Open Up The Cloud Newsletter #25 (June Recap 2021)

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Hey cloud friends!

We’re another month down in 2021—where does the time go? This means we’re back again recapping the most important cloud news, this time for June.

So let’s get into it…

This Month’s Top Cloud Pick(s) ⏫

If you only read one or two things this month, let it be this.

Self Taught Guide To Cloud Computing – This month, Gwyneth (GPS) put together an awesome guide for self-teaching yourself cloud computing (here’s the announcement Tweet / thread). Guidance like this for cloud career starters is sorely needed, so the project comes as a nice addition to the growing resources you can find online. I can already tell that I’m going to be sharing this link a lot! And, if you’re not already subscribed, GPS has a cloud YouTube channel which you should also check out!

Feature Releases & Announcements 📚

New stuff in the cloud, that you probably should know about.

A Public Registry For CloudFormation (AWS News Blog) — It’s now easier to use CloudFormation with third-party resources. CloudFormation did already have the functionality to pull in third-party resources, by allowing you to reference them from S3 buckets, but this change makes those external resources easier to discover and manage. And whilst this does mean that CloudFormation continues to be less AWS-specific, I still think tools like Terraform have the edge by not being tied to a cloud.

AWS Bug Bust (AWS News Blog) — This month, AWS announced a service that allows you to host “bug busting” sessions. It is highly heavily integrated with their CodeGuru products, their automated code review tools—so I can’t help but that it is mostly an extension/advertisement for those services, but who knows, maybe you like the idea of running this kinda thing for your company! Give it a try, and let me know how you find it.

AWS Dev Podcast (Dave Isbitski, Twitter) — There’s a new AWS podcast on the block, hosted by Dave Isbitski and Emily Freeman. So far they’ve been talking about AWS Amplify, Open Source and AWS Lambda. Also, there’s the new @awsdevelopers Twitter account which was announced recently.

A Cloud Guru Gets Acquired (A Cloud Guru Blog) — An interesting turn of events as ACloudGuru gets acquired by PluralSight, of all companies. I’m not sure what to make of the announcement yet, A Cloud Guru hasn’t even finished their merger with Linux Academy! I did like the small-time feel and the focus on the cloud niche that A Cloud Guru brought, so I hope this doesn’t mean both companies will be mushed together into one monolith at the expense of the users. But, A Cloud Guru are remaining quiet about the upcoming plans, so we’ll have to wait and see. I also shared some more thoughts about the announcement on Instagram when it was announced.

How-To’s & Educational Pieces 🤓

Articles on how to do various cool things with the cloud.

Serverless Framework vs AWS SAM vs AWS SDK (Sebastian Bille) —  If you’re looking to get into Cloud, AWS and/or Serverless you’ll undoubtedly have to make a decision on which serverless framework to choose. There are many options, and the choice isn’t straightforward. The independent Serverless framework, AWS’s own tool AWS SAM, or writing infrastructure as code in “regular” languages using the CDK. In this article, Sebastian dives into the differences. Also related is an article I wrote a few months ago: Serverless Framework vs AWS SAM vs Terraform vs CloudFormation.

How I Processed Half A Million Transactions In AWS Lambda In Minutes (Mohammed Lutfalla) — If you’ve wondered about what serverless and cloud native architectures look like on AWS, this article is a nice use-case / example of that. Mohammed takes you through some event-driven architecture that he built, that leverages DynamoDB, SQS, S3 and Lambda. This is serverless computing doing what it’s designed to do best.

AWS Serverless Services For Beginners (Aayush Pandey)— Ever wonder which services are the ones that are considered part of the “Serverless” family? In this article, Aayush breaks down the various AWS services that are all part of the Serverless family, from Lamdba to Athena.

Where To Start With Cloud Computing? (Open Up The Cloud) — This is a question I get asked a lot, and maybe to your surprise, I hadn’t yet written a dedicated article on this particular topic. So I took a recent answer from a question on LinkedIn and turned it into this full post. I try to keep it actionable, talking about what tech to focus on, and which projects to start with so you can get off the ground quickly, which I think is essential. Or, if you’re the visual type, I have the same post as a gallery on Instagram.

Which AWS Region is cheapest? and Which AWS Region is closest to you? (Open Up The Cloud) — I’d always heard certain AWS regions are cheaper than others. But when I went to find some data, I ended up drawing a blank from Google—nothing! So I went ahead and pulled the data on costings for the basic AWS services across all regions to see which regions really are the cheapest. Also, I know most of us are guilty of choosing AWS Regions arbitrarily. But, how do we figure out the best AWS region when it comes to latency? I went digging to find out, and found some neat tools on the way.

Opinion Pieces / Miscellaneous 💭

Cloud commentary, spicy takes, memes, and just-for-fun stuff!

Why Local Development For Serverless Is An Anti-Pattern (Gareth McCumskey, DEV.TO) — Judging by the comments alone, you know this is a heated debate! As developing in the cloud becomes more integrated than ever, it becomes harder and harder to test components locally. Personally, I’m a fan of running local unit tests with mocks, and deploying to the cloud after those tests have passed (no cloud emulation locally). I’m also not a fan of trying to run a full production setup locally (unless you deliberately have a monolith). Related, are details of my personal testing philosophy in: how to test AWS Lambda: everything you need to get started.

How Stripe Do Code Reviews In Under 10 Minutes (James Long, Twitter) — Not cloud-related, but an important, yet clearly divisive topic of code reviews. Or rather the topic of how to do code review well. Also related, this article on why I won’t approve your PR and this thread about how the GitHub UI has influenced our behaviours (and not necessarily for the better), which is something I’ve been thinking and talking about for some time, too. We can be fiercely independent as an industry when it comes to our work and the code review process is also taken as a sacred cow, but sometimes it’s worth questioning whether our process serves us as well as we think it does.

Serverless WordPress on AWS For $0.01 A Day (Pete Wilcock, DEV.TO) —  It was only a matter of time before someone attempted to run WordPress on a serverless set-up! Because, even despite the Serverless revolution, the internet very much still runs on WordPress. But, if you’ve ever tried to deploy WordPress, you know it can be expensive and fiddly when compared with other static site options.

Personal Updates 🙍🏼‍♂️

What I’ve been up to over the past month.

After a few months of dragging my heels, I’m back into the habit/swing of publishing blogs more regularly. There’s also a video per week going out on the Open Up The Cloud YouTube Channel (as for all of 2021). Now, with the Cloud Resume Challenge series coming to a nice conclusion I’m also thinking of what should be the next batch of videos or topics. So if you have ideas, hit reply and let me know, I’m always very appreciative of the feedback I get from you all 🚀

See You Next Month 👋

That’s all for this month’s newsletter, thanks again for joining!

If you’ve got feedback on the newsletter, e.g. if there’s something you would like to see more or less of reply to the email and let me know. I’m always looking for ways to make the newsletter more relevant and useful for you 🙏.

Speak soon Cloud Engineering friends!

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Lou Bichard