Interview with Ryan Sweny, BitBakery’s Director of App Development

Serverless technology

We interviewed BitBakery’s Director of Application Development Ryan Sweny about his interest in serverless technology.

Ryan develops using many tools including Android, Node Express, MongoDB, Angular, Ionic, Go, and Amazon’s AWS (EC2, S3, Lambda, DynamoDB, Route 53, RDS).

1. What is serverless technology?

Serverless technology is a cloud service whereby you don’t need to have your own server.

You only need to write core logic for your server as a bunch of stateless API (application program interface) calls. The provider takes care of hosting for you, including scaling and security issues. This encourages a strict, stateless design philosophy as the server can’t manage tons of information.

This makes things simpler, except at the design and architecture stage. That’s when it becomes more interesting to design. Organizing a serverless database schema requires care because it’s more limited than standard databases.”

2. What excites you about these serverless technologies?

“Serverless makes server maintenance easier. It lessens the amount of stuff that can go wrong, and makes developing easier. People hate worrying about their servers during downtime.

3. How are these technologies influencing the world?

“A lot of companies are integrating serverless technology. It’s easier than ever to build the backend for your new app or game. This helps startups get their products out. A back-end that scales automatically means there probably won’t be a crash right after launch. User experience is improving, too.

Dedicated servers like Amazon’s or Google’s will probably mean fewer credit card hacks. I say ‘probably’ because there is risk of (unlikely) bug exploitation.

4. What are the implications of serverless technology?

“Developers won’t have to do so much back-end plumbing, scaling and security, because serverless takes care of it. More time can be spent on what matters, like UI, design and graphics.

5. Can you expand on how serverless technology helps with scaling?

“Say you write your code in a small, stateless manner. It’s Amazon’s job to deploy that to as many servers as necessary. They do have some limits, but they’re very high. Whether your app does one request per second or 500 makes no difference.

It’s also much cheaper for the developers. You pay a fixed cost to run your own server, which can be $80-100/month. Many startups spend money on inactive servers because an app or product doesn’t need much attention. With Amazon’s Lambda, the bill may only be 10 cents. 

6. How would you start learning about serverless technology?

Projects have different requirements, and you should know all your options. Sometimes going serverless will be best. It’s a quick way to get moving and prototype a system.

To get started with serverless, start with your favourite provider, like Google’s CloudAmazon’s Lambda or Microsoft’s Azure. Learn from their start pages. Some link to DIY features which let you get a feel for the tech.

The Takeaway

Serverless technologies allow for more rapid and secure application development and deployment. 

The Recap – About Ryan

Family: Husband and father of an active 9 year-old diver

Experience: UW Computer Science & Math major who’s been developing since ‘95

Business hero he’d like to have lunch with: Elon Musk

Things most people don’t know:

Ryan was sad to retire his “clicky” PS2 keyboard from 1996

He gets along with MACs and PCs


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By Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell
Jack is a Laurier Business student and is passionate about all things tech