Open Up The Cloud Newsletter #27 (August and September Recap 2021)

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Well hello, there cloud friend!

The keen-eyed among you will realize this is a double-edition newsletter because there was in fact no newsletter in August! Why? Because I took a little time off! 🏖 But, we’re back to it, and for this month only, I’ll summarise two months, as opposed to one.

Let’ get into it…

This Month’s Top Cloud Pick(s) ⏫

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

The Cloud Resume Challenge Book — It should be pretty well known at this point that I’m a big fan of the Cloud Resume Challenge (check out the full series on YouTube) set up by Forrest Brazeal. Earlier on this month, Forrest released a companion book to the challenge. The book is totally optional, but full of useful tips about getting into the cloud industry. To celebrate, I ran a giveaway of the book, which I’ll be doing more often, so be sure to follow openupthecloud for future giveaways.

Feature Releases & Announcements 📚

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

AWS Lambda Supports ARM (AWS Blog) — AWS Lambda has now released a new configuration that allows you to use the ARM-based processors. If you’re using Golang, you’ll need to tweak how you re-build your binaries. For Node/Python it should just be a case of updating your AWS Lambda configuration. Lots of customers are reporting increased speeds, and as a result, some reductions in cost, too.

AWS Increases Step Functions Service Support (AWS Blog) — AWS has now increased the number of services integrated with AWS Step Functions. This pushes us closer into an era of not just “serverless” but also “functionless” with a lot less “glue code” being required to integrate the different services in AWS. Previously, step functions was a way to orchestrate workflows in mostly serverless architectures, but this might see Step Functions take a step towards being considered more of a core service within AWS, let’s see!

A New Way To Do Cloud For NodeJS Developers (FooBar Serverless, YouTube) — A deep dive on the new Serverless Cloud platform with Jeremy Daly, who also runs the off by none newsletter (highly recommended—it’s one of the few newsletters I go through religiously). Worth checking out if you want a live demo/run-through of the new Serverless Cloud features.

How-To’s & Educational Pieces 🤓

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

Mono-Lambda vs Single Purposed Functions (AJ Stuyvenberg, DEV.TO) — The debate wages on, should your lambda logic be put into one, or split out? In this article, AJ shares some well-balanced thoughts and useful considerations for both approaches.

AWS.FM (Adam Elmore
, Twitter) — Adam Elmore, is an AWS Community Builder, and king of AWS certifications (with all the certifications! 😬). This past month, Adam has been running some cool Twitter spaces on the topic of cloud. Catch them live on Twitter, or as podcasts later. I’m really liking Twitter spaces recently, as a sort of alternative to in-person meetups, so it’s great to see more spaces emerging in the cloud/AWS space.

DynamoDB Office Hours With Rick Houlihan (Serverless Land, YouTube) — The Serverless Land channel is growing in hidden gems, with a lot of the content being originally streamed on the AWS twitch channel. If you’ve not heard about Rick before, he’s got some of the best DynamoDB content out there, talking a lot about the best way to model and optimise DynamoDB tables. There’s also the Serverless Land website, curated by a lot of AWS serverless heroes and advocates if you haven’t seen it, yet.

AWS Solutions Architect Tech U Path (MecaHumArduino, YouTube) — The Tech U program is a working and education scheme from AWS open to those with minimal experience. The program is something that I think will interest many of those who follow this newsletter. In this video, Yusra and Ilyas go into details about how the program works. See also this thread on Twitter about the Solutions Architect role.

What Do You Think SRE Means? (Devon, Twitter) — I’m often getting asked about the different roles that exist in cloud, one of the options being the SRE role. This Twitter thread goes into many different opinions on the SRE, what they should do and how they should work. Worth checking out if you’re considering the role. Similarly, I also did a write-up on Instagram about the differences between the different roles like DevOps, SRE, Operations, etc.

Opinion Pieces / Miscellaneous 💭

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

How I Got Into The Tech & Cloud Industry With A Degree (Open Up The Cloud, YouTube) — I thought it’d be fun to give some of my own personal background on how I got into tech and the cloud industry. In this video, I talk about my journey, and some of my own lessons learned, including some things that I’d do differently if I were to start all over again.

A First Look At Serverless Cloud (Anthony, DEV.TO) — Serverless Inc, the creators behind the very popular Serverless Framework are now branching out into a new area of business, the cloud itself. In this article, Anthony gives us his first thoughts on using the platform, and you can take a sneak peak at some of the planned features. Serverless cloud is currently in beta/preview—so you have to sign-up to check it out.

Cloud Career Live Q&A (MadebyGPS, YouTube) — I’m a big fan of GPS, her YouTube channel. She even recently ran a live Q&A, covering off a lot of common questions that I also get asked. Questions like: “which cloud certifications are best” and “why AWS vs Azure”. It’s unlisted (not on the main channel), so make sure to bookmark it if you need!

Building A DX Team: Lessons Learned (Lou Bichard, DAZN Tech Blog) — I don’t often talk about my work in this newsletter, but this last week, I put out a blog post talking about 2 weeks of working on the Developer Experience team for DAZN. We’ve learned a lot in that time, made a bunch of mistakes, but done a bunch of things right. If you’re curious about what a DX team is, or what they do, check it out. Also, be sure to check out part 1 for some additional context and background!

What Is The Role Of A Developer In The Cloud? (FooBar Serverless, YouTube) — A wide-ranging discussion about the cloud between Jeremy Daly and Marcia. A little hard to summarise… so you’ll have to just watch it!

100 Days Of Cloud Blog (100DaysOfCloud) — A new blog that is a companion to the 100 days of cloud community. If you’re not already part of the discord, etc, you should!

How They Started Their Tech Career (YouTube, Rishab Kumar) — This last week I was lucky enough to get interviewed/chat with Rishab Kumar, on his YouTube channel, we dug into my career and background (which I haven’t actually talked a lot about publically). I hope there’s some useful bits of advice or tricks in that video which are useful for you, too. If you watch it and have questions, feel free to reach out.

How I went from $14/hr to 70K with no experience (Reddit) — This one is an oldie, that I stumbled upon recently, but it’s just as relevant today as it was 2 years ago. I love hearing stories like this one, and it answers some questions that a lot of people always ask, like what to focus on to crack that first cloud job. Everyone’s story is slightly different, but the common theme is always persistence, commitment and focus. Some unique things about this journey are things like creating YouTube videos. Which is certainly not mandatory, but wow, what a great way to stand out.

Personal Updates 🙍🏼‍♂️

As I mentioned, I’ve been taking some (much needed!) time off over the last few weeks, you can see a bunch of pictures on Twitter from some hiking I did in the Balkans. I’m now just getting back into the swing of things, and new videos should be going up on YouTube again shortly, but it feels good to be back.

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 friends!

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Lou Bichard