#51 – Raising $US80M in 1 day on Serverless

Honored to be joined by Adam Clark and Peter Vanhee of hugely successful British charity, Comic Relief. You can read more about Red Nose Day here but, for the purpose of this technology blog, here’s the short version – they raise over £60M ($US80M+) in one evening, processing as much as 300 donations per second. No they’re not wearing capes, but maybe they should be…

I’m sure there are folk out there thinking “hey, my infrastructure can handle that”. I get it, but can you cost effectively acquire, stand up, maintain without having a heart attach, and then tear down that infrastructure without upsetting a single user/customer? Well, these guys can.

Things learned in this episode:

  • DPS – understanding this hot new metric Donations Per Second
  • Planning architecture for 1 evening’s use
  • The level of observability it takes to ramp up to a 1000x workload in one evening with confidence. Hint: IOpipe was key
  • The cultural aspect of building and running their donation service. Hint: how they communicate with each other is a big part.

Enough words form me, watch now:

Thanks for listening! #50 – Serverless Observability w/ IOpipe

Episode #50. Wooohooo! And for this landmark 50th episode we’re delighted to have super-popular Serverless observability company, IOpipe, on the show. In this episode (video below) I’m joined by IOpipe founder and CTO, Erica Windisch.

“Unless you set your concurrency for the lambda to ‘1’, right, which you could do [LAUGHS], you’re opting into building a distributed system.”

Erica dropped out of school and joined a web hosting company in 2001. At the time she was looking for better orchestration and observability solutions but nothing came close to her requirements… so, she started building the tools she needed.

Through all of this we were spending all this time focussing on building the best orchestration tool, and management tool, and customer experience from deployment automation but so little effort was being spent on really amazing tools to operate and manage these workloads.

Always at the cutting edge – one of the early developers on OpenStack, and an early employee at Docker – Erica started looking at Serverless-type technologies back in 2010. On how thing differ between traditional architecture and Serverless she shares, “you get this amazing scale but you’re also opting in to building a distributed system“. This brings new complexities that IOpipe can really help with.

Watch this episode to understand the level of confidence her company gets from their offering and how “IOpipe production infrastructure monitors itself with IOpipe production infrastructure“.

Thanks for listening! #49 – Imperative vs Declarative APIs /w Kin Lane

My good pal, Kin Lane, is back on the show for his third appearance to discuss the much debated topic of Imperative vs Declarative APIs.

Key discussion points on this topic:

  • One is not necessarily better than the other.
  • One persons declarative is another persons imperative, so think about the ‘system’ of orchestration, and not just the device/software you’re automating.
  • Think first about the ‘API contract’ (episode #46, also with Kin Lane)
  • Scott Peter’s and the API ’emoji poop’

Enough words from me, watch now!

Thanks for listening! #48 – Deep API Monitoring w/

With the evolution of application architecture – from monolith to distributed, microservice – comes the need for modern ‘architecture appropriate’ monitoring and visibility solutions.

Traditional ‘packet sniffer’ tooling falls short in terms of the requirements developers need to transition from best-effort, educated guesses to detailed usage logging and traceability. To help realize these deep API monitoring goals, in this episode I’m joined by Founder and CEO of, Rob Dickinson. 

Rob, who has a long history in the traditional application monitoring space, tells us how the tools and approaches of yesterday just don’t work in today’s distributed, microservice, ‘API first’ world. Watch this episode to understand how delivers “DevOps-friendly instrumentation” for the modern, agile service.


For more information on

  • You can view their YouTube Channel here
  • Take a look at the examples on GitHub here
  • And even run their demo yourself, here


Thanks for listening! #47 – POSTMAN API client w/ creator & CEO, Abhinav Asthana

Very excited about today’s episode where I’m joined by Abhinav Ashtana, the creator and CEO of world renowned API client, POSTMAN.


In this episode, hear Abhinav explain how POSTMAN started – how a personal frustration with API interactions presented an opportunity to create something cool. Learn about the journey POSTMAN took and the use cases that shaped its form today. Lastly, hear about the latest POSTMAN training capabilities shipping in version 7.0 (totally free) to better enable adoption by learning directly within the product as you use it.

Take a peek at this capability in the POSTMAN blog here.

Thanks for listening! #46 – ‘API Contracts’ w/ Kin Lane

API Contracts, or ‘API Parenting’ as I like to call it, is a critical part of API creation and delivery. So, if you’re thinking if implementing an API, or maybe you already have and things aren’t going so well, then this is the episode for you!

For API consumers, the API Contract sets expectations. It lets you know whether functionality may change at short notice, or not. It informs you of rate-limiting policies, and of the providers uptime/availability commitments. As an API consumer, you should demand API contracts of your providers to inspire confidence in your API consumption choices.

For API creators/providers, your consumers get all of the above – confidence in your API. If you love your customers/consumers, you’ll provide them an API contract, and honor it.

To learn more about API contracts, from the API evangelist (, Kin Lane, himself, watch this episode!

Thanks for listening! #45 – being ‘open source’, practicing ‘social coding’

Great to have GitHub’s Christian Weber (t: @classicwebdog) on the show again to help us understand what being part of the open-source community is all about.

Some key theme’s from this episode:

  1. Git IS all about ‘Social Coding’
  2. GitHub is NOT your download server
  3. Adopting open-source is a lot like hosting a meetup; be present, communicate, and listen
  4. Be receptive to feedback

Watch now:


Thanks for listening! #44 – Security Automation /w Benn Alp

Welcome to episode 44 of, your home of Ranting, Engineers, and Devops, where I’m joined by F5 Networks Global Security Solution Architect, Benn Alp.

Benn brings perspective based on many years of security experience across a range of roles and verticals. Learned in this episode:

  1. DevSecOps is finally getting some traction.
  2. Security vendors have started making more programmable security tooling.
  3. Culture is the most important thing to change in security. Removing the ‘no team’ label often attributed to security practitioners starts within the security team and how they serve the business.
  4. Benn’s arm movements are faster than the YouTube live-streaming frames per second transmission out of ‘Straya.

Enough words, watch now!


Thanks for listening! #43 – “API First Strategy” w/ Kin Lane

Welcome to episode #43 where I’m joined by super-famous API evangelist, Kin Lane – yes, the Kin Lane behind

Watch this episode to learn about Kin’s background and how he’s helped many organizations of different sizes realize the benefits of an “API First” strategy. Or just watch to see if he really does look like this:

Theme’s in this episode:

  • API First strategy
  • API Politics
  • Applying API’s to existing technologies/services

Enough words, watch/listen here:

Thanks for listening! #42 – Dev’s gone rogue

There’s lots of talk in the computer networking media about the need to pick up some scripting/coding skills to stay relevant in the modern agile/DevOps world. To better understand this perspective, in episode #42 we take a look at it from the opposite direction… from that of two developers who switched to networking!

Joining me in this episode, Cody (who I refer to as ‘Cory’, not once, but twice… sorry, Cody – if that even is your name…) Green, and Daniel Edgar explain how developers look at networking and how to avoid the common miscommunication problems between the two important but very different worlds.

Thanks for joining me CODY Green and Daniel Edgar!

Thanks for listening!