#295 — December 2, 2020

Web Version

👀 There's no avoiding this being an AWS-heavy week as their annual re:Invent event is currently taking place with release after release coming out :-) What AWS does frequently shifts the industry as a whole, though, so it's worth keeping an eye on what they're doing.
Peter Cooper, your editor

StatusCode Weekly
What's happening in software development, ops, platforms and tools.

The Biggest Announcements from AWS re:Invent So Far — AWS's annual 'release all the products' event is currently taking place, albeit virtually, and the opening keynote threw a slew of new things at us. Here are some of the most striking:

  • S3 is now strongly consistent. — If you've ever written something to S3 then immediately read it and.. it's not worked, you will be very happy about this. S3 replication can now have multiple destination buckets too.
  • Elastic Block Store gets a new gp3 volume type where you can provision performance separately from capacity.
  • Babelfish is a SQL Server to Postgres translation layer. To be open sourced in 2021, it's available in preview on Aurora now.
  • Proton is a new automated management and deployment tool for container and serverless deployments.
  • AWS Lambda, the serverless platform, scales up to 10GB of memory and 6 vCPUs now and the minimum billing increment is now 1 millisecond (down from 100) which means huge savings for efficient functions. Lambda can also now support containers.
  • .. and a lot more — we don't want to take up the whole issue ;-)

Amazon Web Services

Remote Instructor-Led Go, Docker, Kubernetes, Terraform, & Python Training — We offer live-streaming remote training sessions for individual engineers and companies that want to augment their knowledge in Go, Docker, Kubernetes, Terraform, and Python. We’ve trained over 10,000 engineers via our carefully crafted classes.

Ardan Labs sponsor

PHP 8.0 Released — A significant update of the PHP language packed with optimizations and features like named arguments, union types, JIT, and more. This announcement does a good job of showing off the immediate benefits and changes.

The PHP Group

The Advent of Code 2020: 25 Days of Code Challenges — If you have a little time each day to do some programming challenges, the Advent of Code is always fantastic and now in its sixth year. There’s a sub-Reddit where people share and discuss their solutions. Use a language you know or use it as an excuse to learn a new one – it’s all good.

The Advent of Code

AWS Unveils Mac-Powered EC2 Instances — Exciting news because the big clouds have kept away from macOS so far, but.. for good reason. These are ultimately very expensive ($1.21/hr on demand) and restricted (the minimum time you can use one is 24 hours – more on why here). If you’re heavily into AWS, though, and want to wrap macOS-based CI/CD into your monthly bill, now there’s a way. But shame on Apple for making it this way.

Jeff Barr (AWS)

  • DynamoDB is (very) fast and easy to scale, but you have to make a big shift in how you model and query data to get the most from it. New support for an SQL-like query language may help this shift feel less daunting.
  • Salesforce are buying Slack for almost $28bn. Let's hope, like when they acquired Heroku ten years ago, they let it continue to thrive without too many major changes.

📅  Nerd Alert for re:Invent—Twitch After Party Dec. 3 at 4pm PST

New Relic sponsor

🎄 Developer Advent Calendars

The idea of technically oriented 'advent calendars' has been around since at least the 90s. The modern incarnation tends to take the form of a month of blog posts on a single topic and we've enjoyed following several over the years.

Here's some calendars for 2020 you might find of interest:

  • QEMU — A QEMU disk image every day. The first one is a mere 893 bytes!
  • 25 Days of Vim — Tips for the ubiquitous text editor.
  • Planet Ruby — Covering one Ruby gem each day.
  • PWAdvent — One browser feature each day for progressive Web app development.
  • Advent of Haskell

📘 Tutorials, Opinions and Stories

Why Scientists Are Turning to Rust — Despite the steep learning curve, the performance and safety guarantees of Rust have a lot of appeal at scientific data scales.

Jeffrey M. Perkel (Nature)

How Medium Counts Followers — An interesting look behind the scenes at Medium, the content paywall experts, at both a disruption in their analytics and the underlying data model of how they track followers to its many users and publications.

An Vu (Medium Engineering)

How Many Registers Does An x86-64 CPU Have? — Certainly a lot more than I had expected given it’s in the hundreds.

William Woodruff

Read Only Data Aggregation in a Microservices Environment: A Real Life Use Case — Moving to CQRS from synchronous models, why? And what should you expect?

Wix Engineering sponsor

A Complete State Machine Made with HTML Checkboxes and CSS — Well okay then! While this technique is unlikely to get into many developer’s toolkits, this fully explained walkthrough complete with CodePen embeds will teach you a trick or two.

Ryan Bethel

Self-Hosting Still Pays Off For This Tech Blog — Spin up your own servers or hand everything off to AWS, Azure, et. al? There are pros and cons either way but the proprietor of one IT blog is finding that DIY pays.

Patrick Kennedy (Serve The Home)

Mining Your CLI History for Good git Aliases — How a little shell magic can tell you a lot about your working habits and help you make things even more efficient.

Tim Perry

ARM and Lock-Free Programming“a casual introduction to the perils of lock-free programming … also some explanation of why ARM’s weak memory model breaks some code, and why that code was probably broken already”

Bruce Dawson

1.5 Is the Midpoint Between 0 and Infinity in Ruby — The title is the least confusing part of this article.

Peter Zhu

The Tech Stack of a One-Man SaaS — A lot of parts here for one person to manage, but I do love a good stack share.

Anthony N Smith

Self-Hosting Google Fonts (and Why to Do So) — Self-hosting Google Fonts can improve Largest Contentful Paint by as much as 1.3 seconds.


How to Log SSL Cipher and Protocol Information in NGINX
Milosz Galazka

🛠 Code and Tools

supported by Okta

Homebrew 2.6.0 Released — The popular macOS package manager gains Big Sur support (on Intel), partial (and very initial) macOS M1/Apple Silicon support, and the deprecation of brew cask commands.

Mike McQuaid

Bref 1.0: Serverless PHP on AWS Lambda — When we first mentioned Bref a few years ago, the idea was that Bref would make it as easy to use PHP for serverless functions as it was for JavaScript at the time. They’ve succeeded and hit the major 1.0 milestone. Laravel Vapor is another approach if you’re in the PHP space.

Matthieu Napoli

Ethr: A Network Performance Measurement Tool for TCP, UDP and HTTP — Yep, this comes from Microsoft. It’s nice to see them writing Go, and it works across multiple platforms too.


CloudQuery: Transforms Your Cloud Infrastructure into SQL Queryable Tables — Open source, written in Go. select * from aws_ec2_instances seems nicer than a CLI. Azure and GCP support are still pending.


Oasis: A Small Statically-Linked Linux System — It’s more like a BSD than Linux and everything is statically linked. Hopefully less trouble than the eponymous 90s rock band.


💻 Jobs

Find a Job Through Vettery — Create a profile on Vettery to connect with hiring managers at startups and Fortune 500 companies. It's free for job-seekers.


ℹ️ Interested in running a job listing in StatusCode? There's more info here.