Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #18: Showing Some Love For Step Functions and AppSync

Serverless Superhero

This week our serverless superhero is Luc van Donkersgoed, lead engineer at PostNL and AWS serverless hero. Luc is extremely active in the community, sharing some of the ways he innovates with serverless on a daily basis. You can also find valuable insights on his blog, Bite-Sized Serverless. Thank you Luc, for inspiring others and sharing your expertise with the rest of us!


The use cases for Step Functions keeps growing and growing. Jamie McDonald shows us that you can use it to process serverless ETL jobs when loading batches of data into your system. He talks about the iterations they went through and the issues they had with each one to get to their final solution.

If you’re looking to get into AppSync, Michael Liendo has you covered. He gives us the fullstack guide to creating AppSync APIs with the AWS CDK. This incredibly detailed walkthrough touches on everything you need to get going with a GraphQL API built with the CDK.

We talk a lot about Lambda functions but not too much about versions and aliases. Daniel Weiskopf sheds some light on how he uses them in his SAM templates. While his use case isn’t for everyone (and he says that himself) it gets the wheels turning on the possibilities around these features. Very thought provoking on potential use cases for API versioning.

New Releases

Anyone who has worked with VTL sympathizes with other people who have worked with VTL. AWS is attempting to help remediate some of the pain by releasing the EvaluateMappingTemplate API command for AppSync. This call has typically only been available in the AppSync console, but now it can be called via the CLI or the SDK.

Step Functions has just added support for 3 more AWS services and 195 more API actions. The services include Amazon Pinpoint, AWS Billing Conductor, and Amazon GameSparks, and additional API actions are supported for AWS Glue. Even more reason to increase your usage of Step Functions!


New concepts are almost always easier to learn when you have relatable use cases to explain them. This is exactly what Sheen Brisals brings to the table in his talk at NDC London where he describes serverless patterns made simple with real world use cases. This is an incredibly useful talk that explains a range of common patterns useful for any solution architect’s toolbelt.

Upcoming Events

Just a reminder that the Moar Serverless!! 2022 conference is a free full-day event on August 11. It features 9 speakers (including Jeremy Daly) and covers the tools and techniques necessary to be successful with serverless today.

Last Words

It’s never too late to start with serverless. This newsletter typically focuses on advanced topics, but there are dozens of getting started articles/videos/blog posts/podcasts released every week. If you haven’t started with serverless, start today!

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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