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Weekly update 45

Hi, welcome to another weekly update.

First of all, I want to thank Dynobase for sponsoring this week’s update.

Dynobase – Professional GUI Client for DynamoDB

Dynobase accelerates your DynamoDB workflow with easier data exploration, code generation, bookmarks, tabs, history, import/export capabilities and much more. Dynobase is available for Mac, Windows and Linux. Download Free 7-Day Trial. Special offer: Get 25% off Dynobase with the code YAN25 (coupon valid till midnight 11th June)

Production-Ready Serverless workshop

We wrapped up the first online edition of my Production-Ready Serverless workshop and I want to thank everyone who took part in it and for Senzo for hosting the 4-week workshop on their Homeschool platform.

We’ll likely run this online workshop again in September.

In the meantime, my fellow Serverless Heroes Aleksandar Simovic and Slobodan Stojanovi? are also running some Serverless courses in June and July:

Real-World Serverless podcast

Since the last update, we have 6 new episodes for you:


May was a particularly busy month for me as I spoke at quite a few events (while also working on two client projects and running the Production-Ready Serverless online workshop!). All the talks were recorded, and the slides are also available online (see the description of the videos). I will be posting new talks on my YouTube channel, so please subscribe and enable alarms so you get notified whenever I post new videos.

Here’s all the talks I delivered in May, enjoy!

Patterns and Practices for building resilient Serverless applications

A 2 hours marathon session where I covered lots of different topics, including:

  • offloading compute-intensive task to queues
  • managing distributed transactions with the saga pattern
  • dealing with poison messages
  • dealing with partial failures
  • mitigating retry storms with circuit breakers
  • understand Lambda’s scaling behaviour and the role of Provisioned Concurrency
  • building multi-region, active-active APIs and data pipelines
  • how to use chaos engineering to identify systemic weaknesses early

and I even found time to gave a couple of demos on injecting failures with failure-lambda!

Building a social network in under 4 weeks with Serverless and GraphQL

In this talk, I discussed how (on a recent client project) I built the backend for a new social network using AWS AppSync, Lambda, DynamoDB and Algolia. The most amazing about this was how quickly we were able to deliver the MVP! It was possible because I was able to stand on the shoulders of giants and focus on the most essential business needs rather than infrastructure concerns.

How to build observability into a serverless application

In this talk, I discussed the challenges the serverless paradigm introduces to traditional methods of monitoring our applications and how we can still build observability into our serverless applications.

Don’t try these at home

In this talk, I discussed the value of experimentation in the cloud, and the path to becoming a true expert.

Beware the potholes on the road to serverless

In this talk, I discussed 13 common mistakes companies make when they move to serverless:

  1. Not letting go of legacy thinking
  2. Using one AWS account for all environments
  3. Spending too much time writing code, and too little time researching
  4. Not using an existing deployment framework
  5. Console-driven development
  6. One repo per function
  7. Unencrypted secrets in environment variables
  8. Not following the least privilege principle
  9. Missing DLQs
  10. Too much or too little concurrency
  11. Misunderstanding cold starts
  12. Not taking the Lambda lifecycle into account when managing RDS connections
  13. Lack of observability

Upcoming talks

As things stand, June is looking like a busy month too. If you wanna catch me online, then check out my full list of speaking engagements. Here’s what I’m doing in the next couple of weeks:

Thank you to my patrons

Finally, I want to give a shout out to my patrons:

Andre Silva, Bala Chalasani, Boseok In, Dome Jantaphat, Dragan Cabarkapa, Ebru Cucen, Efi Merdler-Kravitz, Eric Allam, Hrafnkell Palsson, Jon Barber, Jonathan Kosgei, Kevin Woods, Mark David McCreary, Marko @ Serverless Life, Michael Wills, Peter Miller, Shawn MacIntyre, Tajinder Singh, Tendies123, Will Saunders, Yinan Xue

Thank you guys so much for your continued support!

Liked this article? Support me on Patreon and get direct help from me via a private Slack channel or 1-2-1 mentoring.

Hi, my name is Yan Cui. 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.

You can contact me via Email, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Hire me.

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