ServerlessConf2018 — My First Tech Conference as an Engineer

Lian Thompson
Aug 14, 2018 · 2 min read

Two weeks ago I attended ServerlessConf2018 in San Francisco. I’ve attended a good number of conferences before, but this time my badge had a new title — Jr. Software Engineer @ Colark.

As a whole, ServerlessConf wasn’t too different than any previous conferences I’ve attended…but I did find that I was a lot more desirable to talk to now that I had a job title. Before when my badge said “Software Engineer Apprentice” or when I would reply to “What do you do?” with “I’m in a bootcamp!”, the overall response was, “That’s great! You’re not hirable yet, but come back when you are!”

Thankfully the technical program I went through provided job placement after graduating, and for now I can focus on my new job, part of which is learning about Serverless.

“Serverless is just a name…We could have called it Jeff”

Spoiler Alert: Serverless uses servers!

Besides the naming frustration that I won’t gripe about here, Serverless seems pretty awesome. One perk is that it’s monumentally cost effective. For example, Mike Sylvester made a chatbot app for Laidback Luke and brought down their costs by 90%, by using Serverless to work with chat events.

Security was another hot topic for Serverless.

“Make sure that systems work as intended, and ONLY as intended”

Serverless, is time-limited with no server affinity, making it harder to attack. It also has frequent server reboots.

Most of the talks were above my Serverless knowledge, but I was particularly interested in one given by Netflix’s principal engineer. I found it easier to digest because 1. Lots of visuals and 2. Netflix uses a BFF (Backend for Frontend) architecture using Javascript, which is the language I learned at Techtonica, the technical program I attended.

Netflix’s UI has changed so much and that’s by design. Their system architecture is no different and they’ve evolved their system to use Serverless’ FaaS, in order to deploy functions as isolated services.

The overall energy of the conference was a lot of passion for Serverless, naturally, and I’m excited to see how I can use it. Conferences are a lot more fun when you know you’ll get to put the information you learn to use. I was very happy that there was a wide variety of speakers explaining their different levels of familiarity with Serverless.

Alright, got to get back to coding. See you next week!

Lian Thompson

Written by

Software Engineer based in SF. Make yourself at home, there's La Croix in the fridge.

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