Serverless Handbook

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Serverless Handbookfor frontend engineers

Dive into modern backend. Understand any backend
Buy now on AmazonBuy Digital for $15
#1 new release in Web Development

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Hello! πŸ‘‹

Are you a frontend engineer diving into backend? Do you have just that one bit of code that can't run in the browser? Something that deals with secrets and APIs?

That's what cloud functions are for my friend. You take a JavaScript function, run it on serverless, get a URL, and voila.

But that's easy mode. Any tutorial can teach you that.

What happens when you wanna build a real backend? When you want to understand what's going on? Have opinions on REST vs GraphQL, NoSQL vs. SQL, databases, queues, talk about performance, cost, data processing, deployment strategies, developer experience?


Get your free chapter!

Access to this chapter immediately, extra free chapter and Serverless crash course in your email ✌️

I like privacy too. No spam, no selling your data.

buy now amazon

Dive into modern backend. Understand any backend

Serverless Handbook shows you how with 360 pages for people like you getting into backend programming.

With digital + paperback content Serverless Handbook has been more than 1 year in development. Lessons learned from 14 years of building production grade websites and webapps.

If you want to understand backends, grok serverless, or just get a feel for modern backend development, this is the book for you.

Serverless Handbook full of color illustrations, code you can try, and insights you can learn. But it's not a cookbook and it's not a tutorial.

Serverless Handbook on your bookshelf
Serverless Handbook on your bookshelf

Yes, there's a couple tutorials to get you started, to show you how it fits together, but the focus is on high-level concepts.

Ideas, tactics, and mindsets that you need. Because every project is different.

The Serverless Handbook takes you from your very first cloud function to modern backend mastery. In the words of an early reader:

If you can JavaScript, you can backend.

Plus it looks great on your bookshelf πŸ˜‰

buy now amazon


  • Get started with Serverless backend technologies
  • Build your first backends, or your 10th in a new way ;)
  • Designed for frontend engineers diving into backend tech for the first time
  • Learn all about lambdas and queues and databases
  • Build server-side technologies with JavaScript and TypeScript
  • Support your apps with functions in the cloud
  • A reference handbook that stands by your side as you work
  • Pick and choose, read the chapters you need right now
  • Access yours forever
  • Live digital version with your Kindle or Paperback
  • Available wherever Amazon sends books

buy now amazon

buy now amazon

What's in Serverless Handbook?

360 pages, 19 chapters, 6 full projects, hand-drawn diagrams, beautiful chapter art, best-looking cover in tech. ✌️

Watch the walkthrough or keep reading.

Getting Started walks you through the history of servers and why serverless exists.

Serverless Pros & Cons helps you make informed decisions. Does serverless fit your project?

AWS, Azure, Vercel, Netlify, or Firebase?β€Œ talks about choosing a provider and their tradeoffs.

Good serverless DX is about developer experience and how serverless helps you improve yours.

Architecture principles talks about distributed architectures and what you'll want to think about.

Lambdas, queues, etc explains the core building blocks of serverless backends and how you can use them.

Robust backend design continues with ideas on resilience and reliability.

Where to store data is all about different databases, their tradeoffs, and how they work. A core aspect of backend.

Creating a REST API explains what is REST and what it isn't, how to design a good API, and walks you through a tutorial with working code.

Using GraphQL shows you the benefits of GraphQL, when you should use it, and shares a tutorial where you deploy a serverless GraphQL API.

Lambda pipelines talks about distributed data processing at scale and how you might use serverless for the task. Great dive into robust architecture design.

Monitoring serverless apps gives you ideas on observability and how to ensure you'll know something's funky before users start yelling.

Dev, QA, and prod shares common strategies for scaling as a team, avoiding mishaps, and when you should use which.

Serverless performance touches cost optimization and focuses on how to keep your system fast and performant.

Serverless Chrome puppeteer was hard to fit in the book, but it's such a darling I couldn't let go. Shows you how to run Serverless Chrome for browser automation.

Handling secrets is an important topic on how to make sure your system doesn't get hacked. Leaking API keys is a common oopsie.

Dealing with authentication talks about authentication, why it's hard, and shows you how to roll your own or use a 3rd party provider.

Glossary defines commonly used words so you can look them up as you work.

Appendix: More databases is everything you ever wanted to know about different databases and how to use them.

Plus, Serverless Handbook really looks great on your desk 😊

Serverless Handbook on your desk
Serverless Handbook on your desk

buy now amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Amazon?

She's a good book Friend and she deserves to hit the bestseller list.

Swizec Teller speaking at Reactathon avatarSwizec Teller speaking at Reactathon@Swizec
Oh damn, #6 in the general Computer Programming category πŸš€

Paperback is #22 🀘
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$9.99 for Kindle are you sure? Your book is worth more.

Not a fake question, I promise.

kindle price question

Amazon decided that kindle books should be $9.99. You get a 70% margin. Choose higher and your margin falls to 30%.

