When building a complex system, it’s often really hard to hold all the elements of that system in your head. Then things get added to it, and added to it, and after a while, the application is too much for one person to understand except in the broad and abstract “it does this”.

The biggest serverless systems I have seen and the ones I’ve built seem to exhibit this behaviour more quickly. It’s not that there is more complexity in the overall system, but that the pieces are simply less coupled, less connected, and this is by design. …


I like lots of different sports and I don’t think tech takes enough notice of the nuances of how top sports teams are run. Tech teams could learn a thing or two.

You’ll see where this is going. Stick with it.

A bit about me… and purple lycra… and gymnastics

I grew up playing lots of different sports when I was a kid in the back garden and on the field over the road from our house with my two older brothers and with my friends. Football (soccer for you transatlantic readers) and cricket were our two big games, although the three of us had different talents.

My talent…


I’ve spent most of this year avoiding talking about serverless as can be seen from previous blog posts such as Serverless is Doctrine, not a Technology and Cloud 2.0 is no longer King — Serverless has dethroned it. Discussions on various networks have tended to descend into discussions around the compute aspects of FaaS.

Not only that, but I’ve tried to stay out of discussions, because it feels like too many big companies and marketing budgets are trying to “own” the word, to ensure that their technology is part of the movement. …


Yesterday, Chef made a decision.

https://blog.chef.io/2019/09/19/chefs-position-on-customer-engagement-in-the-public-and-private-sectors/

The decision is the same as many tech companies and especially US companies make: to abdicate responsibility for how the product of a company is used.

The response was prompted by a former Chef employee removing a number of Ruby Gems from Chef impacting production systems.

This response also came on the day before Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and many other tech company employees decided to walk out in solidarity with the School Climate Strikers in the global #ClimateStrike, Chef decided to tell the world that any US Government department can use their…


Being human is not always easy

I have many conversations with people in tech who want to know how to get involved in the Climate Change fight. The first instinct of people in tech is to want to build a website or app because that’s what they know… so here’s my response.

A bit of background

I’ve spent the last year or so getting much more involved in activism around the tech world and the Climate Crisis. I’ve spoken at QCon London on the Risk of Climate Change and What Tech Can Do with a Climatologist, Jason Box, which was one of the highlights of my career to date. I’ve…


Last week, AWS announced Amazon EventBridge which is, in my view, the most important announcement in serverless since the release of AWS Lambda in 2014.

We were lucky enough to have the amazing Chris Munns give us a talk on EventBridge at ServerlessDays London just after the announcement, and I sat there with a huge smile on my face while he was giving the talk, because I could see how big it was.

EventBridge may not seem that important, if you look from the outside, but it has a huge significance when it comes to building serverless applications. In essence…


I have spent the last few years in the serverless community trying to figure out how to help other people understand what it means to “go serverless”. For me in recent months talking about serverless has been an attempt to avoid talking about technologies and try to start talking about the business value of the approach. I’ve even written blogs about some of this:

One of the things I’ve noticed is that my own thinking has shifted over the past years in various different ways. I am less interested now in specific technology choices, and more interested in the strategic…


When the first tutorials started to come out using AWS Lambda and API Gateway, back in 2015, it was unsurprising to find that they focussed largely on replicating the microservice. However, it became increasingly clear to those that used AWS Lambda at scale and over time that there were significant limits to the microservices approach with AWS Lambda… at least there were limits as to how most people thought that microservices should be built.

Let’s talk about the “why” of microservices

Microservices exist primarily because of frustration with monolithic applications. A monolith is simply an application where all the logic is put into the same logical codebase.


I’ve been engaged by a friend for a small project. It was a relatively simple one, where the company had issues with a system that had been developed. The system is typical of some that I have seen built.

The development is primarily a front end (something like vue.js or React) and with a back end system built on a node.js base using express or koa and a database.

Simple. Nothing complicated there. Except there was…

Despite being hosted on AWS, and the discussion about being “in the cloud” the system was all hosted on a single EC2 instance… including…

Paul Johnston

ServerlessDays CoFounder (Jeff), ex AWS Serverless Snr DA, experienced CTO/Interim, Startups, Entrepreneur, Techie, Geek and Christian

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