Mesh AWS Lambda, Python and Dependency Management

In our second time block of the day, we’ll have our first set of Lightning Talks. Lightning Talks are something new we are trying this year and will last only 20 minutes. That means you’ll get two talks within 1 session block. 

11:00 AM – 11:45 AM

Josh Comer

Josh is an SRE Architect at Cvent and a long-time resident of the Fredericton tech community. In his spare time, he likes long thinks about distributed systems and is always looking for the programming language that got away. When not programming, he is spending time with his family and trying to convince his kids to get along.

Mesh isn’t just for the club (anymore)



A mesh is defined as an “interlaced structure” and this exactly describes what we are building when we create distributed systems. The pieces talk to and depend on one another. Managing, monitoring, and controlling the ether between our services is a daunting task and one that can lead to failure scenarios if mismanaged. In this talk, Josh Comer will explore how adding a Service Mesh to our systems can not only make them more resilient but flexible and transparent. With first hand stories of distributed failure, Josh will discuss how a mesh could have avoided these scenarios. Hopefully, at the end you will agree that if you could only take one technology to a distributed desert island, it would be a Service Mesh.


Alex Keeling

Alex Keeling has been getting paid to play with computers since 2010. In his current role at Brunswick News Inc., he’s had the chance to learn about AWS and serverless architecture. Alex’s current favourite language is Python, and his keyboard of choice is the classic IBM Model M. Working in Moncton and living 30 minutes away in Sackville gives him lots of time to listen to podcasts every day. Let him know if you’ve got any good suggestions!

Matt believes deeply in using data to drive decisions, including analytics and customer feedback. He doesn’t just graph and monitor things at work—he’s fully instrumented his side projects and even graphed his infant son’s feeding and diaper change data!

Dave Astels

Dave has been working in the computing industry for 35 years. He started when 8-bit CPUS like the 6502 and Z80 ruled the land and he designed and built his own hardware and hand-crafted code from assembly language. Eventually he went off and got a Computer Science degree and focused exclusively on software for many years. Along the way he spoke at conferences and wrote books. One of his blog posts instigated the rSpec project, which has been imitated in most programming languages. More recently he found himself working with hardware again. This time it’s different. Instead of using assembly language, he is using Python. Dave spends his time these days hacking on projects and writing about them, teaching other people the joys of making things that do stuff in the physical world.

Dave grew up in Nova Scotia and spent more time there, Calgary, Boston, Washington DC, Silicon Valley, and Chicago before finding himself back in Canada; this time in SW Ontario.

Matt believes deeply in using data to drive decisions, including analytics and customer feedback. He doesn’t just graph and monitor things at work—he’s fully instrumented his side projects and even graphed his infant son’s feeding and diaper change data!

Using and Abusing AWS Lambda


What can we do in the AWS Lambda environment besides running small functions? We’ll start with the basics of the service, move through some simple examples, and see just how far we can push the Lambda environment AWS provides us with. AWS lambda is the leading FaaS (Functions as a Service) option. This talk will give a brief overview of some basic example uses of the service, (web scraper, SMS reminders, image resizing) before diving into exploring the details of how the lambda environment is set up (what exactly can we access in the small Linux environment called lambda that AWS provides us with?) With this information, we’ll try some more unusual uses for lambda like ssh-ing into a lambda instance, installing git in a lambda and using it to mirror one repo to another, running headless Chromium in a lambda, and maybe even try running Docker in a lambda.

Primer on Python


Python is a powerful and popular language. Join Dave Astels for an introduction (or just a refresher) on Python.

This lightning talk is scheduled before the CircuitPython session.

Matt Duffy

Matt is a software developer based in Charlottetown, PEI. After a misspent youth in engineering school, he has spent the last 6 years in the software industry serving customers such as utility service providers, insurance providers, mobile gamers and online content creators.

Adapt & Overcome: Dependency Management in Existing Codebases

ROOM 203

Changing existing code is difficult. Being forced to change on short notice due to changes in dependencies is undesirable. The adapter pattern helps manage code changes. This makes our jobs as programmers easier in two major ways: (1) it limits the exposure of the change to a single point in your codebase and (2) it can be used to indicate when behaviour changes that you care about have been made.

In this session, Matt Duffy will cover how to introduce the adapter pattern into an existing codebase and the advantages and disadvantages of this strategy.

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