Good Morning!

As a fun surprise, I’m guest hosting Software Engineering Daily all week long, and taking you on a tour of the cloud. Every day this week, I interview a guest about a particular cloud provider. Be sure to follow along and yell at me about it on Twitter.

Separately, you should absolutely opt your organization’s data out of being used to improve AWS’s AI services immediately. “Giving your data to AWS for free to improve their ability to compete with whatever it is you’re doing” concerns aside, and completely ignoring the privacy implications, think instead of how much value your data has, and then reflect upon exactly how much AWS gives you for free.

From the Community

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Twelve common misconceptions about DynamoDB. I’ll add a lucky thirteenth: It’s not really a database, it’s a DNS server.

How recurringly-featured-in-LWIA Segment built an access service to handle temporary AWS access scoped appropriately.

I got cited in CBS News for complaining about Amazon Sidewalk. Honestly, I don’t think Amazon is doing anything nefarious here; I’m mostly just salty that the same company that charges usurious data egress prices wants me to just donate half a gig of data transfer to them for funsies every month. NOPE. I want to charge you for it, and I want how much I charge you to be incomprehensible and impossible for you to predict in advance.

If everyone listened to my advice in To Save Money on Your AWS Bill, Turn That S— Off I’d have to work way harder to fix AWS bills.

An older post that I don’t recall seeing before: an employee’s tale about why they left AWS. These days the answer simplifies to “I get a 60% raise to go work somewhere else.”

I was quoted in this biography of incoming AWS CEO Adam Selipsky that the Seattle Times pushed out. At this point his pretending he doesn’t know who I am is looking fairly contrived!


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

Your curiosity of the world drives everything you do. You thrive in a collaborative environment where you get to build software in finance, healthcare, IoT, telecom, home security and automation, or other industries. You’d feel like you are home at Chariot Solutions. We’re a boutique software development firm looking for senior engineers – Java, Python, Node, AWS, React, Angular, iOS, Android. We’re one of top workplaces in the Philadelphia area, and we founded, curate and host Philly ETE, a conference with world-class speakers that’s been running since 2005. Our team sets us apart, including leadership that truly cares and treats you like family. We are committed to continuous learning and improvement, and we pay it forward to the tech community, attend and speak at conferences, and strive for work/life balance. Check out our job listings and apply to join us today.

98point6 sounds like a cool Seattle radio station but it’s actually a virtual care company that’s making primary care more accessible and affordable. They’re looking for engineers and engineering managers to further their efforts, build critical systems for on-demand care at scale and collaborate across the organization. Interested in joining their mission? Check out their open roles and apply now.

The AWS User Experience Products & Platform team is responsible for products that enable AWS users to manage their applications and infrastructure on AWS. Our mission is to deliver an effective, efficient, and loved user experience that makes it easy for all users to discover, learn, and build on AWS. Today, we own the AWS Management Console, the AWS Console Mobile App, the AWS Chatbot, as well as the User Experience Platform used by 175+ AWS service teams to develop and deliver their user experience across multiple channels (web, mobile, chat).

Think “GitHub for marketing teams” and you’d be pretty close to describing Loomly. They’re looking for someone to take ownership of and lead their DevOps/SRE efforts–and that person might well be you. They’re fully remote, post their salary ranges, and using a bunch of AWS services. I’m a fan of what I’ve seen from them so far; see if this role is up your alley.

Choice Cuts

Flying blind in the cloud? Lacework provides a flight recorder for your user, API, and container activity – all organized into behaviors that deliver answers in seconds and takes you out of the analysis paralysis game. Whether you’re ready to take the red pill or the blue pill, Lacework bridges the gap between DevOps and Security. Lacework makes it easy with everything from compliant service configurations to container app topologies – no rules required. Got doubts? Challenge accepted. See for yourself at Sponsored

Got a headache from tracking down backups across dozens of accounts for compliance? Is the EC2-Other line item on your AWS bill exploding? Has AWS Backup taken you hours if not days to restore? All too common symptoms of AWS users until they met Clumio. This cloud backup tool can fix these problems and more, plus they just launched a free backup visualization and optimization engine called Clumio Discover, go check it out! Sponsored

Amazon CloudWatch adds Control Plane API Usage Metrics across AWS Services – “Does this also tie API metrics to cost?” “Don’t be ridiculous, no good whatsoever would come from that…”

Amazon EKS pods running on AWS Fargate now support custom security groups – Another day, another “wait, you mean it didn’t do this previously” enhancement.

