ServerlessConf Austin 2017

Over the past month and a half I have attended two IT conferences here in my hometown of Austin: ServerlessConf and OSCON. I had an idea that these might be transformative, but I had no idea to what extent that would become true! I’ll talk about OSCON in a later post, but now I’ll give you my take on the ServerlessConf.

ServerlessConf – Workshop


This was a 3-day conference, but going into it I was excited just about the first day. That day would be an all-day workshop called “Build Your Own Serverless Video Sharing Website – with Lambda, API Gateway and Firebase”. Here is the description of the workshop:

“Learn how to build your very own video sharing website, like YouTube, using serverless technologies. During the workshop you will build an entire end to end system (along with an HTML5 website) that’s powered by AWS Lambda and API Gateway, S3, Elastic Transcoder, Firebase, Auth0 and much more. As you are guided through the workshops you will also learn about useful patterns and architectures such as “compute as backend” and “compute as glue”. This workshop is suitable for beginners and experts alike (and if you are an expert we’ll be sure to challenge you just a little bit more)”.

What was so exciting for me was this was the beginning of what I want to do with MY site, MY business! Not only was I going to learn serverless technologies, I was going to get an example of what I was planning to build!

The workshop lived up to my expectations and more. The instructors Sam Kroonenburg and Daniel Parker, both of A Cloud Guru, prepared an excellent course. They even provided each of us the course in book form, with easy to follow step-by-step instructions. You can still find the course here on github.

Given we only had one day to get through it all, the code we needed was already written for us. We modified a few things here and there, but mostly our work happened in AWS. Unlike other workshops that give you too much to accomplish in the time provided, I was able to get all of this done and then spend time going over it and letting it all soak in. This was a firehose of knowledge I could handle.


Peter Sbarski, also of A Cloud Guru, and who was there assisting this workshop as well as others, has written a book using this workshop as a starting point and then adding a LOT to it. It is called Serverless Architectures on AWS. I am currently working through it as often as I can. It is well written and thorough. It is what I need to get my business off the ground and I am so grateful to have it! If you have Safari it is also now available there.

ServerlessConf – Speakers

The next two days of the conference I initially thought would be a let down, as I was so geared toward that workshop, but I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of knowledge I gained from the speakers.

All of the speakers were recorded and you can find them here on YouTube. If you are interested in these technologies then these are definitely worth watching. There was not only AWS, but Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and IBM’s OpenWhisk as well.


One talk that really stands out to me and that I’ll be referring to frequently as I develop my application is the one on Serverless Security by Guy Podjarny (here is his blog). This is such an important topic and he covered it all so well. I wish he would write a book on this subject!

Thanks to all for such a great conference, especially to those from A Cloud Guru who started this. You gave me so much and really jump started my business development. I’ll forever be in your debt!