Real World Serverless with theburningmonk

Real World Serverless with theburningmonk

A podcast where we talk about real-world use of Serverless technologies from engineers who work with them day-to-day. We will discuss use cases, why they chose serverless and the pain points and challenges they face. If you want to know what it's REALLY like to work with serverless, this is the show for you.


September 20, 2023 58 mins

In this episode, I spoke with Gerard Sans, who is a Google Developer Expert and my co-author for the AppSync Masterclass.

We talked about Google's new AI platform, what it entails and how Google's AI offerings compare to OpenAI. For example, what can you do with Bard and Duet AI and why one might consider using them instead of ChatGPT or CoPilot.

We discussed Midjourney vs. Stable Diffusion, and how pla...

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In this episode, I spoke with Heitor Lessa, who is a principal solution architect at AWS that specializes in serverless. He's also the man behind the popular AWS Lambda Powertools project which is available in a number of languages.

We talked about the history of the Lambda Powertools project, and the challenges and learnings from building in public. And Heitor shared the public roadmap for the Lambda Powertools and a...

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In this episode, I spoke with Matt Carey, who's a senior engineer at Aleios, a premium AWS consultant that focuses on serverless technologies.

The focus of our conversation was LangChain, Matt explained what it is and demoed some AI applications that he has developed with LangChain. Such as the popular Quivr app and Code Review GPT. If you want to see the demos in their full glory, then please go to YouTube and watch ...

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In this episode, I spoke with Randall Hunt, who's the VP of Cloud Strategy and Innovation at Caylent and had previously worked at Vendia, Facebook AI, AWS and SpaceX.

We talked about AWS Bedrock, what is it and how it works and saw a demo of a simple AI application built with Bedrock and LangChain. Randall explained the advantages of using Bedrock and why tales of AWS's supposedly weakness in AI are far-fetched.<...

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In this episode, I caught up with Ben Kehoe, who is an AWS Serverless Hero and one of the earliest adopters of serverless technologies.

In a wide-ranging conversation, we discussed many topics around serverless and AI, including:

  • The natural evolution of marketing terms and the need to focus on specific functional characteristics rather than defending the term. For example, including of arguing about what "serverle...
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In this episode, I spoke with Eduard Bargues, who is a Principal Engineer at Ohpen, a cloud-native open banking platform.

We talked about Ohpen's migration from EC2 to a mix of Fargate and Lambda, and along the way, we touched on many topics:

  • migration patterns
  • the "serverless-first" mindset
  • how to choose when to use Lambda vs Fargate
  • why monolith functions are painful and should be avoided
  • recommendations an...
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In this episode, I spoke with Luca Mezzalira, who is the author of "Building Micro-Frontends" by O'Reilly, and a Principal Specialist Solutions Architect at AWS focusing on serverless.

We talked about micro-frontends and dived deep into his experience with them at both DAZN and AWS. We got a high-level overview of micro-frontends: what it is, how they work, and who should adopt micro-frontends. And why it wo...

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In this episode, I spoke with Eric Peterson who is the founder and CTO of CloudZero, a leading vendor that helps AWS customers reign in their AWS spending by revealing hidden savings and preventing costly mistakes.

We discussed a range of topics, including common mistakes AWS users make and how CloudZero once saved a customer potentially a million-dollar on CDN bills by alerting them of spending abnormalities early.

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In this episode, I spoke with Dax Raad to talk about SST and the challenges of building an open-source community. Honestly, I think AWS can learn a thing or two from Dax's approach towards open-source, an approach that puts the needs of the customers first at the cost of the convenience of the maintainers.

We talked about some shortcomings of CDK, the origin of SST and what problems it's supposed to solve; who ar...

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In this episode, I spoke with Kirk Kirkconnell to talk about his experience with database technologies and serverless. Kirk had been involved with databases his whole career, including recently with the DynamoDB and Momento teams.

We talked about single table design with DynamoDB - when to use it and some common drawbacks to consider. We discussed the strength and weaknesses of DynamoDB DAX and when to use it vs a general-...

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In this episode, I spoke with Vijai Ramcharan to talk about his experience with introducing serverless at NN, a 175 years-old financial services company based in the Netherlands.

We touched on many topics, from changing existing mindsets and training engineers about AWS and serverless, to vendor lock-in and challenges with adopting serverless at the enterprise scale.

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February 22, 2023 40 mins

In this episode, I caught up with Rowan Udell to talk about his book The Practical AWS IAM Guide and get his takes on IAM best practices.

Links from the episode:

This episode is sponsored by Momento. Get all the benefits of database caching and none of the operational headache with Momento Serverless Cache. Start free at g...

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In this episode, I caught up with Ben Bridts, who is an AWS Community Hero and consultant at Cloudar in Belgium.

We talked about many topics, including common mistakes companies make in AWS; the problems with AWS Organizations; pitfalls with platform teams; and some success stories from his work as a consultant.

Links from the episode:

For more stor...

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November 30, 2022 33 mins

In this episode, I caught up with Sarah Hamilton, who is an AWS Community Builder and a software engineer at LEGO.

We talked about her journey into serverless and LEGO's serverless adoption has changed since I spoke with Sheen and Nicole on this podcast. In the two years since they have grown from 6 features teams to over 25, all focused on serverless technologies. We also talked about some of Sarah's previous wo...

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In this episode, I spoke with Sam Williams, who runs the Complete Coding YouTube channel where he teaches about AWS and Serverless. He recently published a new video course called "Master AWS Serverless with 7 Real World Projects" and shared some helpful tips on picking the right course and how you can get the most from these courses.

Sam is also a serverless consultant and has helped many startups adopt serverle...

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In this episode, I spoke with AWS Serverless Hero Luc van Donkersgoed about how PostNL is using serverless technologies and discussed the challenges of building event-driven architectures and how PostNL tackles problems such as schema validation and testing.

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In this episode, I caught up with Eoin Shanaghy to talk about his work at FourTheorem, a boutique consultancy based out of Ireland. We touched on many topics, including the challenges for serverless adoption at enterprises and a super interesting client project he worked on, which involved using serverless at scale in a high-performance computing environment.

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In this episode, I spoke with Nick Tune and Kacper Gunia to talk about Team Topologies, i.e. how to structure businesses and teams so that you can get stuff done faster. Companies often struggle to adopt modern software development practices and technologies because their team structures are misaligned with the practices they're trying to adopt. In this conversation, we will discuss what is team topologies, having the right in...

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In this episode, I caught up with Adam Elmore (@aeduhm), AWS DevTools Hero and an active member of the AWS community. We talked about how he passed all 12 AWS certifications in 2 weeks and how they have helped him find success on the AWS IQ platform. We also touched on his new project,, the general lack of performance-focused site builders, live streaming on Twitch and his plans for a new video course.

Links fro...

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For more stories about real-world use of serverless technologies, please follow us on Twitter as @RealWorldSls and subscribe to this podcast.

To learn how to build production-ready serverless applications, check out my upcoming workshops.

Opening theme song:
Cheery Monday by Kevi...

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