Good Morning!

Welcome to issue number 125 of Last Week in AWS.

Hello from Portland, Maine (state motto: “Not a lot of people come here on purpose!”).

I’m trying my hand at giving a re:Invent style keynote at the upcoming AWS Community Day in Mountain View. It’s not re:Invent, nor is it an actual keynote, but “Last Year in AWS” is something you won’t want to miss.

From the Community

​​Ever wondered why your CEO doesn’t give a toss about technical debt? The folks at Raygun set out to learn why, interviewing the executive leadership at Xero, Pushpay, and Vend to find out what’s really going on and how they think about engineering effort and software quality.​​ Sponsored

Here are some tips on tips for hand-rolling your own deployment pipeline. Have you considered… not?

An introduction to the AWS CLI Part One. It starts with networking and virtual machines.

An academically rigorous guide to choosing a cloud database. It excludes Route 53, a joke for which I have already been condescendingly yelled at about on Twitter, itself a terrible place.

A walk through a beginner-mind personal journey through hell to deploying a first serverless website.

Finally, a sensible way to avoid the 60 minute timeout when using the AWS CLI with IAM roles.

Martin Fowler, famous for being quoted in slide decks, opines on avoiding lock-in.

A guide to working with multiple environments with AWS Amplify.

A tutorial to using the AWS IAM Simulator. Better to find out you’re wrong in the simulator than on the front page of the New York Times.

A great dive into using using SSM Parameters with CloudFormation Templates and Terraform Projects.

A CTO at Amazon writes about modern applications at AWS.

Two weeks ago I wrote that using an internal PaaS to manage AWS was an anti-pattern. I was asked why I felt that way, so I wrote some words about it. Fight me!

The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon kept a “Burn Book”–namely, a Word document that senior executives circulated about all of the negative things that folks said about HQ2. “But Corey!” you could reasonably exclaim, “what the hell does this have to do with AWS?” Excellent question! It shows that even Amazonian senior executives can’t stand using WorkDocs.


If you’ve got an interesting job for this newsletter’s eminently employable subscribers, get in touch!

​​I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time. If I were to mention the AWS Commerce Platform, you’d shrug and figure it was some obscure division out of some satellite office. What if instead I told you that it was the department that handles all of the AWS billing system? That they work on petabyte-scale systems that do stream processing? That if you work in this team you get to feel the brunt of my slings and arrows more directly? There are incredibly gifted people working on ridiculously hard problems on this team. I suggest you check them out.​​

​​X-Team is hiring for a fully remote team, anywhere on the planet. The work is interesting, they partner with companies you’ve heard of, and you can work from wherever you care to be. Now before you wind up getting cynical, let me save you some time–I already did, and hopped on a phone call to chat with them and then berate them for their crappy culture. Instead I was pleasantly surprised: they invest in their people (including a personal development stipend), they have distributed community events (both online and in person around the world), and actually work with their employees; this isn’t a “send us a postcard if you ever get there” body shop. They’re looking for folks with AWS skills, as well as a wide variety of other technical abilities; this is legit. Take my word for it; join X-Team and see for yourself. Tell them Corey sent you…​​

​​Do you want to work in the Bay Area? Almost certainly not; the people are insufferable here. Consider instead staying wherever the hell in the US you happen to be and talking to Truss, a software consultancy. Picture all of the advice that I’d give you, and now envision that wrapped in something you could tell a customer without getting punched right in your sarcastic mouth. That’s what Truss does, but they for some unknown reason don’t describe it that way. Currently, they are seeking Senior Software Engineers anywhere in the US (yes, even the crappy parts) to help them with commercial and government contracts. Seriously, read this thing–they tell you what levels they’re looking to hire at AND THEN THEY EXPLAIN THEM SO YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE A MORON FOR NOT KNOWING THEIR INTERNAL RUBRIC! Virtually any other hiring manager who happens to be reading this should look at their job descriptions and feel comparatively ashamed.

Choice Cuts

AWS Chatbot Now Supports Notifications from AWS Systems Manager – And shortly from Your Manager, telling you to stop screwing around on Slack and instead please do some freaking work already.

Amazon EC2 Spot Instances are Now Available in the AWS GovCloud (US-East) Region – Because if there’s one thing the government is rabid about, it’s saving taxpayer money!

Amazon ECS now exposes runtime ContainerIds to APIs and ECS Console – Every day, in every way, ECS strives to become a bit more like Kubernetes. Please stop.

Amazon EKS Available in Bahrain Region – I have no idea what peace in the Middle East is going to look like, but it’s certainly the exact opposite of deploying Kubernetes.

Amazon Route 53 Now Publishes Query Volume Metrics for Public Hosted Zones – My favorite database gets analytics!

Amazon SageMaker launches Managed Spot Training for saving up to 90% in machine learning training costs – Because let’s fact it; they’re totally going to get their money back when you scale up and start hosting huge quantities of compute and storage as you desperately chase the white rabbit of machine learning.

Amazon SageMaker Notebooks now export Jupyter logs to Amazon Cloudwatch – All roads eventually lead to CloudWatch Logs, itself attempting to become my new favorite database.

AWS Global Accelerator Now Supports Client IP Address Preservation for Application Load Balancer Endpoints – I think that in a world of accelerating climate change, AWS’s speeding the Earth’s rotation is simply irresponsible.

AWS Managed Services is Now Available in US East (Ohio), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Canada (Central), South America (São Paulo), and US West (N. California) Regions – AWS Managed Services runs your infrastructure for you, proving that no partner is safe from AWS encroachment.

Container monitoring for Amazon ECS, EKS, and Kubernetes is now available in Amazon CloudWatch – CloudWatch continues to extend its grasp into all aspects of AWS. Containers are the next stop!

Now forward traffic between a local and remote port using Session Manager – You can now forward X11, enabling AWS Systems Manager Session Manager Window Manager.

Now select resource groups as targets for AWS Systems Manager Run Command – “Watch as I seamlessly push the latest version of my code to all of the instances I have tagged as ‘Unlucky’.”

Now use Session Manager to interactively run individual commands on instances – “Isn’t that what Session Manager does already?” “SILENCE!”

Suspend/Resume Scaling now Available in AWS Application Auto Scaling – “What did it do before” you might reasonably ask. Nobody has used it, so we’re not quite sure.

Take the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Exam in Your Home or Office 24/7 – Now have a proctor watch you through your webcam in your home. If they hear another human being, including a small child in another room, you will instantly fail. CUSTOMER OBSESSION!


If you run cloud-detect on an instance it will tell you what cloud provider it lives within. This is the kind of crap you have to run in a “multi-cloud” environment that tries to have applications flow everywhere.

If you want to easily control AWS infra easily, check out awsctl.

Want to exploit ECR and ECS with ease? Have this offensive Cloud Container Attack Tool!

… and that’s what happened Last Week in AWS.

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