from you.

Have a job listing you’d like to share? Please contact me for more information. 

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.

May 27, 2020 – Serverless London May Meetup (Virtual)

May 28, 2020 – Serverless-First Function by AWS

May 28, 2020 – Modernizing applications with serverless: Scale higher, ship faster, and reduce TCO up to 90%

June 4, 2020 – ServerlessDays Milan (Virtual)

June 9, 2020 – The State of Serverless in 2020

June 10 & 11, 2020 – AWS Virtual Amplify Days

June 26, 2020 – AWS Serverless Community Day

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 Charity Majors (@mipsytipsy). Charity is the co-founder of Honeycomb, a tool designed for engineers to debug platforms, microservices, and serverless apps, enabling collaborative problem solving. Prior to Honeycomb, Charity was a former systems engineer and manager at Facebook, Parse, and Linden Lab, and the co-author of Database Reliability Engineering. She’s spoken at several ServerlessDays conferences, and offers advice and writes about serverless (and the Tiger King 🐅) on her personal website. Thank you, Charity, for making the serverless world better and brighter with your contributions! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

I find this whole serverless complexity debate to be quite fascinating. The point of serverless has always been (at least in my opinion) to reduce undifferentiated heavy-lifting, freeing up engineers to work on things unique to your business that add customer value. This certainly reduces some of the complexity, but also adds new complexity as we create more complex systems. Serverless is certainly easier, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

If any of you missed the AWS Serverless-First Function last week, you should definitely check out the recap and sign up for Day 2 on Thursday. I’ve watched a lot of presentations (especially virtual ones) and I really enjoyed the mix of content from the speakers and the witty banter between hosts Eric Johnson and Chris Munns. And… getting a shout out to my patterns post from Adrian Cockcroft was pretty darn cool as well.

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.

Until next week,
Jeremy

P.S. 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.

Off-by-none: Issue #90

Is Serverless a Silver Bullet? 🐺

Welcome to Issue #90 of Off-by-none. Thanks for stopping by!

Last week, we took a crash course on monitoring serverless apps, got a lesson in response times from the cloud architect, and learned a bit about serverless developer culture. This week, we see what a typical serverless architecture looks like, learn how to #SingleTable with AppSync, and take a quick trip to Deno Land.  Plus, we’ve got plenty of amazing posts from the serverless community.

Serverless News & Announcements 📣

TriggerMesh Cloud Native Integration Platform
TriggerMesh provides a platform to trigger functions on any cloud or on-premises from virtually any source that can provide a message, including legacy applications and enterprise service buses. Use one platform for AWS Lambda, Google Cloud Functions, Azure Functions, Knative, or Kubernetes workloads. Learn more and try for free. Sponsored

Lambda Store Developer API
This is a really great feature that allows you to provision Lambda Store via an API. They are working on Infrastructure-as-Code support, which could be really handy as well.

Serverless Stories 📖

Is Serverless with Lambda, the “silver bullet”?
Arnaud Charlier tells the story of his company’s serverless journey and recounts the successes and failures they had along the way. Overall, it seems the experience was a relatively good one, despite that recursive Lambda function mistake 😬. I think most of us can relate to that.

Serverless Content Management System for Websites using Vue.js and AWS
While building a content management system can be a daunting task, Dan Bartlett decided to do it anyway. The end result is a full-blown serverless CMS that’s available to you on GitHub.

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

Create Kinesis Firehose Data Stream from IoT Core to S3 using Serverless framework
I don’t do anything with IoT, but these use cases are everywhere nowadays. I’m a big fan of using Kinesis Data Firehose for capturing stream data like this and stuffing it into S3, so if your source is an IoT device, Toru Eguchi has got you covered.

Automating Cross-Account Role creation to access users’ account
Here’s a great use case by Yossi Ittach, generating AWS roles and then persisting the information back to the partner account. More and more companies are building solutions that need some level of access to your AWS account, so automating this process with Lambda and SNS is pretty slick.

A Basic Solution to Shutting Down AWS Infrastructure on a Schedule
This is one of my favorite serverless use cases, and Joonas Laitio gives you a sample script to easily schedule shutdowns and startups of ECS services, Auto Scaling Groups and RDS clusters.

Developing a Serverless solution to detect people without masks
Here’s another interesting serverless use case, detecting those folks not wearing masks in public places. Ritesh Modi has a very in depth post about a system he creating using Azure to accomplish this.

Why we don’t use Lambda for serverless machine learning
This should fall under the “Not Serverless Use Cases” section. Sure, some ML workloads can run on Lambda, but I tend to agree with Caleb Kaiser on this one: “Lambda is fantastic – just not for ML.”

