Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #28: Tools of the Trade

Serverless Superhero

This week’s serverless superhero is Ellery Addington-White, founding engineer at Momento. Ellery is fighting the good fight, building a legitimate serverless caching system while educating others on serverless and best practices along the way. He often talks about the nitty gritty details of service metrics, especially ones around latency. Thank you Ellery, for teaching us how serverless services work, what service providers focus on, and bringing the community closer to serverless!


In the last issue, we covered how quickly adoption was growing of the CDK. One of the problems with something growing so quickly is that everyone begins to use it in their own unique way. Before you know it we have the wild west of CDK usage. Ran Isenberg helps address this rapid growth problem by providing us with some well-thought-out CDK best practices. His thoughts come from real world production use, which offer invaluable insights.

While we’re on the topic of optimizing our CDK usage, Marko released an OSS project Serverless Spy last week. It is a CDK construct that taps into your infrastructure, intercepts events, runs test assertions on them, then displays them on a web console. It’s a neat tool that can add some tremendous value to your integration tests.

We all know that the Step Functions DevEx leaves something to be desired. So Lars Jacobsson decided to take matters into his own hands. Last week he released the Step Functions SDK Integrations Autocomplete VSCode extension that takes some of the heavy lifting out of manually building state machine json. It provides autocomplete functionality on not only resource names, but on properties associated to the selected resource. Well done, Lars!

Direct integrations with Step Functions is now widely popular after being released late last year. But did you know about the huge number of services that directly integrate with API Gateway? Last week I (Allen Helton) wrote about how to build direct integrations that connect API endpoints straight to your favorite AWS services. There are some associated risks, but if you decide to take them on you will have blazing fast APIs.

Catalyst by Zoho is a developer-friendly serverless platform that has revolutionized app building. With Catalyst, you stay in control of your expenses – configure automatically disabling the production environment once you’ve reached the budget limit. There’s no credit card needed for sign up, so you can experiment with its free, full-featured sandbox with up to 125 million free invocations Sponsored

New Releases

Aurora Serverless v2 now has CloudFormation support!

As security is always on the top of our minds, a great update made by AWS last week now enables server-side encryption on all new SQS queues by default. This takes shared responsibility to a whole new level, with AWS making sure we are as careful as possible and don’t have any accidents.


When someone great speaks, people listen. That is why it is so important that Jeremy Daly addressed the difficulty of learning serverless in his blog post last week. He offers his observations on where we went wrong in the natural progression toward serverless. Jeremy also talks about the unfortunate level of complexity available now and how that might cause developers to fall back on adoption rates, which will widen the cloud skills gap already present today. This is an insightful post that for me is highly motiving to get out there and help drive simplicity in our approach toward serverless development.

Tip of the Week

In case you haven’t joined it already, there is a twitter community dedicated completely to serverless! Marcia Villalba reminds us to get involved and join in the conversation.

Last Words

Do you have a tool or open source project you’ve been working on and would like to tell the world about? Please share it so we all can take advantage of it and work a little bit easier!

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 Catalyst by Zoho, a simple serverless platform that helps you accelerate innovation with the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO).

Join the Serverless Picks of the Week Newsletter

Stay up to date with the best content serverless has to offer, learn about the latest updates to AWS serverless services, and get to know community superheroes, catered by AWS Serverless Hero Allen Helton. New issue every Monday.
Click here to see past issues.

Join the Serverless Picks of the Week Newsletter

Thank you for subscribing!
View past issues.