• Nikody Keating

Accelerate your serverless team



When getting started in serverless, there are multiple components a company needs to solve for a team to start strongly.

This list is:

  • Task Management

  • Source Control

  • Code Reviews

  • Programming Language

  • IDE

  • Language

  • Debugging

  • Environment Configuration

  • Test Automation

  • Security (Dev/Build/Runtime)

  • Build & Deploy

  • Release Management

  • Infrastructure Provisioning

  • Monitoring

  • Documentation

This is one heck of a list if you're just getting started in the serverless space. You probably also know you don't have the experience to make the best decisions in some of these spaces without the experience. This is where Stackery can save you a lot of time. Stackery at face value can appear like a tool for visualizing and deploying serverless systems, but this is only the start of what they can do for a team just starting out. Stackery provides tools which cover four areas while simplifying a fifth.


This can take an enormous burden off of your team, as long as you understand what Stackery can do for you, and how to use them to support you getting off to a fast and productive kickoff. The other benefit is Stackery is not just a pay and use service. They like interacting with their customers and solving the problems they're running into, even if it's with other company's systems (such as the Serverless Application Model or AWS SAM issues). This means that they become a loose part of your team, focusing on best practices, simplifying development and easily connecting with your systems. This results in an overall value to cost improvement for your teams.


Immediate impact

The early impact on your team will be the capabilities Stackery has around Infrastructure Provisioning and Debugging. If your team is starting out, the first thing they're trying to understand is how to create a serverless function in the first place, and what the code looks like. Stackery has a drag-and-drop approach to this problem, allowing solution architects and developers the ability to learn the high-level concepts, while Stackery produces the low level infrastructure configuration in AWS SAM and creates stubbed out template functions for developers. This also provides you with a simple to understand diagram, documenting your serverless architecture based on the configuration which provisions the infrastructure.


After this initial boost to your team's speed of execution, Stackery's local tools take it a step further by giving developers the tools to debug a lambda function, in a full lambda environment (including permissions), on the developer's local machine. Local debugging is a must for teams, as the developers can understand what is happening in the code more efficiently, and correct issues much more efficiently, saving your project schedules.


Building Toward Production

Once your developers have something built, the next step is testing it out. This usually includes multiple environment, integration/configuration differences between each, figuring out how to deploy not only to multiple environments, but often multiple accounts, and various other issues. These challenges are typical, but every problem your team has to solve distracts them from getting business value delivered.



Stackery comes to the rescue again. Stackery has an approach for getting your systems the configurations they need, simplifying your code development, all while using common AWS services to do this. An example of this is Stackery’s environment configuration view, which displays an environment’s configuration in a JSON format. Their approach allows you to see and change an entire environment's configuration, which is then stored in AWS Parameter Store. This configuration approach works natively for your serverless projects without the need to rely on a proprietary configuration tool or approach. Stackery's approach simplifies and solves the problem of having configurations which can change from environment to environment and being able to make development configurations easy to use and manage by the developers and their teams. It also means that in the future if you decide to move on from Stackery, there isn't a lot of re-configuration you need to do, as you can still rely on the remaining resources in your account.


The biggest gain here is that your team doesn't have to do a lot of legwork figuring out a solution for these problems on their own, or discover how to use Parameter Store with the Serverless Application Model. Stackery simply gives your team the tools to connect into these capabilities, increasing the efficiency of your team.



The next challenge your team has is getting a build and release system setup which can securely interact with all your accounts. Stackery is extremely familiar with development, configuration and deployment. They use this knowledge to manage standard deployment scripts which stay up to date as methodologies grow around serverless. This means the next big challenge is coordination of testing, integrations, releases, etc. Stackery's deployment pipeline helps here as well. They connect directly to your source control in order to show you the exact differences between environments. This gives visibility to your team as features are deployed to your test environment. It helps you ensure all stacks involved in a feature get deployed to integrated environments without a reliance on the tribal knowledge of those who built it. It will also provide confidence as your team double checks everything as they get ready to deploy to production.


Finally, as part of their pipeline, Stackery also provides hooks for your team to hook in their automated system and integration tests. These tests get automatically run after they deploy your serverless stack, providing your team a simple way to schedule automated testing efforts.


Conclusion

When you're starting serverless projects, time is of the essence to build trust in your IT department's ability to deliver, and your ability to more rapidly pursue next generation technologies. To truly jumpstart your team, you need to decrease the scope they have to learn and deliver, focusing on those aspects which make your business unique. Stackery is a must-have tool for any team which is trying to deliver on expanding their market and capabilities, forgoing the time and effort of building up a variety of tools to take its place. For teams that are just getting started, it provides structure, templates and components to simplify delivery. For experienced teams, it provides a partner constantly adapting to changes in the tools you use, so you don't have to worry about the latest strategies in building and deploying serverless systems.


If this blog drives interest to learn more see firsthand what Stackery is doing by signing up for a demo.


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