All Software Architecture, All the Time
June 10-13, 2019
San Jose, CA
Please log in

Serverless architecture patterns: The awkward early years

Mike Roberts (Symphonia)
3:55pm–4:40pm Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Secondary topics:  Best Practice
Average rating: ****.
(4.30, 10 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Architects



Prerequisite knowledge

  • Software architecture experience, ideally using patterns

What you'll learn

  • Discover a set of patterns that can help teams as they learn about applying serverless ideas to their architecture
  • Learn some techniques that organizations can use as they start understanding what of serverless works, and what doesn't, in their own context


The last two decades have seen evolutions of software architecture—from on-premises to cloud hosted to mass-scaled microservices. While cloud native applications look very different than something we may have built before some of these techniques were well known, at their heart are still long-running, custom-built server applications that orchestrate the flow of requests, data, and logic.

Serverless changes all of this. We no longer build always-on server applications; we rely on events as the agents of flow rather than requests, and the server-side software that we do write may be a small aspect of our system rather than the central hub. Fundamentally, serverless is about choreography of multiple services from multiple teams and vendors—in extreme situations—none of which we have written ourselves.

Mike Roberts introduces some of the patterns, or “common solutions to recurring problems,” that we are starting to see in the serverless community. Patterns are not necessarily best practices—they are techniques that have worked for many people, but always given certain contextual constraints. Perhaps even more importantly, however, Mike describes how you, your teams, and your organizations can start harvesting your own patterns, while the bigger industry learns more about this exciting new frontier.

Photo of Mike Roberts

Mike Roberts


Mike Roberts is a partner at Symphonia, a cloud technology consultancy based in New York City. Mike’s a longtime proponent of Agile and DevOps values and is excited by the role that cloud technologies have played in enabling such values for many high-functioning software teams. Mike can be reached at