Summer 2018 Roundup

I haven’t posted to this blog in awhile, but that’s mainly because it’s been a crazy first half of the year. I’ve started a new job as a cloud architect and serverless community advocate at Trek10, moved to a new state, and put time into some exciting side projects. I was also named an AWS Serverless Hero a few days ago. This is a new program that recognizes AWS community leaders in the specific area of serverless applications, and is already helping me to meet and help more people on their cloud journey.

Recent Writing

Most of my technical writing is now appearing either at Trek10 or at A Cloud Guru. The “FaaS and Furious” cartoon series is going strong and can be found via A Cloud Guru’s social media channels.

I also originated and have been co-hosting the Think FaaS podcast to help educate the serverless community. The episodes are short and fluff-free, so why not subscribe?

Yesterday one of my short fiction pieces — the first of several — appeared at Daily Science Fiction, a professional SFWA-qualifying publication. This is part of a larger project that I hope to share more about at the end of the year.

Upcoming Speaking Events

July 17th – “DEV12 – Living On The Edge with AWS Greengrass” – AWS Summit NYC

I’ll be speaking in the Dev Lounge at the AWS NYC Summit. Come for the Greengrass war stories, stay for the soon-to-be-infamous IoT Rap.

July 30-August 1st – ServerlessConf San Francisco

I’ll be heavily involved in this year’s ServerlessConf. Here’s my tentative agenda:

  • July 30: Leading an all-day serverless workshop
  • July 31: Hosting the main talk track
  • Aug 1: Joint talk with Jared Short: “How To Win Coworkers and Influence Organizations for Serverless”

The Think FaaS podcast will also be featured live on both days of the main conference with an excellent lineup of guest speakers. I hope to see you there!

September 8th – “Serverless for the Enterprise” – IT Weekend Ukraine

Looking forward to sharing some serverless best practices at one of Eastern Europe’s largest IT events.

 

Summer 2018 Roundup

5 Takeaways from ServerlessConf

I had the great privilege of speaking at ServerlessConf in Austin a couple of weeks ago. The conference is a community event run by the fine folks at A Cloud Guru, but you’d never know that they do other things with their time besides plan conferences, because the logistics were practically flawless. Perfect size (about 400 attendees), great food and a cool venue near downtown Austin made for a fun couple of days. Both the quality of sessions and the technical chops of attendees seemed exceptionally high, leading to lots of thought-provoking content and productive hallway conversations. The only negative comment I have about the event was the pacing – the organizers found a way to cram forty sessions into just two days, and the human brain can only absorb so much information before starting to check out.

Fortunately, all the sessions are now available on YouTube for further review. Here are my top five takeaways from the conference, as well as a few of my favorite sessions.

1. In the land of “No Ops”, ops is still king

Creating an app with serverless technologies is superficially easy, but actually deploying, testing, monitoring and debugging that app in production can be a nightmare. Without insight into the underlying services, you have less control over what breaks and less ability to fix it, and the ecosystem of tools that might help is still pretty thin. Nobody puts their finger better on this problem than DevOps legend Charity Majors, whose session was a rambling, electrifying rant on the folly of assuming that “going serverless” means you don’t have to think about traditional ops considerations anymore. If anything, getting rid of the in-house ops team removes the veil between developers and their own code: if something you wrote stops working in production, you’d better be prepared to fix it yourself. Unless you’ve hit a problem in the underlying services, in which case your app is completely beholden to somebody else’s dev cycle – a very real possibility that is not to be brushed off lightly.

Continue reading “5 Takeaways from ServerlessConf”

5 Takeaways from ServerlessConf