Serverless Concepts 🏗

Best practices for organizing larger serverless applications
Great piece by James Beswick that lays out some simple rules for organizing your serverless applications. I’m not a fan of the repo-per-function approach, and there are plenty mono versus multi-repo arguments to be made, but overall, this is some excellent advice for teams building with serverless, especially those that want flexibility as they grow.

What a typical 100% Serverless Architecture looks like in AWS!
Love this article by Xavier Lefèvre that shows a full-blown serverless architecture on AWS and explains how each section works. The more patterns like this are visible, the easier it is for others to understand how best to architect their systems.

Infrastructure-as-Code is the linchpin practice for successful serverless teams
Paul Swail highlights the benefits and drawbacks of Infrastructure-as-Code, but ultimately points out its necessity for building robust and repeatable deployments in the cloud. Unfortunately, I think point and click is still a very popular option. 🤦‍♂️

Testing in Deno: the basics
Brian Leroux gives you a quick lesson on how to build tests in Deno, which just so happens to support testing as a first class citizen.

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

How to build an AppSync API using a single table DynamoDB design
Awesome post by Rich Buggy that shows you how to build a generic single table DynamoDB solution for AWS AppSync. I think you all know by now that I’m on #TeamSingleTable, so seeing the possibilities with AppSync is very exciting.

Getting started with serverless on AWS
Emily Shea has compiled a list of resources and tutorials for common serverless use cases on AWS. With information overload everywhere, it’s very helpful to have guides like this that establish a learning path.

Deploying a serverless application using AWS CDK
For all you CDK fans out there, here is a complete tutorial by Georges Leschener and Luis Lopez Soria that shows you how to deploy a full serverless application including the provisioning of an Amazon Aurora Serverless cluster.

Ensuring Resolvers Aren’t Rejected
This is pretty cool. Rick Foxcroft shows you how to test your VTL templates so that you can speed up your feedback loop and have some more confidence when deploying to AppSync.

Deno on Cloud Run
Deno is all the rage (and probably for good reason), so being able to start using it (and run TypeScript directly) on Cloud Run, sounds like a lot of fun. Grant Timmerman gives you a quick and easy set up.

Chaos Engineering with Serverless
Whether you use Thundra to do this or not, injecting latency and other types of failures into your applications to test their resiliency is becoming an incredibly important tool. Emrah Samdan gives you some tips and shows you how to do it.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Why I think GCP is better than AWS
This isn’t specifically about serverless offerings, but I think the author makes a number of valid points in here. There is a clear difference between offering primitives versus more abstracted solutions. I’m not sure either one is better than the other, and may just be a matter of personal preference. Either way, this is a very thoughtful article and worth the read.

7 Major Trends for Cloud Native in 2020: Serverless
I somehow missed this post from a few months ago, but it recently caught my attention. I think there are a lot of really excellent (although hopeful) predictions in here. I’m not sold on Java or Knative, but WASM? Yes, please!

The case for serverless and hiring serverless consultants
Ryan Jones makes a pitch for hiring consultants to speed up your serverless adoption, but at the same time, makes a pretty good case for building with serverless regardless of your company size. Serverless is getting more and more complex every day, so having people that know their way around is usually not a bad thing.

How AWS Lambda team made my two years old talk completely irrelevant
One of the greatest benefits of using serverless (and many cloud services in general) is that it just gets better without you needing to do anything. Serhat Can explains how much Lambda has changed over the last two years and how all of the major roadblocks he faced back then have all been addressed.

When you’re sick of Netflix… 🍿

Serverless Chats – Episode #49: Things I Wish I Knew Before Migrating to the Cloud with Jared Short
In this episode, I chat with Jared Short about why you shouldn’t try to master every cloud service, what’s wrong with the “lift and shift” approach, why thinking about transparency right from the beginning will result in better applications, and a lot more. Watch on YoutTube!

Upload Images to S3 and Store Metadata with GraphQL to DynamoDB (using AWS Amplify and AppSync)
In this video, Marcia Villalba shows you how to upload files to S3 with AWS AppSync in an Amplify project.

New from AWS 🆕

Amazon DynamoDB now supports empty values for non-key String and Binary attributes in DynamoDB tables
This is a new feature that some should find quite handy. I prefer to remove empty attributes, but I can see there being use cases that require empty lists or maps. Also, if you don’t feel like checking every field for empty values in your code, then this might alleviate some of those frustrations.

Announcing major enhancements to Amazon Macie, an 80%+ price reduction, and global region expansion
When I first looked at Amazon Macie, I was immediately turned off by the price (because it was expensive). This massive overhaul and 80%+ price reduction might finally make it more accessible to small and medium sized companies. Read more here.

