Our road to Serverless

In the fall of 2015 I worked at a company called e-man Connect. We had been developing cloud based applications, managing cloud infrastructure and developing our own cloud based systems integration service offering to our mid to enterprise customers since 2012. We had detected both increased complexity and increased cost in our infrastructure and we wanted to do something about it. 6 months earlier AWS had made Lambda generally available.

October 2015

Some time around October we landed a contract of developing a Click&Collect Solution for a big international clothing company and I was tasked to develop the app and backend. My initial findings about AWS Lambda and this new emerging software development paradigm called “Serverless” really appealed to me and so we decided to go with lambda and mobile backend. Up until this point we had used Java as our main language but since nodejs was the first runtime to have support on AWS Lambda and I’d been a nodejs fan for quite some time I decided to develop everything using nodejs.

JAWS/The Serverless framework

While setting up the CI/CD pipeline and struggling a bit with how to deploy and setup the CloudFormation I stumbled upon something called JAWS. JAWS was still in beta but showed great promise and made deploying and building micro-services with lambda so much easier! The biggest eye opener for me into the world of serverless and how it compared to all previous software development I had done was that taking code from my computer and presenting it to the world as a highly available, highly scalable and highly stable compute function was just a click away! The complexity and cost was just gone. I could focus on my code, I could focus on the customers idea and how to enable it, I could be a one man team and provide a distributed and highly scaleable application to a big enterprise customer. It was the feeling of having finally waken up and the sense that I never wanted to go to sleep again! JAWS went on to develop in an amazing way! While other Serverless frameworks where born and later died or simply faded out of existence JAWS persisted and grew. It eventually changed it’s name from JAWS to Serverless –

I’ve seen the future and it’s name is Serverless

This was still just one Serverless nodejs project in a great sea of other projects with more traditional setups. In November 2015 we got the opportunity to build a web based logistics system for another enterprise customer. We had built similar systems earlier so we started out with one of our Java/Play Framework based templates. But I couldn’t help but feeling a bit sad in leaving the world of Serverless behind. After we had finished the first couple of sprints and had proven our ability to deliver to the customer, we took a really bold decision. Instead of keeping on building our Java monolith we decided to build upon the successful architecture and technology of our previous project and build everything using Serverless and lambda. I’m still somewhat in awe to the level of freedom and confidence our customer showed in us. Today there is somewhere between 30 to 40 people building and managing Serverless applications to this customer all using AWS Lambda and the awesome services that AWS provide as the corner stone of day to day software development.

We eventually went on to make a complete re-write of our complex and costly cloud software integration service offering. Which proved to be a challenging task in it self but in hindsight it was probably both one of the bravest and smartest decisions we could have made!

This year I finally felt ready to start my own company. In June of 2018 TIQQE [tik] was born! I’m very proud to have an awesome team of Cloud Ops Engineers and Serverless developers that are ready to help more customers into the world of Cloud based computing and Serverless software!

David Borgenvik