Hello my cloud engineering friends,
We are back with another installation of the monthly Cloud Native Software Engineering Newsletter! Where I ferret around the the interwebs reading as much cloud engineering content as I can get my hands on, so that—quite frankly—you don’t have to waste your time doing the same! I always underestimate the amount of content that comes out in a month—and I read everything I share—so putting the newsletter together can take a lot of effort, but I hope that you find it valuable.
There’s been some interesting goings on over this last month of October. And—as always—I like to give each article a little of my own context, narrative and takes. There’s a few meaty articles in this months round up, so grab yourself a coffee, settle down and let’s dig into the happenings from October 2020.
Personal Updates 🙍🏼♂️
Some fun news I got this month was that I got accepted into the AWS community builders program. I’ve already met some pretty cool people who are all super pumped to be putting out Cloud content, which is awesome. If you want to apply for next year, you can do so here.
Recently, I also signed up for a program called Project 24. Project 24 helps website builders earn income from their websites, so I’ll be following their program for some time. It’s a nice community, and I’ll be doing some future updates about things changes I’ve made as a result. You might have noticed that I’m experimenting with adsense, and I’ve also started looking into creating recommended resources. If this type of stuff is your thing, you can also check out this article I wrote earlier on in the year on how I managed to get consistent traffic from SEO. If you’d like to hear more about how I’m growing the site and monetising it, let me know, and I can share it all.
But anyway, that’s enough of the personal updates—let’s get into the cloud stuff!
Feature Releases & Announcements 📚
What’s new in cloud right now.
AWS Re:Invent — First off, Re:Invent is scheduled to kick off later this month. You can check out the agenda now for which different events that you’ll want to join. The whole thing does go on for 3 weeks, so pick the times you want to go to and maybe consider watching it with some friends.
AWS Lambda Extensions Is Out — There was a lot of noise early on this month for Lambda Extensions being released. To help you make sense of the update and whether you should pay attention to it I did my own write up: What Are Lambda Extensions & Should You Care? The TL;DR: is that Lambda Extensions are targeting a specific use case (spoiler: it’s monitoring vendors) and you might not need to know about Lambda Extensions right now, but check out the article for more. Also a big thanks to, Yan Cui for his write up on the Lumigo blog: AWS Lambda Extensions: What They Are as that really helped me to understand the new release.
AWS SNS Introduces FIFO — AWS Introduces FIFO topics for event-driven systems that require strict ordering of messages through SNS.
Node v15 was released — This month Node announced a new version v0.15 this month. One of the more interesting break downs of the release is from open source maintainer Sindre Sorhus who breaks down a lot of the new Node features in this Twitter thread. The thread covers how a lot of his Open Source packages are now made redundant due to the new release Node release, the thread is worth digging into if you want to learn a bit more about what’s in this new release.
ThoughtWorks Radar — This month the ThoughtWorks technology radar came out. For those unaware, ThoughtWorks plot various different new technologies on a radar, letting you us know whether they feel you should assess, trial or adopt the technology. It’s not perfect, and ThoughtWorks definitely don’t have a monopoly on technology opinions, but, the radar is definitely a cool insight into industry trends. Tip: If you’re short of time just read the “adopt” sections. Some interesting items in the radar this time around are: diagrams as code (which I’ve always been interested in, my favourite being the very simple asciiflow), fitness functions getting another mention (which are a concept built out of evolutionary architecture), Terragrunt (which is a tool built on top of Terraform), Honeycomb makes an appearance which I’m super pumped about (I absolutely love the philosophy behind Honeycomb. To understand why, check out my article about one-per-service event logging).
CloudWatch Lambda Insights — AWS Announced a new feature this month, Lambda insights which is essentially a Lambda Extension which, when installed, logs different metrics and data about a Lambda function. It’s nice to see some value coming out from Lambda Extensions already.
How-To’s & Educational Pieces ✏️
Good articles on how to do cloud stuff.
The Best Way To Find A Cloud Job — In this article, Forrest Brazeal digs into some tips for finding jobs in the market. I quite like the advice in his article, which boils down to de-risking yourself as an investment by making your skills transparent through publishing work online. I do also love the advice about jumping on a new technology, that’s exactly what I did, and it worked like a charm.
Observability 101 Concepts — This article is a nice introduction to the terminology surrounding observability, from understanding telemetry to understanding metrics and logs. A good read if you find some of these terms daunting at times.
How Long Does It Take To Learn Terraform? If you were thinking to start learning Terraform, but you’re not sure how long it’ll take. In this article I break down how long it takes to learn Terraform, and share some tips on how to speed up the process.
Opinion Pieces / Miscellaneous 💭
Cloud commentary and spicy takes!
serverless.tf — Is a resource I stumbled into this month. Serverless.tf is a collection of Terraform modules for working with Serverless created by Anton Babenko. I also discovered Anton’s YouTube channel as a result which seems to be mostly about Terraform. I’m curious to give some of his video’s a watch. If you end up in the Terraform world, you’ll be sure to bump into Anton at some point as he’s authored a mountain of Terraform content, modules, you name it.
O11ycast — How did this podcast slip my net? Apparently the Honeycomb folks have been producing an observability podcast for some time and I—apparently— had no idea. I’m excited to get through some more episodes and catch up.
Think Serverless, Not Kubernetes — “Serverless, not Kubernetes, is the best abstraction for deploying software” is the quote from Sam Newman which begins the article. I’ve been a big fan of Sam’s work for a while now and his Building Microservices is one of the books which I recommend the most. I love Sam’s ruthless opinions Sam. For instance, in this article he states: “The usability of stuff like Lambda is way worse than it should be.” which I’m very happy to see. Whilst I do love AWS Lambda and I think it’s a great platform, we don’t often enough hear of it’s limitations, and it is really disjointed. This is a really nice read and some opinionated takes on Serverless vs Containers.
The Future Of Ops Careers — Long time followers of this newsletter know that I love a good Charity Majors Twitter thread, or blog post. And this months newsletter is no different! This article about the future of operations careers was a really interesting read. Hopefully since you read this newsletter you’re already aware of the critical importance of operations in Cloud Engineering. Operations is a truly essential piece in the puzzle of Cloud Engineering as a whole. I must say that I agree with Charity here that the whole #noops trend is a fallacy. Charity calls out Jeremy Daly early on in the post, which did lead to an interseting Twitter exchange which is also worth a read if you liked the article and want some more commentary.
Why Are You Interested In Cloud? 🤓
Something brought you to this newsletter. In order to keep improving both the newsletter and the website, knowing a little more about you and your goals helps out. If you got any value out of my work, and 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!
Speak soon Cloud Native friends!
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- How To Debug AWS Lambda: A Detailed Overview - November 16, 2020