Serverless Tools 🛠

Cleaner async JavaScript code without the try/catch mess.
I thought this was an interesting tool by David Wells that wraps your awaits for better error handling. If you’re a JS developer, you might want to take a look at his “safeAwait” pattern.

Thoughts from Twitter 🐦

“What tool would you recommend to a product company that wants to start building serverless services on AWS? Any alternatives to AWS SAM or Serverless Framework? Taking into account the learning curve and the number of online resources.” ~ Maciej Winnicki
Good conversation around this Twitter post by Maciej. It’s hard to remember what it was like when I first started exploring serverless (although I do remember there were a lot fewer options), so for newcomers to the space, seeking an answer to this question can be overwhelming.

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.

April 2-May 31, 2020 – Sessions with SAM: Live Twitch sessions by Eric Johnson (every Thursday at 10AM PDT)

May 20, 2020 – Designing for DynamoDB Success (webinar)

May 21 & 28, 2020 – Serverless-First Function by AWS

May 27, 2020 – Serverless London May Meetup (Virtual)

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 Patrick Steger (@StegerPatrick). Patrick is an AWS Certified Solutions Architect who also ran his own application development company, IDMA Solutions. Patrick is a co-organizer for Triangle Serverless, based out of Raleigh, NC, and participates in other serverless meet-ups in the area. You can find him on Twitter regularly commenting about the latest in his serverless journey. Thank you, Patrick, for being a part of the community! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy as things are starting to reopen again. I would personally suggest staying away from Jeep Weekend, but, hey, to each their own.

I’ve been using this extra time to move some projects forward, which I hope to share soon. Also, my daughters were at it again and came up with an idea for a Serverless Chats promo video. Like a good dad, I helped them execute.

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.

Cheers,
Jeremy

P.S. 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.

Off-by-none: Issue #89

A Serverless Monitoring Guide… 👀

Welcome to Issue #89 of Off-by-none. Thanks for being here!

Last week, we explored the super powers of API Gateway, discussed the proper microservice size, and let Forrest Brazeal serenade us. This week, we look at a crash course on monitoring serverless apps, get a lesson in response times from the cloud architect of all cloud architects, and learn about serverless developer culture. Plus, we have tons of great content from the serverless community.

Serverless News & Announcements 📣

Analyze and debug Lambda performance in Datadog
Collect custom metrics from serverless functions and correlate them with cold starts to identify patterns of customer-facing latency. Start optimizing your serverless applications with a free Datadog trial today. Sponsored

Boomi launches EventBridge iPaaS platform connector
The movement in this space is fascinating, and this integration with EventBridge is huge. Data exchange via EDA and EDI is rapidly evolving, so it’ll be interesting to see if this motivates other providers to create EventBridge integrations as well.

Converge Technology Solutions Corp. Forms Preferred Partnership with Trek10
Congratulations to Trek10 for their continued growth and success. It’s good to have smart professionals that can help teams implement serverless quickly and correctly.

Serverless Stories 📖

How we built a multiplayer card game in 1 week
I love this story, because it perfectly captures the promise of serverless. Thomas Recouvreux and a friend built a real-time, multi-player online game in 5 days, and it’s 100% serverless. Sure it’s not a full-blown enterprise application, but for startups and PoCs, is there a better way?

Dashbird’s Lessons Learned from Launching a SaaS Application
I always enjoy hearing directly from the people in the trenches, an although this article from Dashbird isn’t specifically about serverless, the experiences and insights from their developers as they pushed to launch their new platform is worth a quick read.

An AWS Lambda Serverless Journey – Part 1 and Part 2
Mitul Patel has a series on building a serverless application using Java. There’s a lot of information in these first two parts, but I liked these articles because they not only give you the technical details, but also explain the reasoning behind the choices.

Serverless Use Cases 🗺

How to write a TLDR chat bot
Loved this post by Chris Ismael! He shows you a hybrid approach to implementing a machine learning model that uses Lambda and SQS to do the majority of the application work, while relying on an EC2 instance to do the inferencing. Great use case in general, but also an excellent example of how serverless components make the overall implementation easier.

Combining the Best of AWS EventBridge and AWS Kinesis
Interesting pattern described here by John Gilbert. There are a lot of benefits to consuming events from Kinesis versus subscribing directly to an EventBridge bus, so I can see this being effective under the right circumstances.

Making a custom DynamicDNS service with Cloudflare Workers
A simple serverless use case that could be applicable in a number of scenarios. As the author mentions, there are plenty of services like this out there already, but the fact that it’s so easy to build with serverless says something.

