Is Serverless the New Visual Basic? | High Scalability

Is Serverless the New Visual Basic?; staff; In High Scalability; 2017-05-15.
14344500 – A Commentariat; On HackerNews; no comment, total silence.

tl;dr → Yes. Betteridge’s Law. Because <quote>with Serverless, hiring less experienced <snide>devops ‘droids<snide> can work out is better than hiring experienced cloud <snide>devops droids</snide>.</quote>

Original Source

Paul Johnston (movivo); Event-Driven Design Thinking, Outburst #6; In His Blog entitled The ServerlessCast; 2017-05; It’s linear media … you feel your life drifting away as the sonorous tones drone on and on and on, does this never end?  Is there no transcript?
Paul Johnston, CTO, movivo.


Ends with the aphorism Only Time Will Tell. as <quote>It will be interesting to see if Serverless can avoid VB’s fate.</quote>  Call us back when that has transpired.



  • An experienced cloud devops ‘droid will probably think procedurally, in terms of transactional systems, frameworks, and big fat containers that do lots of work.
  • An inexperienced cloud devops ‘droid ‘droid will do whatever is presented in front of it.


A Serverless devops ‘droid needs to think

  • small functions that do one thing
  • linked by events;
  • asynchronous thinking
  • distributed thinking.


Use devops ‘droids with sysadmin skills

  • they have the right stuff.
  • they don’t have the baggage of working with frameworks and servers, etc..


  • A devops ‘droid with a sysadmin background is more likely than a framework ‘droid  to understand the distributed thinking that goes with building an entire system of events.
  • Once a system is built up, out, over, the experienced devops ‘droid class will get bored because Serverless systems don’t require the same amount of maintenance.
  • devops drods do understand event systems.
  • framework ‘droids do not understand event systems
  • framework ‘droids get bored, and remediate that in unconstructive ways.
  • event systems require less maintenance than frameworks.
  • frameworks require more maintenance than event systems.
  • framework ‘droids mostly do maintenance anyway;
    that’s all you’re buying, at the higher price point: maintenance of the shiny.


  • Need but two years of vo-tech on-the-job training
  • Hire younger, hungrier devops ‘droids who don’t have that experience behind them.

“younger, hungrier” and “less experienced” also means cheaper


Like Visual Basic, Serverless radically reduces the expertise needed to write a cloud program.


Visual Basic …

Reduces the expertise needed to write a cloud Windows program.

Visual Basic programs are a Big Ball of Mud.
  • are technical debt bombs.
  • hard to understand
  • hard to change
  • hard to test
  • poorly designed.
Visual Basic programs
  • have business logic is in the event handlers
  • no layering
  • the GUI is the orchestrator
  • are hard to test
  • use global variables
  • no separation of concerns
  • coupling is high
  • cohesion is low
Serverless has The Indicted Pattern

In Serverless <snip/> the database effectively becomes a store for global variables.

The Architect Elevator – Visiting the Upper Floors | Gregor Hohpe

Gregor Hohpe; The Architect Elevator – Visiting the Upper Floors; In Martin Fowler’s Blog; 2017-05-24.

tl;dr → an architect must be able to speak argot to a wide range of cultures; the architect travels to meet the client & the service workers, they do not travel to meet him.  The elevator is a metaphor for SES in the workplace.


Photo of Gregor Hohpe<quote> is an IT architect who’s been building systems in a start-up, consultancy, internet giant, and corporate IT environment. He likes to untangle complex topics to make them approachable without dumbing them down, while spicing things up with pointed metaphors. He likes to tinker with Raspberry Pi’s and IT organizations. His Internet home is</.quote>


Choose design over architecture | 18F

Choose design over architectureKane Baccigalupi; In 18F; 2015011-17.

tl;dr → just do it; use craftsmanship, use devops, always be launching; planning is old school and bad, but perhaps necessary


  • Robert C Morris; Design Principles and Design Patterns; 2000; 34 pages.

    • Object-Oriented Design Principles
      • Open-Closed Principle (OCP)
      • Liskov Substitution Principle (LSP)
      • Dependency Inversion Principle (DIP)
      • Interface Segregation Principle (ISP)
      • Rlease Reuse Equivalency Principle (RREP)
      • Common Closuer Principle (CCP)
      • Acyclic Dependencies Principle (ADP)
  • In Jimi Wales’ Wiki

Building Microservice Architectures | Neal Ford, ThoughtWorks

Neal Ford (ThoughtWorks); Building Microservice Architectures; In Some Venue; 2014; 80 slides.

tl;dr → Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) rides again, but with Agile, Conway, Java, JSON, HTTP, REST, CI/CD & DevOps!

Original Sources

Sam Newman; Building Microservices: Designing Fine-Grained Systems; O’Reilly Media; preview edition; WHEN?; 102 pages; free sample (final edition); 25 pages; Amazon: kindle: $31, paper: $42+SHT; O’Reilly: pdf: $43, paper: $50+SHT.

and others

Separately noted.