Learn By Doing Volume 37 -- Lambda layers make deployment packages leaner and meaner

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☁️ 📖 Learn By Doing Volume #37 💻🔨

It's the second week of January and we are all probably still writing 2018 on a variety of things.

This week we have a look at Lambda Layers via some common Unix tools that have been ported over to them. We also have a deep dive into database replication for distributed systems and why it's such a challenge. There is also some very cool tools this week with git command explorer, LiteCLI, and markdeck.

Check out all those articles and many others in this weeks volume of the Learn By Doing newsletter. See you all next week!

☁️ Cloud

FFmpeg, SOX, Pandoc and RSVG for AWS LambdaPrior to AWS Lambda Layers you had to package up any binaries you wanted to shell out to and call from the execution environment. With the introduction of layers this task has been greatly simplified and thus our deployment size greatly reduced. This is an interesting look at how some common Unix utilities were packaged up into Layers to be used by your Lambda functions.

How to centralize and automate IAM policy creation in sandbox, development, and test environmentsIt's not a huge secret that serverless can help you automate all kinds of tasks. But this is a very practical example of how it can automate your security processes. This leverages CodePipeline and Lambda in order to validate IAM access policies are fine tuned to meet your security best practices. It's a lengthy read, but well worth it in my opinion.

Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB Compatibility)A bit of a quiet announcement out of AWS this week, Amazon DocumentDB. This is kind of like a managed MongoDB service without being called that.

🔨 Tools

LiteCLI - A user friendly command line client for SQLite databasesBased on the ever popular pgcli, litecli is a cross platform interface for querying those SQLite databases that might be running on other devices. Created using Python, it is just a pip install away from you.

Git Command ExplorerEver struggle with finding the right git command to complete a specific operation. This command explorer is here to help. It allows you to select the command you are looking for, what you want to operate against, and then prints out what the command should look like in your terminal.

markdeck - offline ready presentations as codeMore and more tools like this one are bringing back offline mode. Why you might ask? Because if I need to work on a slide deck on a plane that doesn't have WiFi, I'm a bit out of luck with current offerings. This certainly isn't a presentation tool for the non technical person, but it is a very interesting open source project nonetheless.

Code && Languages

A Primer on Database ReplicationOn the topic of high availability databases I found this article helpful in thinking about the different approaches and tradeoffs related to that very topic. The long story short here is that replicating data in a distributed system is not simple, but for most workloads, it is necessary.

Minimalism: A Practical Guide to Writing Less CodeI once had a good friend tell me, "the best code you can write is no code at all". I think what he was trying to get at is that you should write the minimal amount of code that solves the problem. While this presentation strikes that cord, it also has some other helpful best practices for better code bases.

System Down: A systemd-journald exploitA pretty scary exploit was discovered in systemd-journald and this is the analysis of it. It essentially amounts to smashing the stack and gaining control of eip by sending very large payloads.

😎 Cool find of the week

Why Founders Should Start With a Website, Not a Mobile AppThis is less code/cloud related but still relevant to a lot of folks here I imagine. The reality is that a mobile app can be challenging to get off the ground right out of the gate, this barrier is lowered by things like React Native, but it's not eliminated. This is a good read on why you should start with a website first and it also explores when you should actually start with a mobile app.

Who's hiring

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© 2019 Kyle Galbraith. All Rights Reserved.