Provisioning Trial Environments With Step Functions
Very cool serverless use case outlined by Gavin Cornwell, as well as a perfect use case for Step Functions.

Serverless Concepts 🏗

Serverless Monitoring Guide
If you are responsible for monitoring a serverless application, or you soon will be, this is a great primer post from Tj Blogumas. Besides all the excellent detail provided on what to monitor, I love that there is an emphasis on Ops people getting closer to the code, and in the same vein, developers embracing repeatable deployment processes.

Why are services slow sometimes?
If there is anyone you should listen to about cloud architecture, it’s Adrian Cockcroft. This excellent piece explains a number of reasons (and the theories behind) why services can experience lower response times and what you need to think about to design around it.

The Cost of Monitoring Microservices: Managed Solutions vs. In-house
TLDR; Don’t build something that isn’t core to your business. This post by Ran Ribenzaft does a great job pointing out the “build vs. buy” argument, which is at the heart of the serverless mindset. And yes, you also need a monitoring tool.

Benefits of Serverless, and Event Driven Design
I’m sure most of you are well aware of the benefits of serverless, but this post by Craig Godden-Payne might be a good one to share with your skeptical coworkers. Simple explanations with a couple of basic patterns to tie it all together.

A tl;dr guide to Serverless Framework
I don’t think there is a shortcut to learning serverless and the cloud, but this post at least attempts it. Lots more to know than what’s included in here, but for those looking for a really quick start, this might help.

Serverless Tutorials 👷‍♀️

Build a Serverless Simple Flask Application with Kubeless on top of Kubernetes
I think I’m going to start embracing a few of these “serverless on top of Kubernetes” posts since they seem to be growing in popularity. Next step is to convince people that they don’t actually need Kubernetes to run their functions. Baby steps.

⚡️ 5 Minute Tutorial: Deploying a Next app with AWS Amplify Hosting
Nader Dabit wrote a tutorial for deploying a Next.js app and using Amplify to host it. It’s written by Nader, so you know it’s awesome.

Build a Slackbot with AWS SAM Application
Here is this week’s edition of “How to build a Serverless Slackbot”, this time with Hongbo Liu using AWS SAM with some local debugging.

AWS Amplify Video
Alex Patterson has an excellent tutorial that shows you how to add video for live streaming or Video-on-Demand to your next Amplify project. Very cool stuff in here.

Serverless Security 🔒

Securing Serverless Applications
The rules for securing your serverless applications are quite straightforward (good AppSec practices and all that), but I like that Thundra has built in some additional tools to give you more peace of mind. Serkan Özal outlines a few of the recommended approaches and then highlights the added features of Thundra.

21 Best Practices for AWS Cloud Security
Establishing good security practices should be table stakes for anyone building applications in the cloud. There is some good advice in here, even though not all applicable to serverless.

Serverless Reads 🤓

Register for the first-ever, completely free AWS Serverless-First Function
The AWS Serverless-First Function is a set of two free-of-charge virtual events that offer the latest education and thought leadership material about serverless approaches on AWS. Happening on Thursday, May 21 and Thursday, May 28, the event agenda includes sessions with AWS leaders like VP of Serverless, David Richardson, VP of Cloud Architecture Strategy, Adrian Cockcroft, customer speakers like Workgrid Software Head of Cloud Engineering, Gillian McCann, and an introduction by Amazon CTO, Dr. Werner Vogels. Sponsored

Serverless Exists In The Cloud and Both Need Servers
You know I love to share stories that are critical of serverless, because it’s important to get as much perspective as possible. And while there are several things I don’t agree with in this article (like the inaccurate definition of serverless), us advocates need to remember that perception is reality, and articles like this feed the narrative. One thing I do agree with is the challenges around understanding costs in an on-demand world.

3 Guiding Principles for Building New SaaS Products on AWS
I really liked this piece by Jared, because I think it extends well beyond just building SaaS products. One of the most important points in here is about documentation, because even though we want to move quickly, poorly documented applications make everything harder, including onboarding new developers to grow your application.

Multi-Source Processing v2.0
As of this writing, this post only had 1 clap on Medium, but it is a brilliant piece by James Gimourginas where he reimagines his architectural decisions from 10 years ago and provides an updated solution using modern cloud and serverless services. It’s a long read, but it’s incredibly insightful to see just how far we’ve come in the last decade.

Talking Serverless with Nader Dabit
Ryan Jones recently interviewed Nader Dabit on the Talking Serverless Podcast. It’s always great getting insights from Nader, so I think you’ll find some good takeaways in this summary of their discussion.

