The Year in Cloud: 2020

Kiss 2020 goodbye forever. But first, read these top posts

One side effect of being stuck at home for 9 months: I spent more time writing than I had planned. Between A Cloud Guru and this newsletter, I wrote something like 50,000 words about the cloud in 2020, the length of a reasonable-sized book. And that’s not including the actual book.

Again, very little planning went into this - I was mostly just writing about whatever seemed interesting at the time - but looking back over, some clear themes emerge.

Here are links to some of my most popular pieces from 2020, arranged around the big ideas they explore (and a few of my favorite cartoons from this year as well).

Lift-and-shift: a great start, a dangerous stop

Dead tree, donut, asteroid: where cloud migrations get stuck

The lift-and-shift shot clock (also adapted into a couple of conference talks, including this one from OSCON)

The central cloud team: a pervasive, often doomed pattern

How your org predicts your CI/CD pipeline

Why central cloud teams fail (and how to save yours)

The strange case of AWS Proton: Conway’s Law-as-a-Service

Multi-cloud: inevitable or fantasy? (Yes)

AWS hearts multi-cloud? It’s gonna happen

The cold reality of the Kinesis Incident

AWS just went multi-cloud … and it’s only the beginning

Serverless: maturing into the mainstream

Code-wise, cloud-foolish (also delivered as a talk at ServerlessDays)

In praise of S3, the greatest cloud service of all time

You’re not ready for feature flags

Building aggregations with DynamoDB Streams

AWS Lambda is winning, but first it had to die

Building the post-COVID cloud…

Tech in the time of COVID-19

A war story about COVID, cloud, and cost

COVID and cost optimization: lessons from leaders

Trends to watch from re:Invent 2020

…and its people

The Cloud Resume Challenge (which lives on as a Discord community and a monthly challenge from A Cloud Guru)

How many certifications do I need to get a cloud job?

The best way to find a cloud job

Interesting interviews

Scaling HEY on AWS and Kubernetes (with Basecamp’s Blake Stoddard)

Is cloud security too easy to screw up? (with HaveIBeenPwned’s Troy Hunt)

Optimizing a multimillion-dollar cloud bill (with ACG’s John McKim)

and finally … Viral Nonsense

The resilience of the AWS Services Song remains baffling to me. It’s been viewed millions of times across various platforms. Most people who watch it have no idea what it is about. And yet even now, every once in awhile I’ll get a bunch of notifications from Colombia or somewhere and it’s fun to watch another community discover it for the first time.

In 2021, I resolve to record more silly songs.

Links and events: what’s next?

I think that is enough links for awhile. So let’s talk about the future!

This mailing list has more than doubled in size since January 2020 - there are well over 2,000 of you now! - which is cool but also a bit intimidating.

I have no motivation to do Cloud Irregular other than that I like to write about the cloud, and no plans to do anything obnoxious like set up a paywall. I have had some people ask about sponsorships, and I’m not opposed to that, but it would have to be something useful to this community. If you have marketing budget and want to talk to a couple thousand cloud people - reach out, I guess.

In 2021 I do plan to keep the cloud essays going, but I’d also like to explore some different formats - maybe even an option to subscribe just to cartoons. What sounds interesting to you? Feel free to comment or reply and let me know if you have any suggestions or feedback.

Just for fun

2020 wasn’t all bad … we got strong consistency for S3! So I had to update the S3 Ballad for the occasion. Happy holidays. Can’t wait to see you all in person again.