What I learned from ServerlessDays Belfast 2020

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The inaugural Serverless Days Belfast took place on Friday past. This was my first time attending a Serverless Days event and also my first ever time speaking at a conference 😱! It was an unbelievable day with world-class speakers. I learned a load and met several new friends as well as many old ones. 😃

My talk wasn’t until mid-afternoon, so my nerves didn’t always allow me to fully concentrate on the earlier talks or take proper notes. But I wanted to give a quick update on a few concepts, ideas and tools that I want to study further in the near future. I’ve also tried to collate a list of all the speakers’ slide decks at the end.

You can’t skip the upfront research

A theme echoed by a few different speakers is that for folks coming to serverless for the first time, while it’s easy to spin up a working stack quickly, you can’t skip the hard part of doing the research about the best services and tools to use to build your app. Specifically, you and your team need:

  • A strong understanding of distributed, asynchronous architectures
  • A good handle on IaC (CloudFormation in particular)
  • To avoid using non-serverless components as far as possible

EventBridge vs SNS

EventBridge is an event bus that you can use to pass messages between different services within your system as well as third party ones. In serverless architectures that I’ve designed to date, I typically used SNS to perform this role. I was never quite sure where EventBridge would fit in and when I might use it instead of SNS.

In his talk, Jeremy Daly mentioned that he prefers to use SNS topics for intra-service communication (e.g. for performing async tasks within the same microservice) and EventBridge for inter-service communication. I’m hoping to explore this area further in the next few months.

Wardley Maps

Wardley Maps has been on my list of things to dive deeper into for a long time, but hearing several speakers (notably Susanne Kaiser and Michael O’Reilly) reference it in their talks has pushed it higher up this list.

Maps are an organisational strategy tool rather than a technical one, but are often applied in the context of serverless applications. The “book” on Wardley Maps is available on Medium.com.

Tool for automating AWS account creation

In his talk, Yan Cui mentioned a new tool ”AWS Organization Formation” for managing AWS organizations and accounts using infrastructure-as-code. If you’re regularly creating AWS accounts for new projects, then definitely check out this potential time-saver.

Speakers, Talk Titles and Slides

Videos of the talks aren’t available yet but I’ve been told they will all be posted to YouTube soon (so keep an eye here). Here’s a list of all the speaker talks (with links to slide decks where I’ve been able to find them):

[Speakers: If you’ve posted your slide deck online and I haven’t linked to it above, let me know and I’ll update the webpage]

If you’re interested in the raw Twitter commentary from the event, check out #BFSServerless hashtag on Twitter.

Thanks again to the amazing organising team and I can’t wait until next year’s event!

— Paul

Originally published .

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