Not so serverless Neptune

Several years ago I wrote a post asking people to stop calling everything serverless. I even gave a keynote at Serverless Days Milan the following year pleading the same message. My contention was quite simple: “when everything’s serverless, nothing will be.”

Back then, “serverless” was still relatively new, and the possibilities were seemingly endless. Sure, there were a few people starting to mislabel things, and of course, haters were gonna hate, but for the most part, the argument was less about the nuances of the technology and more about the “nature” of serverless and the serverless-first mindset. But then something changed.

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The cloud isn’t the issue, you’re just using it wrong

#Tech Twitter was all abuzz recently after DHH boldly proclaimed and explained why [37signals is] leaving the cloud. A lot of people cheered, some of us jeered, and everyone else just pitched web3 as an alternative solution. DHH’s success has earned him a giant platform and a tremendous amount of influence, and while I often disagree with him, it’s clear that many others do not. I spent quite a bit of time reading through all the retweets, reposts, comments, and hot takes, and I came to a fairly simple conclusion: these people are using the cloud wrong.

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Getting abstractions wrong with AWS SAM Serverless Connectors

I was intrigued when I first saw the announcement of AWS SAM Serverless Connectors. I don’t use SAM very much (if at all anymore), so it wasn’t the hope of this being some sort of silver bullet for my occasional IAM frustrations that got my attention. Rather, it was another opportunity to learn how AWS is trying to abstract away their mostly self-imposed complexity problems. Unfortunately, I think they missed the mark on this.

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Cloud Native versus Native Cloud apps

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about the next evolution of the cloud, and more importantly, what the developer experience looks like. A few years ago, I think that most of us in the serverless ecosystem thought that the path forward seemed quite clear. Serverless-first was obviously “the way.” Small, discrete, single-purpose functions interconnected through a series of planet-scale, self-upgrading, managed services with built-in redundancy was the holy grail of cloud development.

Of course there were some gotchas in there, and not every use case was a perfect fit, but over time we figured these would be addressed as the technology evolved. For the most part, that has come to pass. Even if AWS hasn’t quite yet solved some of these issues, other cloud providers and startups have certainly tried. But while serverless was slowly preparing to cross the chasm, another already widely accepted technology was gaining traction in the cloud: containers.

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Is learning serverless really that hard?

I came across Paul Johnston’s Learning Serverless (and why it is hard) post one Saturday morning, and ended up with a sore neck because I was nodding in agreement the entire time I was reading it. Okay, maybe the neck pain had more to do with how I slept the night before, but I’m quite sure the agreeing nods contributed. But when it comes to learning serverless, a little bit of neck pain, IMO, is the least of your problems.

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Let’s talk about the cloud skills gap

Lydia Leong recently wrote a thought-provoking piece suggesting that cloud adoption will fail because of the skills gap. This certainly isn’t (or shouldn’t be) news to those of us paying attention. The cloud has become progressively more complex as it has matured. There has been an explosion of cloud services, a rapid expansion of public cloud competitors that are achieving (or exceeding) feature parity for the most common use cases, and a third-party market that now contains more than 1,000 “cloud-native” tools, services, and platforms.

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