Managing Serverless Development (or “how not to prepare a conference talk”)

I’m in the process of preparing my talk for next week’s ServerlessConf in NYC and trying to work out which of the many different ways I could approach this topic.

In my head this has morphed into a discussion about how you build a Serverless team, because very few projects ever see the light of day with one person.

My original overview was: “How do you create a team to build serverless apps? Is the task management different? What are the differences and similarities to current methods of managing teams?”

My original idea then was to discuss current engineering best practices and how they might differ with a Serverless approach. So my thinking went down that route from the start.

But engineering practices depend on the team you build as well, and that has an impact on the type of hiring you need to do and the type of people that work best in that scenario.

But I’ve only done this in the context of a startup, which is a rarified world of engineers just “getting things done” rather than the enterprise world of slightly more organisation (allegedly).

Then I thought it best (since I am only one person with my own ideas) that I’d ask a few people about what they thought about building serverless teams and how that impacted on managing Serverless development.

After a few people’s responses, I realised one simple thing:

This is a vast topic in reality that it’s very hard to nail down exactly how to approach it in one talk at a conference.

Then, one person responded: “It’s exactly the same as managing any other sort of development”

This isn’t hugely helpful because then my talk would be one slide saying “It’s exactly the same” and then a “sorry” in brackets.

I’ve also been reminded of the conference participants at various ServerlessConf and JeffConf events I’ve been to/run, where a large proportion of those people haven’t really had contact with Serverless ideas and approaches, and they are coming to learn what it is.

So let’s focus on those people. Those people who would really like to know what it means to take an Engineering team towards or into the world of Serverless, and what it might entail, and what kind of people might be needed to pull off something awesome.

Which means I need to do a talk explaining how Serverless impacts all areas of managing an Engineering team.

Which makes the talk bigger… not smaller.

Maybe I’ll just go back to talking about what I wanted to talk about in my overview. I’m sure I’ll bring in some of the other ideas along the way too.

So, what talk will I do?

Well you’ll just have to come and find out (or wait for the video of course).

Unless you have some ideas you think I should add in (feel free to comment!)

Written by

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

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