Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #1: Welcome!

Welcome to the first issue of Serverless Picks of the Week where we dive into the the best of the best from last week. This newsletter will make sure you didn’t miss anything important and help introduce you to some powerhouse serverless engineers who are making an impact on the developer community.

Serverless Superhero

Our first serverless superhero of the week is Michael Brewer! He is an AWS Community Builder and head of engineering at Gyft Mobile. Michael engages regularly with the serverless community, offering his own published code to help make the lives of other devs better. He is a perfect example of what the serverless community has to offer.


Roger Chi has come up with a unique way to sample EventBridge events so you can send a portion of your workload off for testing/analytics/data validation. It is a clever outside-the-box solution!

If you’ve been around serverless for a while, you know that debugging is a bit different than other types of architectures. Eslam Hefnawy wrote a post about How to Test Serverless Applications where he walks through the different types of tests and how to implement them with the serverless framework.

There are many different types of APIs available. Fauna goes into detail about when to use GraphQL, gRPC, REST, and Webhooks in their article. They help narrow in on which technology to use given your use case.


If you’re new into the NoSQL space, Alex Debrie recently gave a talk on NoSQL Data Modeling with DynamoDB at an AWS Meetup in Bielefeld, Germany. Honestly, this is great stuff even if you aren’t new to NoSQL. Alex is the king of DynamoDB, he literally wrote the book on it.

Nutchanon Leelapornudom wrote a great tutorial on how to visualize DynamoDB data with Amazon QuickSight. This allows you to quickly and easily take advantage of QuickSight’s ability to provide insights and BI on your NoSQL workloads.

For those more into relational databases, Chris Greening has offered a full tutorial on how to setup a free relational database with Amazon RDS. That’s a nice way to start the week!

New Releases

The unfortunate truth about many serverless applications is that monitoring and observability are not given the attention they deserve. With serverless, these must be first class citizens in order to have success in production. Luckily, CloudWatch now has a one-click setup for monitoring, alarms, and dashboards that gives you immediate access to application insights based on the resources in your AWS account.

Good news, java developers. You can now optimize your java lambda performance by adding a single environment variable. It doesn’t get much easier than that. If you use SAM to deploy your applications, you can define this variable in the globals section of your template to have it automatically added to all your functions.


In my quest to adopt configuration over code as described by Eric Johnson, I built an API entirely out of VTL integrations to DynamoDB and Step Functions. I explore the benefits of using synchronous express Step Function workflows to build lightning fast APIs. This was the opposite end of the spectrum of my other talk on completely asynchronous APIs with a “storage first” approach.

Last Words

This wraps it up for the first issue of Serverless Picks of the Week. Thank you to a wonderful serverless community and keep up the great work.

If you’d like to make a recommendation for the serverless superhero or for an article you found especially useful, send me a message on Twitter, LinkedIn, or email.

Happy Coding!


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