Amazon Neptune simplifies in-console experience to help customers get started faster – And yet it still neglects to effectively explain what in creation a graph database is, why you would want one, or to whom the service would apply.

Amazon WorkSpaces Cost Optimizer v2.3 adds support for existing VPCs and improves billing accuracy and reporting – Instead of “fixing WorkSpaces to automatically convert to whichever pricing favors the customer,” a different team strings together some nonsense that apparently requires continual tweaking.

Announcing Global Clusters for Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) – This thing feels more and more like a shim on top of DynamoDB all the time.

AWS Lambda Extensions are now Generally Available in all commercial regions – It’s now way easier to add third parties with dubious value propositions to your Lambda applications.

AWS Systems Manager Session Manager plugin for the AWS CLI is now open source – Ooh, this lets the CLI act as a systems manager session manager connection manager.

AWS Transit Gateway Updates Service Level Agreement to 99.99% – Steadily increasing SLAs are a good indicator that internal engineering work has paid off to stabilize things.

New digital course: Improve Code Quality with Amazon CodeGuru Reviewer – I know I take a lot of cheap shots at AWS Marketing, so let me take the high road for a second. This is a perfect example of a lost opportunity; instead of positioning CodeGuru as a code review tool that tells you you’re doing it wrong, it could have instead been positioned as a “learn to code more effectively by getting contextual inputs relevant to what you’re working on.” But no, AWS instead chose to sell this service as a hamfisted attempt to chip away at software engineers’ jobs, then wonder why people are down on the product.

Amazon Location Service Is Now Generally Available with New Routing and Satellite Imagery Capabilities – This service may have the most complicated pricing model that I’ve ever seen, a giant raft of licensing restrictions since it would seem that AWS and their providers are both terrified of competition, and is somehow still a better deal than Google Maps API.

Introducing the newest AWS Heroes – June, 2021 – It’s time once again for the rest of us to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.

Setting up AWS Lambda with an Apache Kafka cluster within a VPC – “It’s Kafka and a Lambda function, how complicated could it be–OH NO AWS wrote a blog post about how to do it!” You guessed it, it’s super complicated!

Using EC2 Serial Console to access the GRUB menu and recover from boot failures – This is the feature I wanted in 2015, routed around entirely, and no longer give enough of a toss about to implement in anything today. Way too late, AWS.

Reinventing automotive sales with AWS – “TrueCar, as reimplemented badly by AWS” is how I read this one.

Use Amazon Translate in Amazon SageMaker Notebooks – You can now do machine learning for sentiment analysis (always a fraught endeavor) in languages for which you lack understanding, context, and nuance. Well what are you waiting for, your $20 million seed round awaits you!

Automate detecting GeoIP location of Client VPN users using Lambda function – Ratting out your colleagues so they can have their pay reduced based upon their location as mandated by your (Delaware incorporated) employer has never been easier!

Integrating Network Connectivity Testing with Infrastructure Deployment – This is an innovative use of state machines to invoke the VPC Reachability Analyzer on a whole bunch of routes, every time a deployment is done. Note that each Analyzer run costs you ten cents. Further note that this is the best State Money Printing Machine since the US Mint.


Are you looking to learn more about observability? Join Honeycomb for o11ycon+hnycon June 9-10! This is the observability event of the year, where people come together to explore cutting-edge observability practices, new tech, and more. Register for this free virtual conference to connect with peers and learn from top Honeycomb customers and observability experts–including Corey Quinn and Nora Jones! Sponsored

The free CloudOptimizer tool now supports a bunch of additional cloud providers.

A terraform script for capping monthly AWS spend. Careful; the bill can skyrocket before the bill notices the increased resource usage.

This Greasemonkey script called Route53 Truther simply moves the Route 53 entry in the AWS console’s list of services into the database section where it belongs. This is a critical-path item for your workflow; please go install it immediately.

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

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