That means a $22 and a $9.99 book make the same revenue for the author. In that case making Serverless Handbook more accessible is the better choice 😊

$49 for the paperback does it read itself??

Also not a fake question πŸ˜‚

diego avatardiego@dxvgx
@Swizec The physical version is 50USD! Does it read itself ?

You know how most books you buy aren't color and look like they were printed on toilet paper? This week I learned why.

Paperback royalty structure

That's right, it costs $26 to print each copy of Serverless Handbook. Add distribution costs and Amazon overhead ...

I didn't want you to read toilet paper.

Amazon doesn't show your book in my country

Sorry that's out of my hands πŸ˜” I clicked all the buttons and flipped all the checkboxes and said "Widest distribution possible please!"

You can try buying from Amazon's US store directly

I don't like Amazon, don't have Kindle, and killing trees is bad. How can I read Serverless Handbook?

You can buy the live digital version on Gumroad. Otherwise included with kindle/paperback purchase :)

Serverless Handbook in the wild

octane88 avataroctane88@octane88
Learning about #serverless from @swizec's new Serverless Handbook!
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Bahit Hamid πŸš€ avatarBahit Hamid πŸš€@bahit
@Swizec just got your book after ordering from our library. πŸŽ‰
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Sammy Teahan avatarSammy Teahan@SammyTeahan
@Swizec has written an impressive overview of the modern serverless backend ecosystem with all its different components
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Devan Farrell avatarDevan Farrell@devanfarrell_
Only a few chapters in and I can already say this is going to completely change my workflows for work and side projects. Excellent work @Swizec
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David Peer avatarDavid Peer@dudupeer
@Swizec Great book just finished it, love it!
Erik Aybar avatarErik Aybar@erikaybar_
Recent additions to my bookshelf πŸ“š

1️⃣ @Swizec's Serverless Handbook. I'm excited to add serverless to my toolbox. I'm enjoying the format!

2️⃣ @edmondlau's The Effective Engineer. Had my eye on this since his Google talk was impactful for me a while back.

So far enjoying both!
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Benedicte Raae πŸ‘‘ avatarBenedicte Raae πŸ‘‘@raae
When a senior dev and junior dev go on a mini staycation...
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Ola VeaπŸ˜ΊπŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ is writing a Gatsby-plugin workbook avatarOla VeaπŸ˜ΊπŸ΄β€β˜ οΈ is writing a Gatsby-plugin workbook@OlaHolstVea
I am the junior dev and don't tell Lillian (6 πŸ¦„) I actually went swimming without her. πŸ˜‡
It was only 4 seconds of swimming anyway.

The @Swizec Serverless Handbook is KILLER! I am on page 162.... πŸ€“
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Oscar Pagani avatarOscar Pagani@opagani
I bought the excellent book Serverless Handbook from @Swizec

I highly recommend it!
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diego avatardiego@dxvgx
@Swizec That's easy just send me a signed copy. Btw, now I understand why it originally was ~50USD
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Brandon πŸš€ Flightcontrol YC W22 avatarBrandon πŸš€ Flightcontrol YC W22@flybayer
Thanks @Swizec! Reading the earlier versions of this online a couple years ago was super helpful!
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Chase avatarChase@chagwood
@Swizec kids these days and their pesky serverless development!
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Ryan Magoon tech bro avatarRyan Magoon tech bro@Ryan_Magoon
Cracked open my physical copy tonight @Swizec πŸ‘ŒπŸ» I will learn aws and use it for evil
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Code β‚³vΞ£rΣπ avatarCode β‚³vΞ£rΣπ@code_e_averett
@Swizec this is my stack of handbooks that I keep handy.
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Adam Rackis avatarAdam Rackis@AdamRackis
What has two thumbs and just got @Swizec’s new book?
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Jon Howard avatarJon Howard@TheAppyWriter
@Swizec #serverlesshandbook This is the first physical comp sci text book I’ve brought in over twenty years. I find that most of them are out of date the moment they’re printed but Swizec has done an amazing job and the content will be relevant for a good few years to come.
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Michael avatarMichael@mikedubcurry
@Swizec got the serverless handbook! It looks great. It’s a lot thicker than I would’ve thought reading it online
Adam Rackis avatarAdam Rackis@AdamRackis
My man @Swizec went and sent me a signed first edition of this soon to be classic πŸ‘Š
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Liz Lam avatarLiz Lam@grepliz
Looking forward to reading this! Thanks @Swizec!!
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Roy Anger avatarRoy Anger@royanger
I just got my copy of Serverless Handbook from @Swizec . First few chapters are great and I'm excited to go through the rest.
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Mate Nemeth avatarMate Nemeth@__MateN
I just got my signed copy of Serverless Handbook from @Swizec, I know what I’m gonna do this weekend 😎
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Erston Greatman avatarErston Greatman@ErstonGreatman
It is here. Time to give @Swizec's book a good read!
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