The term Serverless has been discussed and rediscussed, thrown out, brought back in and redefined too many times to count at this point. Most people have their own description and sometimes they differ wildly.
Behind the term and the marketing around it though we can find a steady progression of ideas that have become more widespread for a number of years if not decades. The idea of specialising on Software instead of Hardware. The idea that most businesses today eventually either become a software company or will be pressured in the market by a competitor that is a software company. Software is eating the world is an often repeated mantra in our community.
So behind all the technical details of a Serverless infrastructure is the, in my opinion, large change that is actually happening, The Serverless Team.
With the number of new services that cloud providers give us we as individuals can’t become experts in all of them. At the same time we have to be able to include them in our infrastructure quickly if they could provide significant speed and value to our products and customers. This creates a tension because in the past we often had to become very knowledgeable about a few different pieces of technology and could leverage them to do many things, e.g. become an expert in a particular database system and language to implement most of your needs.
And while this is still possible today it would mean we couldn’t take advantage of everything we’re given by providers to help us build our products faster and thus make our customers happier, and in the end make more money.
So there are only so many things you can learn about a particular cloud service, but the complexity now is in building your tooling and process, as a team and individually, to learn, introduce and build with new services all the time.
This is what makes Serverless interesting, but also challenging and what we want to discuss further in the next parts.