Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #105: Serverless content is starting to formalize

Serverless Superhero

Our serverless superhero this week is Lorenzo Hidalgo, staff engineer at Serverless Guru and AWS Community Builder. Lorenzo is a strong full-stack developer and helps so many people through his community work and through Serverless Guru. Thank you Lorenzo, for everything you do!


Feature flags are an important part of any app deploying via CI/CD. Arpad Toth showed us an easy way to incorporate AppConfig in Step Function workflows to branch logic based on feature flags. This is a great way to separate logic while features are in progress and to visualize the number of executions running your “A” vs “B” branch. He shows you how to do it both with Lambda functions and direct service integrations.

AJ Stuyvenberg dropped a huge post on us last week which he calls the ultimate guide to secrets in Lambda. Normally when I see something labeled as “the ultimate guide” it just scratches the surface of “getting started” content. But not this one! I feel comfortable saying this needs to be your go-to resource for secrets in Lambda. It covers so much content in a clear, concise-yet-data-backed way that helps you make definitive decisions on what you should be using for secret management. Great job!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times - I’m pretty lazy. I’m always looking for shortcuts or things I can use that just does it for me. Yesterday, Andres Moreno shared an article that takes a huge burden off SAM users. He showed us how to use YAML anchors and aliases in SAM. His article shows us how to build repeatable sections in YAML and properly reference them so we don’t have to keep adding the same metadata or configuration over and over. Super cool!

Interesting Reads

I am fascinated by the work Marcin Sodkiewicz published last week regarding lowering OTEL Lambda collector latency. Apparently there is a new processor aware of the Lambda lifecycle that can be the answer to our added observability latency. No spoilers here, but I think Marcin is onto something. To reiterate his message in the post - this processor is in active development and not ready for production usage. But when it is… I think we have a winner.

A new episode of the Ready, Set, Cloud podcast released on Friday, this time with James Eastham talking about everything you didn’t know about EDA. We talk about everything from CloudEvents to observability to how EDA compares to request/response architectures.

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There was a great series of talks hosted by Brian Rinaldi last week focused on SaaS Orchestration with Step Functions. The talks were quick(ish) lightning rounds given by Bill Tarr, Andres Moreno, Jason Wadsworth, and Seth Geoghegan and all focused on different use cases for serverless orchestration in SaaS. I love seeing panels like this where everyone is giving amazing insights into what they’ve done in a problem area. The diversity of thought rolled up into one session leads to a fantastic learning experience.

I shared a personal story last week about how I’ve grown into myself over the past year because of the help of enablers. Slightly different than mentors, enablers are people who push you to do the hard things and stay right there with you through it. Find your enablers and pay it forward, it’s made my life so much happier.

If you’ve been seeing a lot of content on Rust lately, it’s likely because of the hard work of Ben Pyle. Last week he published an article on how to create a CORS allow-list function in Rust. For any browser-based application, CORS is necessary for security and preventing unwanted use of your API. With Ben’s pattern, you can add it in front of your endpoints with minimal additional latency but all the added security. In a big announcement last week as well, Ben and James Eastham launched, a site for you to go quite a bit beyond “hello world”. I’m excited to see how this effort shapes up and see how it helps drive serverless Rust adoption.


Lee Gilmore wrote an actual, functional, real-life central integration layer, made it open source, and then described every last detail in a two-part blog series last week (part one and part two). I could honestly do an entire newsletter on just this content, there is so much valuable information in there. As a reminder, Lee compiles all of his patterns on his site,

Tip of the Week

Every time Alex Debrie writes something new, you know you’re going to get your world rocked. Such is the case for last week when he released an article about how distributed databases handle secondary indexes. This is an awesome read and honestly not something I had considered, but I’m glad I know now 🤓

New Releases

Light week for serverless in general, but Bedrock was busy!

Amazon Bedrock Knowledge Bases now support Claude 3 Sonnet. You can also customize prompts and number of retrieval results and perform metadata filtering.

Last Words

So much is going on right now! A trend I’m starting to pick up on for content is formalized sites. Sites like what Lee, Ben, and James are starting up for maintained archives and how-to’s seem to becoming more popular, and I love it! If you can contribute to these sites, by all means - do it!

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!


This Week's Sponsor

This issue is brought to you by Postman, Postman is an API platform for building and using APIs that simplifies each step of the API lifecycle and streamlines collaboration so you can create better APIs—faster..

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