Cloud-Native Development Survey Details Kubernetes, Serverless Data
If you ask a developer what their favorite flavor of Kool-Aid is, you’ll likely get “Kubernetes” as the answer. I think we’re going to be seeing a hybrid approach for many, many years to come.

Future of backend development
I thought this piece was an interesting read, as well as the discussion that follows. The move to serverless (and microservices, to a similar extent) seems obvious to me. I can certainly understand the hesitance from others, but I also think the term “laggards” will be true for these people in every sense of the word. 🤷‍♂️ Just one man’s humble opinion.

Serverless Podcasts… 🎧

Serverless Chats – Episode #48: Serverless Developer Culture with Linda Nichols
In this episode, I chat with Linda Nichols about why modern cloud developers should be writing less code, how new deployment processes affect the testing culture, why Ops teams are still really important, and much more. Watch on YouTube!

Real World Serverless – Ep. #10: Serverless at DAZN with Daniel Wright and Sara Gerion
Yan Cui speaks with Daniel Wright and Sara Gerion about the state of Serverless adoption at DAZN, how they use serverless in a high-scale, high-uptime environment, and how they mix serverless and containers in a hybrid environment.

New from AWS 🆕

Control your email flows in Amazon WorkMail using AWS Lambda
Amazon WorkMail announced that you can now control email flow of your organization using AWS Lambda functions when using Email Flow Rules. With this, you can build powerful email flow control system with completely customizable conditions.

Amazon CloudWatch Logs Insights now allows you to save queries
Amazon CloudWatch is introducing Saved Queries, a new feature that makes it easier for CloudWatch Logs Insights users to save queries. They can organize these queries in folders and easily run them again for different purposes by team, application, or runbook.

Introducing the new AWS SaaS Competency
The AWS SaaS Competency was created to support AWS customers looking for APN Consulting Partners with deep specialization and expertise in designing and building Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions on AWS.

AWS announces Amazon Elasticsearch Service UltraWarm general availability
Amazon Elasticsearch Service UltraWarm is now generally available. UltraWarm is a performance-optimized warm storage tier that lets you store and interactively analyze your data using Elasticsearch and Kibana while reducing your cost per GB by up to 90% over hot storage options. Read more here.

AWS Step Functions now supports AWS CodeBuild service integration
AWS Step Functions is now integrated with AWS CodeBuild, making it faster to build continuous integration workflows for your applications. Read more here.

Amazon Kendra is now generally available
Amazon Kendra is now generally available to all AWS customers. It provides customers with a highly accurate and easy to use enterprise search service powered by machine learning. Read more here.

Serverless Tools 🛠

How to succeed with Serverless? Automate best practices.
I really like the direction that Ben Ellerby and his team are taking the sls-dev-tools library. I totally agree that education is one of the biggest blockers to serverless adoption. This new Guardian tool is opinionated, but that’s not always a bad thing, especially if people don’t have enough experience to form their own opinions just yet.

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.

April 2-May 31, 2020 – Sessions with SAM: Live Twitch sessions by Eric Johnson (every Thursday at 10AM PDT)

May 13, 2020 – Full stack development with AWS Amplify (Cloud and Serverless Turkey)

May 13, 2020 – AWS Summit Online 2020: Empowering Tech Startups To Scale Sustainably

May 14, 2020 – Virtual Meetup: Serverless Fail Day! 🗣

May 16, 2020 – Patterns and Practices for Building Resilient AWS Serverless Applications

May 20, 2020 – Designing for DynamoDB Success (webinar)

May 21 & 28, 2020 – Serverless-First Function by AWS

May 27, 2020 – Serverless London May Meetup (Virtual)

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 Jennifer Davis (@sigje).  Jennifer is a Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, but has held previous roles with Chef and Yahoo, among others. Jennifer has spoken about the “Ops in Serverless” at SRECon, Velocity Conf San Jose, and Serverless Week last summer. She’s also spoken at ServerlessDays London, and joined Microsoft Ignite in Toronto and London. Jennifer also organized AWS Community Day in Silicon Valley, as well as Serverless Days Seattle. Thanks, Jennifer, for taking serverless across the globe with you! 🙌

Final Thoughts 🤔

I hope you’ve all made it safely through another week. It looks like a lot of places are starting to relax the #StayAtHome orders, so just be sure to stay safe out there. I know I really need a haircut, but it’s certainly not worth risking anyone’s life over (even though it’s getting really long and out of control 💇‍♂️).

If you’re still looking for things to keep you busy, you can do like my daughters and put on a Serverless Fashion Show. Or maybe check out the latest release of DynamoDB Toolbox. 😉

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.

See you next week,
Jeremy

P.S. 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.