Question asked on slack — OpenWhisk documentation states that serverless architecture fits microservices. But microservices have to store data somewhere. Because container can be stopped at any time I can’t use connection pooling or something similar.

So this got “me” thinking …

Obviously thinking about how to store state in serverless. Also, not me!

Yes, the idea is for the functions to be stateless. This does not mean that they cannot read / write data. You could have a function/microservice that reads data from a database and another function/microservice that writes data to a database (like nosql or rdbms). You can also read data from write data to a file storage system…


Subset of OpenWhisk runtimes

One of the cool things about OpenWhisk was the ability to start a local copy and get coding very quickly. James Thomas has an awesome post on this — Starting OpenWhisk in Sixty Seconds. This also enabled developers to create and test their Serverless solutions on their machines. The amazing OpenWhisk community have taken this one step further. Chetan Mehrotra recently added code to enable running OpenWhisk as a standalone jar! How cool is that!

At a high level, they have taken out CouchDB and Kafka and replaced them with in memory persistence layer and a queueing system. The controller…


I recently hosted an online meetup on Apache Spark with IBM Developer. Spark has been around for a few years, but the interest in still growing to my surprise. Apache Spark was developed at the University of California, Berkeley’s AMPLab. The Spark codebase was open sourced and donated to the Apache Software Foundation in 2010.

Introduction to Apache Spark and PixieDust

The background of the attendees was quite diverse

  • Developer (25%)
  • Architect (12.5%)
  • Data Scientist (41.7%)
  • Other (12.8%)

We looked at the WHAT and WHY of spark and then dove in the three data structures that you might encounter when working with Spark …


I often mentor at hackathons as part of my job as a developer advocate at IBM and one of the common problems teams face is which language to pick for their solution. Generally the person who originally thought of the idea will decide on a language. That is better than analysis paralysis, however there is a better way! If you can divide your application into multiple services and/or functions, you can use a polyglot framework such as openwhisk.

The OpenWhisk platform supports a programming model in which developers write functional logic (called Actions), in any supported programming language, that can…


We get some wonderful interns at IBM every year. These smart and talented young minds range from high school to college. My advise to them is threefold …

  1. try new things and learn as much as you can. Not to say the learning ever stops. You are always learning in the this career, whether you are a software developer or a data scientist. Whether you are a year in or ten years in. However, now is the time to learn fearlessly, without hesitation. You have more time then you will ever have again. Make mistakes early! And you cannot make…


I use Postman extensively for most of my workshops and demos. If you haven’t heard of Postman, it is an API development and management tool. I however use it as a client to demo external APIs including IBM Cognitive APIs.

You can see me using it to demonstrate different features of CouchDB in this webinar. In fact, most of the workshop was built on top of Postman. I really care about making the workshop straightforward with two goals in mind …

  1. Is everybody able to finish the workshop within the designated time?
  2. If they are not, can I provide the…


IBM team presenting a webinar

Lisa Jung and I presented a webinar on creating a chatbot moderator that tells people to be polite when they say something rude on Slack or post an appropriate picture. For the image bit, we changed the code to treat any dog pictures as rude pictures instead of looking for explicit pictures.

We used a couple of different IBM Services in this demo.

  1. We used IBM Natural Language Understanding to analyze text for rudeness. You can find more information here.

I had so much fun presenting NLP on IBM Cloud to a meetup at hackerdojo in Santa Clara. We went through creating a custom Natural Language Classifier on IBM Cloud that differentiates between HAM and SPAM emails. Classic problem that has been solved numerous times, but gives a good understanding of the space. Why is the first sentence more hammy then the second?


Data Science is about learning. I don’t mean supervised learning, unsupervised learning, reinforcement learning or transfer learning! I mean LEARNING! From books. From code. From your colleagues and friends. From stackoverflow! You are constantly learning and improving your skill set. New models and breakthroughs are being announced at a faster rate than ever. As data scientists, you need to be aware of what is going on in this field and stay on top of the latest developments. IBM has a few open source projects that I want to write about that will help you keep up to date. …


I have come across a couple of posts with the title simplest serverless functions and my initial thoughts are …

  1. It is not that simple if you have to write up a config file to post a hello world function 🤦‍♂ !
  2. How easy is it to now extend this function to something more usable ?

So here we go again … this example is based on Apache OpenWhisk, an open source distributed serverless computing platform. However, a serverless system on your desktop/laptop is no different than spinning up a nodejs express app or a flask app. You are missing…

Upkar Lidder

I design and build mobile and web solutions that delight and excite users. I have extensive consulting and development experience with small and large public an

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