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Serverless Evolution during 3 years of Serverless Toronto

Four presentations for the 3rd Birthday of our User Group! After a short overview about Serverless Mindset (regardless of your tech stack), see:
1. how #Serverless has changed Software Development Process (Gareth McCumskey of and a demo of Serverless Desktop (
2. How small teams achieve BIG things with Firebase and #GCP Serverless Services (Kudzanai Murefu of
3. See folks competing to get involved with "COVID-19 Vaccination Passport", a project with a greater moral purpose in today's "upside-down world" (David Janes of
4. A reflection on the Serverless evolution and optimism for the future of Serverless (and Startups) as the line between its ecosystem and other Cloud-native Technologies keeps blurring (Mike Apted of #AWS #Startups).


1. Recording
2. Invitation
3. For more forward-looking #Software​ #Developerment​ topics, join #ServerlessTO​ User Group


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Serverless Evolution during 3 years of Serverless Toronto

  1. 1. Welcome to 1 Introduce Yourself: - Where from? Why are you here? - Looking for, or Offering work? Fill the survey to win prises! Feb 8, 2021: “Community Lightning Talks & Updates” will start at 6:10pm…
  2. 2. In Memory of Daniel’s Mom and Dad 2 Stana & Radovan Zivkovic Mom: Jan 31, 1934 – Jan 30, 2021 Dad: Apr 30, 1938 – Mar 21, 2009
  3. 3. Serverless Evolution since we started UG 3 Serverless is New Agile & Mindset #1 We started as Back- end FaaS (Serverless) Developers who enjoyed “gluing” other people’s APIs and Managed Services) #3 We're obsessed by creating business value (meaningful MVPs, Products), focusing on Outcomes – NOT Outputs, and we mesh well with Product Managers #2 We build bridges between Serverless Community (“Dev leg”), and Front-end, Voice-First & UX folks (“UX leg”) #4 Achieve agility NOT by “sprinting” faster (like in Scrum), but working smarter (by using bigger building blocks and less Ops)
  4. 4. What is the Serverless Mindset? 4 My spin: Let’s focus less on “pimping up our cars” (infrastructure/code), more on “driving” (the business) forward ☺ In “Conversations with tech leaders shaping the Future of Canada”, Marc Brouillard, – A/CIO & CTO of the Government of Canada, gave this advice to students aspiring to join the IT profession: 1. Technology should never be an end in itself. It's always in support of evolving business problems or making people's lives better. So, the more you can connect with the outcomes of your work, the more successful you're going to be. 2. Understand the big picture – expand your bubble.
  5. 5. It can be applied to any Tech stack, even… 5 “Serverless is a state of mind. It’s about how you make decisions, not what your choices are.” – Ben Kehoe …even your On-Prem Data Centre Serverless is a direction, not a destination It’s about avoiding Dogma – this:
  6. 6. Knowledge Sponsor (on our path to enlightenment :) 1. Go to 2. Select *any* e-Book, Video course, or liveProject you want! 3. Add it to your shopping cart (no more than 1 item in the cart) 4. Raffle winners will send me the emails (used in Manning portal), 5. So the publisher can move it to your Dashboard – as if purchased. Fill the survey to win!
  7. 7. Upcoming Meetups 7 1) How to choose what Azure services to use and when? – Barry Luijbregts Azure MVP & Pluralsight Author 2) This is my Architecture to prevent $72K Cloud Bills / bankruptcies – Sudeep Chauhan, 3) ??? We need you ☺ Please rate us ☺
  8. 8. Feature Presentations 8 1) Gareth McCumskey – Solutions Architect at Serverless Inc, will share the news from our "Mothership" and talk about the effects serverless has on the Software Development process. 2) Kudzanai Murefuof – Founder at Strma Music, will talk about Architectural improvements since his last Firebase talk. 3) David Janes – CTO at Consensas, will explain the tech stack and the design of the "COVID-19 Vaccination Passport" project. 4) Mike Apted – Principal Solutions Architect with AWS Startups & Techstars mentor, will update us on how he has seen entrepreneurs navigating the unique challenges and opportunities of 2020 forward and the impact of Serverless Computing.
  9. 9. serverless deploy function -f functionName
  10. 10. Serverless Updates Using GCP & Firebase at
  11. 11. Current State ➔ Running 4 client Applications (3 web & 1 Android) ➔ Serving 5000 weekly users mainly on our web platform ➔ Use React on front-end & NodeJS on backend ➔ Just rolled out android app in January
  12. 12. Growing Challenges we Faced ➔ Application code was tightly coupled with backend code ➔ Difficulty managing microservice workflows and requests to other inhouse services ➔ Rolling out & testing new features to subset of real users.
  13. 13. Decoupling our Apps ➔ All our apps were deployed on cloud run as separate containers ➔ Divided stack into 2 layers, application and microservice layers ➔ We push code to GIT which then triggers Cloud Build to containerize the repository and serve it on Cloud Run.
  14. 14. Build Automation ➔ Use Github as a Code Repo, ➔ Each commit triggers Cloud Build to run tests, if passed they are deployed to Cloud Run ➔ Our Android App also uses same process to build and deploy to Play Store
  15. 15. Rolling out new features ➔ Cloud Run allows us to run canary releases ➔ We configure a subset of our traffic to see the new features ➔ Gradually rollout changes to 100% traffic after successful testing
  16. 16. Cloud Workflows ➔ Orchestrate our HTTP API services into serverless workflows ➔ We can describe steps that combine 2 or more API services in one single place
  17. 17. Thank you LinkedIn: Strma project:
  18. 18. David Janes, Consensas,, January 2021 Consensas Information Passports Simple Veri fi able Credentials
