Julian Wood, AWS

Keynote Speaker

Serverless: The Reality and Fantasy in 2023

It seems that everything is serverless, or at least wants to be! So, what is “serverless” in 2023, what’s the reality, what’s the fantasy? Julian Wood takes you through the evolution of serverless technologies, from products to mindset. Understand how successful organisations take advantage of what serverless has to offer. Learn how you can read the future to decide what technology choices to make, how to build better, cheaper, safer, faster, and how to thrive as a technology professional in an uncertain world.

Julian is a Senior Developer Advocate at Amazon Web Services (AWS) who helping developers and builders love how serverless technologies can transform the way they build and run applications

Matthew Wilson Speaker at ServerlessDays Belfast

Matthew Wilson, Instil

Instilling confidence in Serverless teams?

At the start of 2021 we began an ambitious project, building a car insurance platform (https://strollinsurance.co.uk ) from scratch using Serverless technology on AWS.

Over the past 2 years we learnt a lot about what it takes to build a Serverless platform: what it means to be Serverless-first, what works well, what doesn’t, but above all we learnt to love the Serverless offering on AWS.

This talk describes our team’s Serverless journey, how we encouraged developers to adopt a Serverless mindset, how we enlightened them that writing less code is better and how we enabled them to deploy to production with confidence.

  • Encouraging the Serverless mindset
  • Enlightening developers that writing less code is better
  • Enabling production deployments with confidence

Matthew Wilson is a Principal Software Engineer at Instil and an AWS Community Builder in the Serverless category.

Jonah Andersson, Microsoft MVP

Automating Tedious and Time-Consuming DevOps Tasks Using Serverless

Application delivery is crucial in every software engineering projects. You have continually deliver, deploy, test and monitor. However, the other side of deployment requires some extra tasks like sending out release notes after every deployment. Deploying and releasing to higher environments 2-3 a week can be a tedious routine or task in DevOps operations and release management. If you have distributed systems and source control hosted in different platforms, it can be challenging to make it work together easily.

In this session, you will learn from DevOps and Cloud Infrastructure Engineer Jonah Andersson about how she identified the problem and used serverless technologies like the extension of Azure Functions – Durable Functions can be used to save her time from some manual release deployments.

Learn the fundamental vital concepts you need to know about Azure Durable Functions for stateful serverless workflows, how to develop it in .NET, and most of all, a demo of how it can be used to integrate it with Azure DevOps Pipelines to automate the task for release notes management and also using the enterprise messaging service, Azure Service Bus and external mail APIs like SendGrid.

Sheen Brisals speaker at ServerlessDays Belfast

Sheen Brisals, The LEGO Group

How do you measure your enterprise’s readiness for serverless?

There are measurements for many things, but how do you measure an enterprise’s readiness for serverless? How can an organization prepare itself to adopt serverless? What is the secret mantra of organizations already on a serverless success track?

Unlike a successful start-up growing fast using serverless technology, enterprise adoption of serverless is often deemed as challenging. Could business complexity be the reason? If so, how are the enterprises that successfully adopted serverless accelerating faster?

In this talk, with real-world use cases, we will examine the essentials for enterprise-scale serverless adoption and the measures necessary to continue on the early success.

Sheen is an AWS Serverless Hero. In his current role at The LEGO Group, Sheen guides engineering teams to architect and build serverless solutions. Sheen has held several positions at leading software organizations over his long career. He is very passionate about serverless and loves sharing knowledge with the community. He talks about serverless at conferences around the world.

Mark Allan, Gearset

Sneaky Serverless

If you’ve already drunk the serverless kool-aid, you know it’s the best way to build applications. Unfortunately I have to break it to you that not every company is quite as keen on serverless as you are. Using terms like “lock-in” and “multi-cloud” and “predictability” some will politely but firmly tell you that serverless isn’t an option. Fortunately, with a little sleight of hand, you can build a serverless system anyway that addresses all their concerns. How? Let’s find out.

Mark is a software engineer at Gearset and a Microsoft MVP. He’s been a professional developer since the 1980s, mostly freelance, and has worked on a myriad of projects for everything from local startups and councils to multinational corporations and federal government departments.

While something of a technology omnivore, particularly if it’s new and shiny, he currently tends towards React front-ends sitting on top of scalable cloud-first services, using a functional, event-driven and reactive approach. In his spare time he’s a STEM Ambassador, Barefoot volunteer and organiser of the Northern Ireland Developer Conference.

Anna Carlin and Emma Patton, Aflac Northern Ireland

A rookie journey of discovery and learning

Aflac is a 67-year-old US insurance company, with Aflac NI being it’s 3-year-old tech hub. We began our cloud journey at Aflac NI just 10 months ago, with this being a part of the move away from legacy systems and utilizing a forward-thinking approach to add more value to the business.

Within the Cognitive Engineering team, we brought together individuals from different backgrounds to learn AWS services and use its ground-breaking serverless capabilities to create a platform for the business from scratch.

