Build Systems that Drive Business
June 11–12, 2018: Training
June 12–14, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

Crossing the serverless fireswamp

Mike Roberts (Symphonia)
11:25am–12:05pm Thursday, June 14, 2018
Location: LL21 E/F Level: Advanced
Secondary topics:  Systems Architecture & Infrastructure

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience designing or operating distributed applications deployed to a public cloud

What you'll learn

  • Explore the limitations of a serverless approach and a practical set of techniques of how to deal with them


Serverless! It’s a land of rainbows and unicorns and no operations and zero cost and everything just works, right? Hah! No. It has massive benefits, that’s true, but there are some significant traps that can catch you on the way: the flame spurts of unmatched scaling (that’s your database you smell burning); the lightning sand of at-least-once delivery (what do you mean my scheduled task cron-replacement may get called twice?); and of course the R.O.U.S’s (regions of unusual stability).

Mike Roberts leads warts-and-all journey through some of the limitations of a serverless approach and shares a practical set of techniques of how to deal with these concerns.

Photo of Mike Roberts

Mike Roberts


Mike Roberts is an engineering leader and cofounder of Symphonia, a serverless and cloud technology consultancy. Mike is 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. He sees serverless architectures as the next technological evolution of cloud systems and is optimistic about their ability to help teams be awesome. Mike can be reached at

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