"Tearing Down the Monolith" and "Serverless Microservices with AWS Lambda"

Denver Microservices
Denver Microservices
Public group
Location image of event venue


For our May meeting, we are excited to have 2 talks! The first will be "Tearing Down the Monolith" from Jeremy Thomas of Gusto. He'll take us through their experience of moving away from a monolithic architecture. Our second talk will be Rowell Belen on Serverless Microservices with AWS Lambda.

6:00-6:30: Networking and Food

Pivotal and Ibotta will be providing the food for the meeting.

6:30-6:40: Announcements

6:40-7:25: "Tearing Down the Monolith" - Jeremy Thomas

Covering issues related to integrating Gusto’s codebase into Salesforce.

About Jeremy Thomas:

I have no business being a software developer. My Liberal Arts degree in Spanish prepared me for a career in the coffee industry, not tech.

But, after teaching myself Java, here I am.

I was a Senior Director of Software Development at a company in San Diego called The Active Network. I was responsible for 12 development teams, and was proud of the organization I ran.

But I always had the desire to "make a dent in the universe" - to use my technology skills to build something that changed people. In 2012 I quit my cushy job and moved to San Francisco to start a company. We raised money. I wrote code - a lot of code. The company didn't work.

So I tried again.

And that company didn't work.

I'm happy to say I've found something that does work. My job is to both write code at and build the Denver engineering team for Gusto.

7:30-8:15: "Serverless Microservices with AWS Lambda" - Rowell Belen

In the last few years we’ve seen a seismic shift in computing. Cloud computing has delivered dramatic improvement on costs, agility, scalability, and reliability. It has removed a significant chunk of work around the time-consuming tasks of provisioning, managing, and patching of servers that often require dedicated operations people. Cloud infrastrure companies like AWS, Azure, Rackspace and others can now provide an almost limitless supply of virtual machines with a single click of a button.

However, even with the rise of cloud computing, these strategies still revolve around servers. Elastic compute services such as Elastic Beanstalk or Heroku have appeared as potential solutions to the headache of inconsistent infrastructure environments, conflicts, and server management overheard. Just as Virtual Machines have made it easy to spin up servers to create new applications, elastic/on-demand computing services make it simple to grow.

Containerization technologies like Docker, have also appeared as a way of isolating an application with its own environment. As a lightweight alternative to full-blown virtual machines, containers offer an excellent solution to easily replicate and scale consistent server environments. However, they have their own complexities and housekeeping challenges. In addition, containers still need to be deployed to a server or a cluster of servers.

So What is Serverless?

Serverless architectures refer to these new kinds of software architectures that don’t rely on direct access to a server to work. Serverless eliminate the cost of server software and deliver the flexibility to rapidly develop, deploy, and manage targeted, focused cloud applications.

With serverless, developers don’t need to provision their resources based on current or anticipated loads. It lets developers shift their focus from the server level to the task level. It allows developers to focus on what their application or system needs to do by taking away the complexity of the backend infrastructure.

For instance, serverless technologies like AWS Lambda can execute code in a massively parallelized way. It takes code and runs it without any need to provision servers, install software, deploy containers, or worry about low-level detail. AWS takes care of provisioning and management of the servers that run the actual code and provides a high-availability compute infrastructure including capacity provisioning and automated scaling. These are tasks that the developers do not need to think about.

The ultimate goal behind Serverless is to allow developers to primarily focus on code, and move away from servers and infrastructure concerns. As serverless technologies mature, it will become increasing clear to everyone, the future of computing will be serverless.

About Rowell Belen:

Rowell Belen is a Software Engineer with over a decade of experience designing, architecting and developing resilient software applications. He started his software development career for Kemper Corporation, a large insurance company where he helped migrate legacy, monolithic insurance systems to highly distributed applications in a Service-Oriented Architecture.

He then joined Pentaho Corporation, an Orlando-based Business Intelligence Software start-up, where he specialized in building enterprise and open-source Data Analytics and Integration (ETL) tools. He was part of the core engineering team that was instrumental to Pentaho's successful acquisition by Hitachi for approximately $600 million in 2015.

Rowell moved to Colorado in early 2016 to join Tendril, a fast-rising Boulder-based startup in the Energy Intelligence space. At Tendril, he helped bootstrap two of Tendril's newest flagship products - My Home, a mobile application portal that streamlines Energy utilities' communications and engagement with customers - and Orchestrated Energy, an intelligent software platform that enables utilities to optimize system operations and energy demand response while maintaining customer comfort.

Recently, Rowell joined Stedi, a brand new angel-funded start-up in Boulder, to become its 4th employee and 1st Backend Software Engineer. At Stedi, he is currently building a next-generation modern EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) platform from the ground up to make EDI transactions fast, efficient and painless.

In his spare time, Rowell enjoys hiking with his wife and their 3 dogs. He is also an avid basketball fan who will never refuse a good 'ol pick up ball game.

You can learn more about his experience, interests and projects by visiting https://www.linkedin.com/in/rowellbelen or https://www.rowellbelen.com

8:15-whenever: Drinks/Socializing