  19. 19. Introduction
  20. 20. Vaccinination & Test Passports • Digital Proof that a Vaccination has been received, a test performed, etc. • Goals • Reopen economy • Smooth entry through borders • Protect residents in LTHC, etc. • Many sociological issues to be dealt with … but not here • A type of Veri fi able Credential
  21. 21. Information Passports • Our (Consensas / Me) spin on Veri fi able Credentials • Minimize centralization to minimize "creepiness" • Minmize interactions • Use existing web standards • JSON - LD, VC, W3C • Semantic Web / • X.509
  22. 22. What is a Claim? Examples • "David Janes received the second Moderna vaccination on January 20, 2021" • "David Janes had a viral test for COVID-19 on January 3" • "David Janes graduated from Memorial University in 1987" • "David Janes was President of IBM Canada from 1933 to 1972" • "David Janes won the Silver Medal in the Biathalon in 2004"
  23. 23. What is a Verifiable Claim? • A claim that we can independently verify • The claim contains proof to validate whether it is true • Data + Digital Signature • The independent veri fi cation phase • Do I trust that signature • Do I recognize the data • The claim is addressed by a URI (a web address)
  24. 24. How it is used
  25. 25. Issuing a Claim Example • Patient visits Clinic and gets a Vaccination • The clinic issues a Vaccination Passport • This is simply a URL, with a large random component • Can be sent via email, SMS, QR code, loyalty account or even physically • The Patient receives the Vaccination Passport and stores it • Bookmark, Apple Wallet, piece of paper in real wallet…
  26. 26. Issuing a claim Notes • No additional work created for the doctor / clinician • No additional work created for the Patient • It ' s literally like a receipt, just like shopping • Some additional work created for the Clinic • IT / backend related
  27. 27. Verifying and Validating a Claim Example • A Traveller (previously the Patient) enters an airport in another province • An O ff icer asks for proof of Vaccination or negative COVID test • The Traveller presents their Vaccination Passport • The O ff icer scans the Passport and gives the Traveller the go-ahead
  28. 28. Verifying and Validating a Claim Notes • No additional work is created for the Traveller • Less work is created for the O ff icer • They only need to check the name of Traveller • They don ' t need to fi gure out if this is a valid certi fi cate • Overall e ff iciency is increased • Faster and vastly more accurate / fraud proof
  29. 29. Issuing and Validating Claims Terminology • The Patient / Traveller is the Holder (and Subject) • The Clinic is the Issuer • The Passport O ff icer is the Veri fi er
  30. 30. How it works
  31. 31. How it works 50,000ft • Create an X.509 Public / Private Keypair • Public Key part of Certi fi cate Chain from Authority • Make Claim and sign with Private Key • Publish Claim as semi-random URL • Verify Claims using Public Key • Validate Claims using certi fi cate chain / business logic
  32. 32. How it works Public/Private Keypair Creation & Registration
  33. 33. How it works Claim Signing
  34. 34. How it works Veri fi cation - Does the Signature Match?
  35. 35. How it works Validation - Who? What?
  36. 36. How it works Business Logic • Assume Claims are documents • Write Rules as MongoDB-like queries • Magic!
  37. 37. End Notes
  38. 38. Information Passports / VC Other Possible Uses • Building Pemits • Univerity Credentials • Professional Credentials • Ownership of Property, Art • Driver ' s License • Car • O ff icer Indenti fi cation • Proof of Origin • KYC • Banking / Money Transfer • Age of Majority
  39. 39. Roadblocks • Wild-west standardization • JSON - LD? JSON Schema? JSON? • Technology enthusiasts • "This is our moment" • Complexity • Chicken / Egg - establishing a two sided market is hard
  40. 40. Serverless? • Issuing claims • Note has to have access to private key, so doing this in a public cloud is questionable! • Validating claims • Very well suited!
  41. 41. Find out more • CCCC4: 
 h tt ps:// • Demo: 
 h tt ps:// • Open Source: 
 h tt ps:// • Articles: 
 h tt ps:// • Complaining: 
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  42. 42. Thank you!
  43. 43. Contact Me David Janes 
 CTO, Consensas 
  44. 44. © 2020, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. Mike Apted Principal SA, Startups – AWS @mikeapted #ServerlessTO Happy Birthday!
  45. 45. © 2020, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. 2014 “The message here is… composability. It's the ability for multiple people to work together and continuously add functionality in the form of a crowd sourced startup, where you can continuously keep adding capabilities without having to worry about operations.” – Khawaja Shams, AWS Technical Advisor
  46. 46. © 2020, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. 2018 “For genuine bootstrapping and the ability to build an infrastructure without spending a dime, the time is now. This is amazingly powerful for startups but many haven’t yet understood why.” – James Beswick, AWS Developer Advocate
  47. 47. © 2020, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. 2020
  48. 48. © 2020, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. Future State
  49. 49. © 2020, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. Minimum Effective Dose “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  50. 50. © 2020, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. AWS Activate
  51. 51. © 2020, Amazon Web Services, Inc. or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. Thank-you! Mike Apted Principal SA, Startups – AWS @mikeapted
  52. 52. Join Home of “Less IT Mess”