Cloud Native Software Engineering Newsletter #13 (June 2020)

Hello friend,

This past month I’ve given the website a new lick of CSS paint. That’s a new body new font and a simpler white design. Let me know what you think! And in other news this month I started officially writing up reader questions, and writing up cloud book summaries (more on both of these later on). But now it’s time to take a look through the happenings of May 2020 within the cloud world.

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Community Content 📚

The Everything Guide To Lambda Throttling, Reserved Concurrency and Execution Limits —  Did you know Lambda functions don’t scale infinitely? They have limits, and sometimes these limits are useful. The confusing and counter-intuitive aspects of serverless is something I previously wrote about in the article misconceptions of Lambda. However, in this particular article, Kerri Rapes does a great (and very visual!) job of explaining how resources are allocated for Lambda. A must if you’re unsure about how reserved concurrency and throttling works.

Observability Is A Many-Splendored Definition — Observability, as defined by: “having the ability to ask any question of your systems” should be at the front of mind for any software engineer, especially those working in the cloud. In this article, Charity Majors takes a (yet another) swing at defining observability and taking apart some common misconceptions of what observability is / isn’t. If you’re interested in monitoring or observability and you’re not following Charity already then you’re heavily missing out.

Pulumi Announces Policy as Code — Everytime I’ve talked about Infrastructure as Code someone has appeared in the comments to remind me: “What about Pulumi?”. It seems the relative newcomer to infrastructure as code is gaining some momentum. Recently they announced an extension of their feature set allowing policy rules to be applied to infrastructure as code configs, “Policy As Code”.

How To Use Amazon S3 As An Event Bus — I’m not suggesting using S3 as an event bus is the greatest idea. But… this article is a neat introduction to both the event bus concept in general, covering a bit about why you’d want to use one and the types of eventing systems, but it also covers some fun capabilities and possibilities that can be achieved by using S3 event notifications in interesting ways.

Podman (Daemonless Containers) — Somehow I missed the memo for this project. A few years back RedHat released a project called Podman, a daemonless alternative to Docker. It’s not really a direct replacement, more an evolution. Podman works without a daemon so it’s pretty lightweight in comparison to Docker. A significant limitation as a a result is that it only runs on Linux. Nonetheless an interesting project, and definitely one to watch going forward.

K3’s – Another similarly interesting project to keep an eye on is K3’s, which is a lightweight kubernetes alternative. With the bloat and difficulty that comes with Kubernetes the market is definitely needing a simpler solution, but let’s see if K3’s is really the answer. Time will tell, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on!

How To: Pass The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam in 2020 — In this article, Katie shares some resources on how she passed the Cloud Practitioner exam. The Cloud Practitioner is one of the first suggested AWS exams if you were thinking about taking them. In this article Katie shares some good resources to practice tests, free resources and video’s, and talks you through her exam strategy. Worth a read if you’re planning to take your first AWS exam as the cloud practitioner.

How I Got My AWS Solution Architect Associate In Under 40 Days — In this DEV.TO article, Tommy Leng takes us through the steps he took in order to get certified as an AWS Architect Associate. There’s some good tips in this article on courses to look at and an approach for practice questions. I feel it’s about time that I put together a roundup post of all the different resources that are available for taking and passing the AWS exams.

The Dev Coach Content 📚

How Do You Look At console.log Output Of A Lambda Function? – It seems that a common issue new engineers to Lambda have is setting up their CloudWatch logging. Or specifically in JavaScript that’s the console.log. In this article I go through how to access your log output of your Lambda function in a few different ways.

Terraform: How To Rename Instead Of Deleting A Resource — Terraform isn’t very straight-forward when it comes to refactoring. I touched on this point in migrate existing infrastructure to terraform. With Terraform to change the name of a resource you have to modify its underlying state explicitly. It’s more like a database migration, than a code refactor. In this article we cover how you can rename resources in Terraform rather than deleting and re-creating them.

Cloud Book Summaries — I’m excited to say that I’ve begun compiling overviews (not reviews!) of technical books I’ve read over the years, starting with some of the best. The overviews give you some of the best quotes / insights from the books. If you’ve read anything particularly notable, be sure to hit reply and let me know so that I can write it up. The first book summary addresses a big topic in cloud engineering: Book Summary: “Building Microservices” by Sam Newman, take a look to read the three big take-home points from the book.

Reader Questions — After receiving more and more questions from readers, I figured it was about time that I opened up an explicit reader questions section and started to answer some of those questions. The first question is Which AWS Certifications Should You Start With If You’re A Junior?. It’s a great question and we dive into some of the responses here. Hit reply on the email to send me over a question if you have one.

Serverless Ultimate Guide — I’m always going back through the Ultimate Guides on the site to update them with as much information as I can. This last month I made some more changes to the Serverless Ultimate guide, be sure to check it out if you’re getting up and running with Serverless.

How I Gained Consistent SEO Traffic — I went a little off the usual topic in an article this month. I’ve seen some good SEO growth in some of the articles over time. And I was having repeated conversations and questions asked about SEO. So I decided it was about time that I write about some of the techniques that I’ve been using for SEO so you can use them too. In this article I dive into my SEO results, how and why they worked, and also share some ways you can apply some things that I learned from building my own site, to yours.

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That’s All Folks 🎉 🥳 🤓

And that’s all for this newsletter, thanks for tuning in! To stay in touch in the mean time, you can follow The Dev Coach on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to check out the courses page for the full list of courses, including the free email courses on: TerraformLambda and AWS.

Speak soon Cloud Native friends!

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Lou Bichard