Cloud Native Software Engineering Newsletter #16 (September 2020)

Hello friends, and we’re back!

It’s the end of September and it’s the next edition of the Cloud Native Software Engineering Newsletter, where I dig through the internet to bring back everything that’s new or noteworthy in the world of cloud software engineering for you.

In this months breakdown it seems that AWS have been releasing some nice little tweaks to the platform, especially around serverless and the supporting services.

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Personal Updates 🙍🏼‍♂️

I was away for a good part of August, so I’m still catching up with everything myself. After our France / Spain trip got called off, we took the motorbikes around the NC500 in Scotland, and it was just incredibly beautiful, it’s definitely recommended!

But anyway, on with Cloud things!

Feature Releases & Announcements 📚

What’s new in cloud right now.

API Gateway HTTP API’s adds integration with 5 AWS Services — This is a cool announcement. Now you can automatically integrate with five AWS services from API Gateways HTTP API: AWS AppConfig, Amazon EventBridge, Amazon Kinesis Data Streams, Amazon SQS, and AWS Step Functions out of the box. Without needing to send your data to an intermediary like a lambda function.

API Gateway for Google — One of the original big hurdles to Serverless adoption was the ability to expose functions as public endpoints (using some form of API Gateway). Recently Google has taken a step forward by introducing their own API Gateway service to compliment their existing cloud offering.

Share CloudWatch Dashboards Publically  — Recently, AWS announced that you can now share your CloudWatch dashboards in a variety of ways, with single use logins, or full public dashboards. This is pretty neat. I imagine that we’ll start to see more public dashboards popping up as a result of this change.

Pulumi Achieve 100% Azure Coverage — In last weeks newsletter we talked a lot about the new CDK announcement for Terraform, showing how Terraform is hot on the heels of Pulumi in providing multi language support. But Pulumi was again making noise for having full azure support. I’m still not convinced that Pulumi can be put into the “adopt” category (in thoughtworks radar terminology). And to be fair, ThoughtWorks themselves place Pulumi in only the “assess” section.

AWS Step Functions & X-Ray — X-Ray is the AWS tracing tool which lets you monitor how interactions between services perform. AWS have now announced that step functions will support X-Ray, which will make many serverless-first companies happy. Another step towards getting full coverage for X-Ray.

AWS Lambda Console Support for Step Functions — Another announcement for step functions is that AWS Lambda console will now show step function visualisations. And if you’re not fully familiar with all the features of the AWS Lambda console, I’d urge you to check out the previous article I wrote which walks you through the AWS Lambda console, and explains the various different features.

Issue 14 of Increment (API’s) — In case you missed the last editions, Stripe publish a quarterly themed development magazine called increment. The quality is great and you can read it all online or pay for a physical subscription. Check out this months quarters theme: API’s.

How-To’s & Educational Pieces ✏️

Good articles on how to do cloud stuff.

Optimal Resource Allocations For Lambda Functions — The promise of Serverless was no operations!? What gives? Apparently we do still have asses our software to choose the right performance setup for our serverless functions. In this article, Alex Casalboni takes us through the tool aws-lambda-power-tuning and how to use it for optimising Lambda functions.

AWS API GATEWAY HTTP vs REST API — Whether you knew it or not, AWS offers two API Gateway products: HTTP and REST API. In reality it’s more like API Gateway v1 and v2. One is newer, faster and not as fully featured (yet). But check out the article for more details on the difference.

All You Need To Know About Lambda Cold Starts  — Much has been said about cold starts over the years. And many steps have been taken to reduce their impact, but yet we’re still discussing them. Will the impact of the cold start ever go away for Serverless? Or is it just a factor we’ll have to deal with forevermore?

Opinion Pieces / Miscellaneous 💭

Cloud commentary and spicy takes!

ACloudGuruChallenge — After the “Cloud Resume Challenge” turned out really popular, ACloudGuru have taken up the idea, and will be posting a cloud challenge per month. A good thing to have a look at if you’re after a portfolio builder and you’re trying to get into cloud engineering from scratch.

You Can’t Debug Systems With Dashboards — It’s no secret, I’m a big fan of Charity Major’s work. She is almost guaranteed a slot in this newsletter each week. Despite this article being a slightly older one, it’s just as relevant, and has been doing the rounds again. This article dives into various aspects of observability, culture around monitoring, uptime and operations, a fun read.

Read Aloud Cloud — Well, it’s finally out! “The Read Aloud Cloud” book was announced this month. A fun little book designed to help you explain cloud in a simple, approachable way.

The Secret Of Web Dev Bootcamps & Using Cloud To Your Advantage — After reading an article on a similar article about cloud and bootcamps I realised I hadn’t yet written on this topic. So take a look if you’re just getting into the industry, or are thinking about taking a bootcamp.

The Future Of Ops Jobs — Charity Majors made another big splash this month with this piece for A Cloud Guru talking about the role of operations in the future.

168 AWS Services in 2 Minutes & LAMBDA — And lastly, for some reason (something in the water maybe?) the cloud world went musical this month. Forrest Brazeal did a run down of the 168 AWS services and Jeremy Daly did a Hamilton (the musical) cover, except lambda themed (no, really!).

Why Are You Interested In Cloud? 🤓

Something brought you to this newsletter, right? In order to keep improving the newsletter and the website, knowing a little more about you and your goals really helps out. If you have got any value out of any of my work, if you could spare just a few moments to take the The Cloud Native Software Engineering Survey you’d be doing me a HUGE favour. If not now, maybe next time?

That’s All Folks 🎉 🥳 🤓

And that’s all for this months newsletter, thanks for tuning in!

To stay in touch in the mean time, you can follow 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 (coming soon) and AWS (coming soon). And lastly, if you have a question, feel free to email me back directly, or submit a reader question.

Speak soon Cloud Native friends!

Lou Bichard