A Weekly Newsletter By Jeremy Daly

Off-by-none: Issue #9

October 30, 2018

Live from ServerlessDays NYC!

Welcome to Issue #9 of Off-by-none. Thanks again for being a part of this! 🙌

Last week we discussed the role of DevOps with serverless teams and how #NoOps is definitely not a thing. This week we’re live from ServerlessDays NYC, so if you’d like to follow along, register for the Live Stream. There are amazing speakers all day long starting at 9am ET. I’ll be doing some live tweeting as well. 😉

The awesome serverless news continues to roll in, including the recent general availability announcements of two new serverless observability platforms, Epsagon and Thundra. Plus, I heard a rumor about a new AWS Lambda feature being announced at re:Invent that is blowing my mind. 🤯 Unfortunately, I can’t tell you about it, because, you know, NDAs. 🤐

Lots of great serverless content this week, so let’s jump in!

When there ain’t no party like a JS Party… 🎉

If you want to listen to me talk a lot (and I mean a lot) about serverless, check out last week’s episode of the JS Party podcast! Kevin Ball, Nick Nisi, Christopher Hiller and me chat for over an hour about all things serverless. We go deep into the role of microservices and how serverless nanoservices are changing the way we build and deploy distributed software. We also talk about the business case for serverless, including the effect on developer efficiency and total cost of ownership. Give it a listen.

When you feel like trading Stephen King for the latest serverless novella… 🤓

The team over at The New Stack has put together an incredibly comprehensive Guide to Serverless Technologies ebook. The New Stack is no stranger to producing some really great serverless content, but this compendium goes above and beyond your typical post. Like all things nowadays, there’s some sponsorship in there, but it’s also loaded with insights and case studies from industry experts. Covering everything from how serverless changes our approach to software development, to how companies can adopt and manage it, this book is worth the read.

When you’re looking for some light serverless reading… 📚

PureSec published an AWS Lambda Security Quick-Start Guide that helps you map the new OWASP Cloud-Native Top 10 Project risks and challenges to an AWS Lambda Security Model. I’m happy to see security practices starting to mature around serverless applications, and the work PureSec has done (including Ory Segal’s recent account of hacking a Lambda function) is making all of us safer. 🔒

Also, you know serverless is going mainstream when there’s an article about it in the Wall Street Journal that’s almost gets the specifics right. Serverless Computing’s Innovative Approach to Software Development is the WSJ’s attempt to explain serverless and its benefits to a wider audience. The problem comes with a few statements such as this: “Such a cold start latency might not be acceptable for certain applications. However, if the function is frequently invoked, there’s a good chance that a previous invocation is still around and the delays will be significantly shorter.” There’s also a good chance that when this type of inaccurate information gets broad distribution, it hurts adoption. FYI, this isn’t how cold starts work. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Still not sure about cold start latency? The New Stack recently reported that Business Logic Is a Leading Technical Use Case for Serverless. But that actually ranks third on their list with HTTP REST APIs and web applications coming in first with an overwhelming 73% of respondents utilizing this use case. I’m not a fan of cold starts either, but they have such a tiny impact that they are mostly unnoticeable.

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 Ben Kehoe (@ben11kehoe). Ben is a Cloud Robotics Research Scientist at  who is using serverless technology to presumably make Roombas self-aware 🤖. He’s an AWS Serverless Hero, a regular conference speaker (including today at ServerlessDays NYC), and an occasional blogger. Ben is also a frequent podcast guest (like here and here). I chose Ben this week because he’s actually started a new podcast with Kas Perch (aka @nodebotanist) that’s all about serverless. It’s called ServerlessTalk and is available via Spotify. Looking forward to the next episode!

Final Thoughts 🤔

Serverless is exploding! More content, more tools, more use cases and more adoption. I’m excited to be at today’s ServerlessDays NYC event to hear “case studies and lessons learned from actual serverless implementations.” The more this type of information is shared, the more serverless is demystified. If you’re interested in attending a conference like this, check out the ServerlessDays website for an event near you. If you’re in the Boston area, follow @ServerlessBOS on Twitter, or join our new meetup to get announcements regarding ServerlessDays Boston (coming early next year).

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Off-by-none. Your feedback and suggestions help me make this newsletter better each week, so please feel free to contact me via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or email and let me know your thoughts, criticisms, and if you’d like to contribute to Off-by-none.

Now go build some amazing serverless apps. See you next time! 👋


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Off-by-none is a weekly email newsletter that focuses on the technical details of building applications and products in the cloud using serverless technology. Together we can become better developers and product people by making fewer mistakes as we learn from each other. Off-by-none is the idea that we can become exceptional at what we do, if we are willing to put in the work. Join me on this journey as we help the community work to develop best practices, share our ideas, and learn to build better cloud-based software.

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