Anna Carlin – Aflac Northern Ireland

With 2 years’ experience as an engineer, Anna’s career began when she joined Aflac NI as their first graduate in September 2020. Anna joined as an engineer working with a low code language called Pega. After expressing an interest in moving into the data space, when an opportunity arose to do so, she joined the newly established Cognitive Engineering team in January 2022 within Aflac NI and has worked as a data engineer since. In this time learning how best to utilize AWS services to build an internal platform and developing her skills in Python programming.

Emma Patton – Aflac Northern Ireland.

Emma has 3 years of experience in development, working throughout this time as an engineer and analyst. Beginning her career, she spent time briefly as a software engineer and quickly moved into the world of data analytics, analysing claims data for various internal projects, working with tools such as Snowflake, Infoworks and Tableau.

Following this she began working as a Data Engineer and has worked with a variety of AWS tools and services, learnt the ins and outs of GitHub, all things Python best practices and unit testing along the way. During this time, she also completed a master’s degree in Data Analytics/Science at Queen’s University.

Conall Bennett and Roger Moore, CME Group

When you play the game of clouds, you transform or die

Our talk tells the story of how our organisation has started its transformation to a full cloud native business running on Google Cloud and the organisational and technical challenges of taking one of the world’s largest low latency financial exchanges into a very different way of working on a distributed cloud.

We’ll talk about our prior experience running workloads on AWS for 5 years and how that is driving our ambitions in GCP using a Serverless approach, and we’ll outline the key drivers and friction points we have experienced which both enable and challenge our success. 

Conall is currently a cloud architect at the CME Group where he helps teams design & deliver cloud native solutions to grow the business. Prior to this he has been in a variety of engineering leadership roles in Insurance, Capital markets and consultancy industries. His main background is in DevOps, Agile coaching, software testing and the automation of things, and every so often (usually against his better judgement) he gets hoodwinked into doing a talk on one of the above. 

Roger is a Director of Software Engineering at CME Group where he currently runs the Data Engineering teams in the Belfast office. With over 20 years of experience in Fintech, Roger has worked on trading platforms, pricing systems, risk systems, and for the past 5 years has been at the forefront of CMEs Data adoption of AWS and now migration to GCP. When not building and running engineering teams, Roger works to hoodwink Conall into giving conference talks.

Chintan Parmar​, Dunelm UK

Serverless: Dun Our Way

To support a major digital transformation initiative, Dunelm chose to completely rebuild it’s e-commerce platform using a micro-service architecture built in AWS Serverless technologies and partnering with the best in breed platform solutions to bring a fast, stable and reliable experience to it’s online customers. Come to find out how DuneIm moved to releasing over 300 changes a month and saw an average speed improvement of 978% across their entire platform. In addition, hear how it has decided to organise teams around core business domains. 

Chintan Parmar is Principal Platform Engineer at Dunelm. As a DevOps advocate, he focuses on the availability, performability, reliability and innovation of Dunelm’s Platform. He has worked in several engineering and leadership roles over the past 10 years across visual effects, financial services and retail. His current role involves leading on the enablement and support of Dunelm’s platforms – he has been a key practitioner in Dunelms journey to building it’s Platform Engineering CoE, whilst also cultivating a true DevOps culture mentoring and empowering their teams to deliver value to their customers.

Craig McCarter, Liberty IT

The myth of scaling serverless systems

Applications built with a serverless infrastructure will scale automatically as usage increases.

Or at least, that’s what they try to tell us. It works for a while, but you soon run into the many traps that come with running serverless applications at large scale. Coming from a multi-year experience building and running a massively scaled serverless architecture in the finance domain, Craig will share some of the challenges that Liberty IT encountered, and strategies to combat them.

Craig McCarter is a senior solutions architect at Liberty IT, where he’s spent many years developing cloud applications, with a focus on Serverless architectures. Well-known for his laid back approach, Craig is most often found wearing his work slippers while attending the office. Outside of work, he’s a full-time father of three and a musician.

Ben Ellerby, Aleios

Keynote Speaker

Walking back down the Serverless Staircase – a Sociotechnical Journey

As larger and larger companies adopt the benefits of a Serverless-First approach the appetite to follow has grown. Adopting Serverless within large-scale organisations is not a simple task, but it’s not the technology that’s slowing things down, it’s the organisational challenge. In this talk, I walk back on the journey I’ve taken several enterprises on in their adoption of Serverless. Showing the challenges, the wins and the losses, and overall a shared socio-technical framework to set your journey up for success, “The Serverless Staircase”

Don’t focus on the technology alone and wait for the rest to come with you, it’s a people challenge as much as a technical one.

Ben Ellerby is the Founder of aleios and a dedicated member of the Serverless community. He is the editor of Serverless Transformation, co-organizes the Serverless User Group in London and regularly speaks about Serverless around the world.

At aleios, Ben helps organisations of all sizes adopt Serverless.

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