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Wednesday, December 20th 2023

AWS re:Invent 2023: Iteration velocity is the solution to all software problems

The Frontend Cloud, Generative UI, and keys to a high iteration team

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Malte Ubl

CTO, Vercel

Recently the Vercel Team had the pleasure of sponsoring AWS re:Invent 2023. This year we attended as an official part of the AWS Marketplace, which makes it possible to onboard and build on Vercel in just a few clicks.

While at re:Invent, I was able to share my thoughts on The Frontend Cloud, Generative UI, and the keys to a highly iterative team. Here’s a look at my talk.

The shift to the frontend—the final frontier of differentiation

The current state of web development requires a focus on the frontend—because the frontend is where you differentiate from your competition. It’s where you meet your customers, users, and partners, and become the leader in your market.

Composable architecture for better speed, UX, and AI adoption

But many teams are stuck with a monolithic system, bogged down by configuration and left with less room for innovation. These stacks are:

  • Inflexible
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to scale

This is especially true in the age of AI, which is changing the tech landscape and necessitating that businesses remain nimble.

Imagine your website is built on a legacy stack, and you want to add an AI chatbot. In a managed monolith, you're beholden to that vendor's roadmap. AI capabilities must be added to the entire app before anyone can use it—in other words, frontend devs are left waiting for your vendor to make changes. Meanwhile, in composable patterns, frontend devs can directly integrate AI services and get going whenever they need.

The answer to this problem: Implement a composable architecture—build a composable frontend with complete control over the user and developer experience while plugging in your preferred APIs, and don’t be held back from important user features.

A composable solution is integral to iteration velocity.

Iterate faster and make better decisions with the Frontend Cloud

One of my firmest beliefs is that iteration velocity can solve all software problems.

That’s because, as software engineers, we know that we are going to make mistakes. So we must iterate, experiment, and fix things. Quickly.

The velocity component is about speed and direction—it means moving faster and making better decisions each step of the way.

Here’s how the Frontend Cloud helps you iterate faster at every step of your software lifecycle:

Develop your application

Preview your site after you build it

  • Preview deployments: Get an automatic direct, immutable deployment with every commit push, that you can share with stakeholders
  • Comments: Figma-like live feedback on your Preview deployments, actionable through Slack, Linear and Jira integrations
  • Fast builds: Fast builds with each step of the Preview process, to maintain team velocity

Ship your site into production

  • Continuous Deployment: Deploy quickly in production, automatically via your favorite Git provider
  • Edge Config: Globally push configuration of your app to global edge, so you can run A/B tests and other experimentation as close as possible to your users
  • Instant Rollback: We all make mistakes, so instantly rollback to any previous version of your app in a second or less

Leverage The Frontend Cloud in order enhance your time-to-market and optimize decision making at every step—that is, supercharge your iteration velocity.

Generative UI helps you take that first step

Iteration velocity matters at every step of the way, and our new product v0 comes in at the very first step. v0 makes website creation as simple as describing your ideas. We’ve dubbed it Generative UI—combining the best practices of frontend development with the potential of generative AI.

v0 builds the first iteration of your application, similar to how ChatGPT does.

Here’s how it works:

  • Describe the interface you want to build
  • v0 produces code using open-source tools like React, Tailwind CSS, and shadcn/ui
  • Select an iteration and keep editing in v0
  • When you're ready, copy and paste that code into your app and develop from there

It doesn’t replace the entire process, but rather it gets you started in seconds—another piece of your toolkit to iteration velocity—betting on the power of simple text prompts.

Configure less. Create more.

One of my favorite parts of my job is watching the brands achieve peak iteration velocity and solve software problems with tools like these.

Another iteration velocity hack: With partnerships like AWS Marketplace, Vercel helps users take advantage of best-in-class AWS infrastructure with zero configuration, making a composable architecture cost-effective, flexible, and secure.

By going composable and leveraging tools like the Frontend Cloud and v0, teams can access peak iteration velocity, and lead with their frontend into an AI-first world.

Vercel's Frontend Cloud is available on AWS Marketplace

Simplify your software buying experience: You can use your AWS EDP credits to buy Vercel. Get in touch with us to create your custom offer.

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