Weekly update 29

Hi, welcome to another weekly update. This is my first update since moving to Amsterdam, and I have perhaps been indulging myself on Stroopwafel a little too much! Seriously, they’re so good, and available everywhere!

Anyhow.. on with the update ;-)

New posts

Meet the family, the “other” AWS serverless services. In this post, I discussed the difference between serverless and function-as-a-service (or FAAS) and why serverless is more than just FAAS. We looked at a number of other AWS services (besides Lambda) that should also be considered serverless and how you can use them to build powerful applications without needing to manage servers.

Step Function as an ad-hoc scheduling mechanism. In this post, I followed up with previous instalments in the series and discussed Step Functions as an alternative approach for scheduling ad-hoc tasks. As always, we discussed the pros and cons of this approach, and how you might be able to mitigate some of the scaling limitations by combining Step Functions with other services.

AWS Lambda: how to share code between functions in a monorepo. In this post, I outlined how you can take advantage of a monorepo setup and share code without having to first publish them to a repository such as NPM. It’s worth mentioning that, ease of code sharing shouldn’t be your only consideration when choosing between a monorepo and one repo per service. Read here for my thoughts on monorepo vs one repo per service.

How to monitor Lambda with CloudWatch Metrics. In this post, I took a deep dive on CloudWatch Metrics and how you should use it to monitor our Lambda functions:

  • what metrics to pay attention to
  • limitations with CloudWatch Metrics
  • design considerations for dashboards
  • what alerts you should consider adding

Finally, a special shout out to Jefferson Frank, for being so kind as to include me in the list of top 7 AWS experts you should follow in 2019! I’m truly honoured to be amongst a list of esteemed colleagues, including the impressive Forrest Brazeal.

Speaking events

On July 11th, I’m going to be speaking at the AWS Connect event in Munich, organized by Jefferson Frank, about the “Journey to the cloud: the why and how of serverless”. I will take you through our evolution from on-premise solutions, to running virtual machines in the cloud to serverless. I will also discuss the state of serverless – common misconceptions, challenges and where we’re headed.

If you’re in the area, then please come and join us for an evening of knowledge sharing, pizza and drinks! Registration is still open and tickets are free.

Now that I’m based in Amsterdam, I’m looking to engage with the local developer community. If you run a local meet up and is looking for talks on serverless or AWS then please get in touch. I’m also available as an independent consultant, so if you need help with adopting serverless technologies, then check out this page to see the services I offer and how we might be able to work together.

Public workshops

I’m running a one-day workshop on how to productionize a serverless application at this year’s Full Stack Fest.

  • Creating APIs with API Gateway and Lambda
  • Real-time stream processing with Kinesis and Lambda
  • Authentication and authorization
  • Testing strategies
  • Local debugging
  • Continuous Integration, Deployment and Delivery
  • Project organization
  • Managing shared code and shared infrastructure
  • Log aggregation and monitoring
  • Distributed tracing using X-Ray
  • Performance and cost optimization
  • Error handling
  • Config management
  • Working with VPCs
  • Canary deployments

You can register for the workshop here, and get a 42% discount if purchased as part of your ticket to the main event.

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Hi, I’m Yan. I’m an AWS Serverless Hero and the author of Production-Ready Serverless.

I specialise in rapidly transitioning teams to serverless and building production-ready services on AWS.

Are you struggling with serverless or need guidance on best practices? Do you want someone to review your architecture and help you avoid costly mistakes down the line? Whatever the case, I’m here to help.

Hire me.


Check out my new course, Complete Guide to AWS Step Functions. In this course, we’ll cover everything you need to know to use AWS Step Functions service effectively. Including basic concepts, HTTP and event triggers, activities, callbacks, nested workflows, design patterns and best practices.

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