Why So Serverless?

Why So Serverless?

Date and time

Wednesday 12 February, 18:00

Event Sponsor

Cazoo Ltd are sponsoring Why So Serverless?

Our first outing in 2020 was hosted by Cazoo, with a focus on architecture in the serverless age! The first talk revolved around creating a platform from scratch as an entirely serverless solution, and the second discussed how to go about introducing serverless into an existing architecture.

Bob Gregory, Chief Architect for Cazoo, was up first and shared insights from their experience building a new ecommerce platform - in a matter of months - using AWS Lambda.

Following Bob's talk and a short Q&A session, we heard from Scott Smethurst, Serverless Consultant at Uptime. Scott took us on a whistle-stop tour of the serverless projects he's worked on over the last four years, highlighting some of the biggest challenges and most interesting outcomes that he has encountered along the way.

As a consultant, Scott often helps introduce serverless tools into existing architectures, which creates a whole different set of headaches compared to working on greenfield builds. We were told how he helped Yubl replace a technical mess with a serverless architecture; discussed how LifeWorks utilised AWS and other serverless tools to pivot their business in an entirely new direction; took a look at some of the technical challenges that can arise a year or so into the life of a serverless project; and touched on some of the more intriguing solutions that Scott and his team have come up with along the way.

His talk, Planting Serverless Flowers in the Brownfield, also included a number of real-world architectural diagrams and highlighted some key statistics that he has gathered which emphasise how much you can achieve with only a handful of developers. Scott has been creating serverless back-ends for quite a while now, so he had plenty of stories to share on the evening!

We would like to thank everyone who helped make the evening such a success, but in particular want to shout out our hosts Cazoo! We were sad to have to leave their amazing office space at the end of the evening - did someone say something about jealousy?

Cazoo are an exciting new startup that was founded by Alex Chesterman with the aim to transform the way that people buy used cars. In a sector rife for technical disruption, Cazoo hope to lead the way by offering a service that puts consumers’ needs at its heart. They are at the beginning of their journey, having launched at the end of 2019 with a nationwide marketing campaign - you've probably seen this name everywhere by now!

With a desire to do things right first time, they have prioritised the use of leading-edge technology and engineering standards. A staunch approach to classicist TDD, coupled with a serverless, event-driven architecture allows them to innovate and develop quickly, while maintaining a focus on quality.

You can watch videos of the main talks and stages of the evening below, as well as being able to find out more about our speakers and event organisers.

Video Highlights

We're hard at work editing the videos from Why So Serverless?. Sorry for the delay, but we'll tweet out as soon as they are live!

Meet the Speakers

Bob Gregory

Bob Gregory

Chief Architect

Bob has a decade of experience building distributed systems and event driven architectures at Huddle,, and now Cazoo.

Link to Twitter account.LinkedIn profile
Scott Smethurst

Scott Smethurst

Serverless Consultant

Scott’s passion for computing began when he was gifted a Commodore 64 for Christmas in 1988 and really took hold while studying Computer Science at the University of Manchester. He’s been an Architect, Lead Developer, and Consultant in a variety of industries, at companies ranging from a multi-billion pound corporation to a failed start-up. For the past 4 years, Scott has specialised in designing and building leading-edge serverless back-ends, predominantly using AWS.

LinkedIn profile

Meet the Organisers

Derek Millar

Derek Millar

Account Manager

After spending every day for 6+ years talking about technology, I finally caught the coding bug myself about six months ago. Since then I’ve thrown myself into the world of modern JavaScript and through a combination of online learning, workshops and meetups I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere.

I'm really looking forward to this exciting meet-up that's in partnership with Cazoo. We've been helping them build a great team over the past 6 months that has an amazing engineering culture. Many engineers that I’ve spoken to have shown an enthusiasm to work in a serverless environment so I'm keen to find out more about their implementation.