There are many reasons to go serverless and they are often discussed on the excellent Serverless Chats podcast hosted by Jeremy Daly and Rebecca Marshburn. So we were very interested to tune into their latest podcast with Chris Munns. We are big fans of Chris and all he has done at AWS to help the serverless community succeed, so we knew this episode was going to be great…and it didn’t disappoint.
In case you haven’t heard of Chris Munns here is the blurb below from the podcast:
Chris Munns is a Tech Lead/Advisor for Startup Solution Architects at Amazon Web Services based in New York City. Chris spent the last 4.5 years working with AWS’s developer customers to understand how serverless technologies can drastically change the way they think about building and running applications at potentially massive scale with minimal administration overhead. Before this, Chris a global Business Development Manager for DevOps at AWS, he spent a few years as a Solutions Architect at AWS, and has held senior operations engineering posts at Etsy, Meetup, and other NYC based startups. Chris has a Bachelor of Science in Applied Networking and System Administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Go serverless because code is a liability
We have been using the term ‘code is a liability‘ for a while now. It asks tech professionals to transition to ‘less building’ and deliver more on ‘business value’, which is hard for engineers to do as they naturally like to build!
We believe that it is essential for your tech stack to evolve over time into a commodity. You need to switch your perspective to see that your system and the outcomes it delivers is the asset, and the underlying code is the liability. Instead of being continually buried in code, we believe that engineering teams should be focused on designing and delivering differentiating capabilities for the business and driving improvements on ‘time to value‘.
In practice, this means engineering teams are implementing more managed services, more SaaS and more direct service integrations. By doing this, engineering teams are freeing up their time and intellectual resources as they will have less overall custom code liabilities to manage and lower operational burden to support.
Chris Munn’s tech highlights
Jeremy and Rachel cover the evolution of Serverless, developer advocacy and startup advice with Chris, but we wanted to highlight Chris’ views that align to our ‘code is a liability’ maxim:
- Amazon are going to build services to enable developers and operations people, so they do not have to build and run stuff themselves
- Remove burden, remove operational toil or remove low hanging work
- Continued evolution of saying: how can we simplify this, how can we make this better for certain workloads in certain places?
- The collective benefit of services being put together, and the direct outcome of agility and faster time to insanely reduced operational burden
- Finding ways to continue to reduce operational burden: more managed services/even less code to maintain and write. Then you’re immediately getting to spend so much more time on the product side, on delighting your customers, on delighting your leadership and all of that becomes a no brainer.
Evolution to Functionless
With the continued evolution of Serverless, managed services, richer configuration options and more direct service to service integrations, we believe that the amount of custom lambda code liabilities start to reduce over time, leading to more of a ‘Functionless’ model.
For example, the recent announcement that AWS Step Functions Supports 200 AWS Services is a game changer! It adds massive direct power into the Step Functions managed service, with huge potential to help engineering teams evolve their solutions, rapidly integrate new capabilities, and remove large portions of custom code.
The entire episode is great and well worth 60 minutes of your time!