AWS COMSUM QUARTERLY EDITION #1

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AWS COMSUM QUARTERLY
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AWS COMSUM QUARTERLY
AWS COMSUM QUARTERLY
Hello and welcome to the first ever edition of the AWS Comsum Quarterly.
Just a quick word from us before we hand over to our first fabulous guest editor, Bob Gregory.
We are AWS Community Summit (Comsum to our friends) and we run virtual and physical events for the AWS Community.
We’ve been doing this since the halcyon days of 2019, which due to the covid temporal paradox, means we’ve been at this for an incredibly long time.
We are supported by AWS, but wholly independent of them.
Our aim is to provide opportunities and a platform for the AWS community to meet, share experiences, and spread their knowledge and best practices. This newsletter is our latest addition to that aim.
Each edition will focus on a ‘hot topic’ in the community and a guest editor will share what they think are the essential articles that you need to see.
So without further a do we’ll hand the keys over to renowned ‘software bloke’ Bob Gregory and let him take AWS CQ out for its inaugural drive.
This edition’s subject: Event Driven Architecture.
Over to you Bob!
Over to you Bob
Over to you Bob
Event Driven Architecture
Event driven architecture is one of the hottest buzzwords of 2022 and it’s particularly relevant to teams who are working towards cloud-native architectures, since AWS Lambda is an inherently event-driven service. We can trigger a lambda function by calling API Gateway, or by writing a file to S3, or by sending an SQS message. Each of these results in an event that’s received by the lambda function.
Moreover, events are a natural way to describe business processes. Often, our business stakeholders can describe how a process works in terms of a timeline: each activity on the timeline is an event that occurs. “The customer arrives at the site”, “the item is added to the shopping cart”, “the customer enters their delivery details”, and so on.
This linkage between business descriptions and technology makes events a useful foundation for building applications. We can take high-level business stories, and map them directly to technical concerns.
I’ve been building event-driven systems for about 15 years and I’ve found there are fundamental concepts that you need to grasp before you can be successful. I’m hoping that this first issue of the Community Summit Newsletter will give you enough starting points to get going with Serverless, Event-Driven architectures on AWS.
If you’re interested in learning more about event-driven systems, there’s a one-day conference dedicated to EDA with AWS running at Codenode in London. https://gotoldn.com/2022-eda-aws-day.
Speakers include Ben Ellerby and David Boyne whose work you’ll find included in this newsletter.
Before we can talk about how to build event-driven systems, we need to be clear about what the term means. I speak to a lot of teams who confuse concepts like Event-Sourcing and Event-Notification. Martin Fowler gave a great talk on the different meanings of event-driven architectures
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EDA has a lot of benefits when scaling teams and managing complexity, but it comes with trade-offs. Oskar Dudycz is an expert in EDA and event sourcing and gave a great talk on the Light and Dark Side of EDA that lays out some of the risks and complexities to bear in mind. If you’re just getting started, I recommend watching this talk, and then watching it again every six months as you encounter the problems he describes!
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AWS have a range of technologies available for sending messages between systems. I often see teams who are confused about when to choose SNS over Kinesis or EventBridge over SQS. In this informative talk, Julian Wood describes common messaging patterns and shows you how they map to AWS services.
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When designing distributed systems, it’s vital to pay attention to the boundaries between things, and the contracts that describe them. If we’re not careful, it’s easy to end up with a mess of over-chatty services and poorly designed messages. One classic technique for identifying events and boundaries is Event-Storming. Ben Ellerby uses Event-Storming to define serverless systems that he connects with EventBridge in this blog post.
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Over time, you’ll need to evolve your designs. New requirements will arise, new technologies will appear, and you’ll want to change or replace your services. If we’re not careful, the choices we make early in a project can make it harder to respond to change. Ryan Loader captured some thoughts on concrete techniques for keeping your services maintainable and flexible.
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Ian Cooper has been practising and teaching event driven architecture for a couple of decades. In this advanced talk, Ian gives a deep dive into the topic of how to maintain event driven systems over time. How do we track our event consumers in production? How do we version and document our events?
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As soon as you have multiple teams, you need a way to agree the design of your events. I’ve long used a documentation-first approach for events and APIs. This doesn’t need to be a heavyweight process, just a git repo and a markdown file is enough to get you started
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As your system grows, a naive approach to documentation may start to falter. Luckily, David Boyne has been quietly building the event documentation system of my dreams.
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Lastly, how well does this stuff _really_ work? Luc van Donkersgoed applies event-driven architecture at PostNL, routing billions of events per month. While most of our systems will never be as large or busy as the Dutch post service, Luc has had to solve fascinating challenges of governance and reliability that we can all learn from.
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A huge thanks to both Bob for putting this together and to you for reading what we think has been a brilliantly informative newsletter.
If you’ve any questions for Bob be sure to give him a shout on twitter…
Bob Gregory (@bob_the_mighty) / Twitter
We’ll have a new subject and editor for you in our next edition which will be landing this Autumn.
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AWS Comsum MCR: 22/9/22
AWS Comsum MCR: 22/9/22
If you enjoyed this newsletter then why not join us in person this September for The AWS Community Summit Manchester.
We’ve got some amazing speakers lined up including Bob Gregory, Ben Ellerby, Sheen Brisals and many more.
Hosted at the fantastic Victoria Warehouse we’ll have a full day of sessions on topics including EDA, serverless, containers, ML, security, networking, dev tooling, data, analytics, migrations, SRE, etc etc.
These are always sell-out events so we strongly recommend you get your tickets early to secure your place (it also helps us a lot organisationally!)
In the evening there’ll be a chance to eat, drink and discuss the day’s events with around 400 friends and colleagues from across the AWS community.
for a taste of what it’s going to be like, you can see footage from the last AWS Comsum in Manchester here.
Very much hope to see you there.
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AWS Comsum Sponsors
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AWS COMSUM QUARTERLY
AWS COMSUM QUARTERLY

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