Serverless Architecture Conference 2019 - Serverless Hits the Big Time in Berlin

I never thought that this would be my life.

For more than a year, I’ve been talking to individual customers and getting inspired by their stories, challenges, and goals. Now, I have the spectacular opportunity to meet entire conference rooms of people who are excited to hear about my story, challenges, and goals. This is my time to give back to the types of users who have inspired me ever since I entered the serverless space. The last few months have been a whirlwind, culminating in being named an AWS Serverless Hero.

One such conference I attended and spoke at was Serverless Architecture Conference 2019 in Berlin, Germany. All of the sessions were inspiring in their own ways, but the handful below have truly sparked new ideas and motivation in me:

Monitoring Serverless Applications on AWS: the Monitoring Monster becomes your Friend

It’s surprising that monitoring can be a hurdle in a fully managed environment. But the fact is, trying to use the default AWS tools is a bit like drinking from the firehose: there’s no shortage of information on everything but that can be overwhelming! This talk by Nick Van Hoof was a great breakdown of serverless monitoring and filtering techniques — valuable to anyone interested in building a serverless app whose AWS Lambda performance can be tracked in an organized and comprehensible way.

Architectural Patterns in the Serverless Journey of shop.LEGO.com

Serverless – is it for big corporations? Or is it for everyone? Where can we find answers to such questions? Well, the best way to answer such concerns is to simply talk about your serverless experience and take the audience through the journey you have been through!

Don’t tell your kids, but Legos are a pretty useful metaphor in many different sectors of tech. The same is true for serverless. Just the way that our services are built of little building blocks that can snap together seamlessly, well you get it.

Practical Auth in a Serverless World

This was a neat talk to step out of the AWS world and see how some independent services like Auth0, OAuth 2, JWT, and the secrets management system Azure Key Vault could help secure your Serverless environment.

Right now AWS has significant market dominance so it’s easy to forget that there are some significant players out there like Azure. Also tools like OAuth mean you can do authentication and security without relying on a large platform service.

The Serverless First Mindset

“Approaching problems with a serverless first mindset means rethinking, re-architecting, and rethinking again.” - A great quote from Jared Short’s excellent presentation which sums up why I am so committed in this movement. A lot of what I’ve been talking about this last year revolves around similar ideas. Serverless presents a framework wherein business needs are at the center and the systems around them change quickly – it’s a modular world. Cue the Legos.

What I wish I could have Seen

Emrah Samdan’s talk on chaos engineering was the same time as mine and I heard it was wonderful!

Lasting Value of the Conference

One thing that’s especially cool about this conference is that there were actually two co-located events running simultaneously: APICon and Serverless Architecture Conference. Getting together to see those tracks merge shows a lot of maturity for the serverless platform. The speaker dinners at the end of the conference were wonderful as well.

Some of my favorite topics at that dinner were about starting small: when you’re designing an application with 0 users at the outset, there’s no reason to build it for 5 million users immediately. There’s no reason to write intricate indexing for a customer database that’s currently empty. This has been solid advice since the advent of Agile methodologies 20 years ago, and serverless brings it to the platform level. At the risk of saying this ad infinitum, one of the most wonderful things about serverless computing is that it lowers the barrier to entry — start now, start now, start now!

In Jared Short’s keynote, he described how adopting serverless isn’t like changing your software tools. Getting your team to change how they think about large tasks is a much harder process with much bigger potential benefits. Again, it’s not just about the tech, it’s about a shift in thinking.

Coming to re:Invent? Let’s talk serverless!

I could talk about serverless methodologies and listen to serverless users all day. If you’re at re:Invent, I’d love to do just that together! Come see us at booth #724 in The Venetian to get answers to all your questions on building a faster and more streamlined serverless workflow.

The whole Stackery team is excited to help you serverless with confidence.

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