Weekly update 16

Yan Cui

I help clients go faster for less using serverless technologies.

Hi, welcome to another weekly update.

I’m going independent :-)

Firstly, a big update on a personal front – I’ve transitioned into a part-time role at DAZN so I can start a career as an independent consultant. My goal here is to use my expertise to help businesses accelerate their time-to-market through the use of AWS and serverless technologies.

Over the years I have realised that the most important skillset I have is being able to effectively apply my technical skills and knowledge of different technologies, and use them to deliver business values quickly. Like every other engineer, I enjoy technical challenges. I have purposefully chosen my career path so I can tackle new and interesting technical challenges. I have worked up and down the stack, from writing high-level Lambda functions, down to implementing proprietary RUDP protocols for realtime multiplayer games.

But I have also learnt that delivering what the business and user needs is the only thing that matters at the end of the day, and you need to deliver with great speed and quality. And sometimes, that means you have to do the boring thing, and not attempt to tackle the technically challenging problems. Instead, make them someone else’s problem, and find someone who is much more proficient than you are at solving these problems. I find that AWS is perfect for that “someone”, and serverless is perfect for this focus on delivering business values instead of solving technical challenges.

If you feel your business is not moving fast enough, and wondering how AWS and serverless technologies can help then let’s have a chat. Please get in touch with me via the contact form and I will get back to you ASAP.

Welcome Protego as our sponsor for January!

It is my pleasure to welcome Protego as sponsor for this month. Here’s a message from Protego to explain what they’re building and their vision for Serverless security.

The Protego serverless security solution helps you save time and automatically increase security. Protego Proact scans your serverless infrastructure before and after deployment and helps you maximize your application’s security posture, minimizing the attack surface. Protego continuously scans your serverless infrastructure, code, and runtime environment to collect and correlate hundreds of data points. With machine-based analysis and deep learning algorithms, Protego builds a model of normal function behavior to effectively detect and stop attacks.

In 2018, Protego Labs received Frost & Sullivan’s Global New Product Innovation Award and won the Startup Competition for the most innovative cyber initiative at the Cybertech Tel Aviv Conference. Additionally, Protego was named a Company to Watch by SDTimes Magazine and is currently nominated for Best Cybersecurity Startup in the Cyber Excellence Awards.

For more information, visit Protego.io and follow @ProtegoLabs.

New Posts

Since I never got around to publishing a weekly update in December, here’s a quick catch up of the posts I wrote and published since the last update.

My Thoughts on the Serverless Announcements at re:Invent 2018. Right off the back of re:invent, I shared my thoughts on the many serverless announcements during the conference. We looked at Lambda announcements like Firecracker and Layers, but also looked at the other serverless announcements. Specifically we looked at the database announcements this year – the new databases QLDB and Timestream, as well as big upgrades for DynamoDB.

Notes from Screaming in the Cloud with Joseph Ruscio. I also bought a pair of AirPods during the re:invent week, and has since rediscovered the joy of listening to podcasts. This is the notes I took from Corey Quinn’s conversation with Joseph Ruscio on how startups can build a defensible position against the AWS behemoth, and why Google is lagging behind in the race to be the 2nd cloud.

Considerations for the Beginner Serverless Developer. I wrote a guest post for Epsagon on the things you should consider as you start out your serverless journey. We covered everything from which language to use, what memory size to choose, all the way to CI/CD, logging, monitoring and much more.

Error Handling in AWS Lambda With Wrappers. Another guest post for Epsagon on error handling strategies for AWS Lambda. We explored why middlewares are still a powerful tool in the world of serverless, and some of the things you should consider doing as part of your error handling strategy.


I spoke with Jeffrey Meyerson for another episode of the Software Engineering Daily podcast. This time we talked all about DAZN, the challenges with delivering live video streams and how we’re using both containers and serverless at scale. As always, it was a lot of fun! You can find my previous episodes on building multiplayer games here, and on building a serverless startup here.


I gave a talk at re:invent on how we can apply the principles of chaos engineering to serverless. It was my first time speaking at re:invent and I was really pleased with how it turned out. You can find the slides and recording below.

I’m honoured to be the opening keynote speaker at both ServerlessDays Cardiff and ServerlessDays Hamburg this year. I really enjoyed all the ServerlessDays conferences last year and kudos to the whole ServerlessDays team to make the conferences such a huge success. This year there are even more conferences lined up all around the world! If you’re based in Europe, tickets to both Cardiff and Hamburg are still available and super affordable (£25 and €35 respectively), so don’t miss out! I’m going to give new talks and discuss the idea of FinDev at Cardiff and debunk some common serverless myths at Hamburg. Hope to see you at one of these events!

Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Production-Ready Serverless: Join 20+ AWS Heroes & Community Builders and 1000+ other students in levelling up your serverless game.
  2. Consulting: If you want to improve feature velocity, reduce costs, and make your systems more scalable, secure, and resilient, then let’s work together and make it happen.
  3. Join my FREE Community on Skool, where you can ask for help, share your success stories and hang out with me and other like-minded people without all the negativity from social media.