The Evolution of the Serverless-First Engineer

The Evolution of the Serverless-First Engineer

The Evolution of the Serverless-First Engineer. The role of the software engineer evolves every few years. There's polyglot programmers and full-stack engineers. Will the serverless-first engineer be next? Serverless architectures allow engineering to work evolutionary in this fashion. It’s possible for a small team to do evolutionary (honestly, it is).

The role of the software engineer evolves every few years. A term will catch hold and inspire the imaginations of engineers who want to be it, managers who want to have it and recruiters who need to find it. Some are fads — a flashing moment. Others represent a paradigm shift happening in our industry. We looked for specialists and experts for many years — security, Java, web, mobile, Windows 32 COM experts. We then started thinking about polyglot programmers and full-stack engineers. Will the serverless-first engineer be next? Somehow, I don’t think that name will catch on, but it’s going to happen. Let’s explore the attributes of these engineers and wait for the correct name to appear.

The phrase “shift-left” was first used back in 2001 by  Larry Smith in Dr. Dobbs, and it referred to testing having to shift left. That is, it needed to happen earlier in the lifecycle. Since then, everything has shifted left, right, up and down — software engineers pretty much do everything. After all, we are all DevOps teams: We want to build it, run it and own it. To achieve this, the level of abstraction has lifted. Engineers now need to understand everything, but interface through different abstraction layers.

Serverless architectures allow engineers to work effectively in this fashion. It’s possible for a small team to do everything (honestly, it is). For this to happen, the engineers need to be comfortable with some attributes that the software engineers of yesteryear may not have been. Platforms and compute have been used to illustrate this, but maybe we can show how a serverless data approach like  Fauna can meet the demand of serverless architectures? I believe technology has moved on considerably to enable this change. It’s already here. Have you made the upfront investment required for your people and teams to take advantage of this modern approach to creating software?

Here are some areas that are worth digging into. We will primarily use our product Fauna to illustrate these, although other offerings such as Firebase, Cosmos DB and Aurora have compelling offerings too and also fall into the category of serverless data.

1. Cloud Native, for Real

2. Event-Driven

3. Less Ops, More Architecture

4. The Flywheel Effect

5. Cognitive Burden

6. The Data Journey

7. Low-Friction Developer Experience

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