Serverless: an inside look

February 21, 2019
Oakland, US

Join us for three serverless talks in downtown Oakland during the week of Developer Week.

Talk 1: How Workers Work

In an ideal world, code would always run as close as possible to the things with which it communicates – end users, storage, external APIs, etc. However, most software stacks are only cost-effective if applications are long-running, handling many events in one place. We need a new approach that can efficiently load code to handle just one event, so that it can be executed wherever is best for that one event, across a distributed network.

Kenton Varda will explain how Cloudflare solved this problem by building a compute platform using V8 isolates instead of containers or VMs, achieving 10x-100x faster cold starts and lower memory footprints. He’ll go through technical details of how the Workers runtime embeds V8, loads and schedules worker scripts, manages resources, and combats security threats. This will be a highly technical talk about implementation details but will also give developers a better understanding of how to use the Workers platform effectively.

Speaker Bio:

Kenton Varda is the tech lead and architect for the Cloudflare Workers project, which allows Cloudflare customers to run JavaScript code directly on Cloudflare’s edge network. Before he joined Cloudflare, Kenton served as co-founder and author of and created Cap’n Proto, both open source projects. Before that, Kenton spent eight years at Google, where he was responsible for open sourcing Protocol Buffers.

Talk 2: Security: the Serverless Future

Does security have to come at a cost of performance and maintenance? Your security is only as strong as the weakest human link and their patience and diligence in following proper protocols. Serverless computing is the future of how complex software systems and their security will be designed and built. This talk will demonstrate several migration cases that Serverless technology can already help with today.

Some modern hosting platforms don’t give you enough access to deploy certain security features. Let’s say you would like to use security headers like Content Security Policy and Strict Transport Security, mange bot traffic, or do some advanced multi-factor authentication; that can be a struggle and consume many resources in your current infrastructure. With futuristic serverless platforms, such solutions can be deployed in seconds.

Speaker Bio:

Gabbi Fisher is a Systems Engineer on the Cloudflare Cryptography Team. She works at the intersection of security research and practical software implementation. Most recently, her projects have brought her to the wonderful world of serverless Cloudflare Workers. She is excited about powering ambitious projects with serverless functions, and using them to eliminate single points of failure.

Talk 3: Building a Serverless World (Map) with IoT and Workers

One of Cloudflare’s greatest assets is it’s Point of Presence, or PoPs. There’s a pushpin map in our SF headquarters, and various incarnations of that map exist in many forms. When I was interviewing with Cloudflare, my manager mentioned this grand idea of an 8’x10’ version of the map with lights at our PoP locations. About two minutes after I joined, we decided to make it happen!

This talk will cover how the software (and a little bit of the hardware) was built using Workers and Workers KV, and explain overall why serverless architectures and IoT designs mesh really well to create immersive and fun IoT experiences.

Speaker Bio:

Kas Perch (they/their/them) is a Developer Advocate for Cloudflare. They’re also studying towards a BSEE in Electrical Engineering, an author of two books about JS Robotics, and a Twitch Affiliate streamer for code and hardware. They like serverless and all the discussions it brings, and playing with their 2 cats.


6:00pm: Doors open, mingling, snacks, & drinks

6:30pm: Talk 1: How Workers Work

7:00pm: Talk 2: Security: the Serverless Future

7:30pm: Talk 3: Building a Serverless World (Map) with IoT and Workers

8:00pm: Q&A, mingling

8:30pm: Event conclusion