Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #40: Happy New Year!

Serverless Superhero

Our serverless superhero this week is Khawaja Shams, CEO and co-founder of Momento. Khawaja is probably the most interesting person I know, having led some important AWS service teams like DynamoDB and worked on one of the Mars Rover teams. He came up with what I feel is the real definition of serverless and advocates for every day. Thank you Khawaja for all you’ve done for serverless, your education of others, and your continued effort to build a truly serverless cache!


When I was at re:Invent this year, I had a discussion with someone who said they wrote a Lambda extension in Rust that was able to evaluate over 100K business rules in a few microseconds. Ever since, I’ve been pondering building one myself. That seems like unbeatable latency for some mission-critical behavior. Ervin Szilagyi wrote an article last week that walks through building a Lambda extension in Rust in great detail. He explains why Rust is a good choice and describes the differences between the types of extensions.

Speaking of Rust, Durgaprasad Budhwani posted an article on how to build a Rust-based Lambda function with the CDK. I normally don’t share “getting started” posts, but I’m sensing a trend with Rust and figured we get in the door early. Durgaprasad shares all the necessary prerequisites to build with Rust and gives step by step instructions to go from a blank slate to Hello World.

Did you know there are different types of caches? AWS Data Hero Alex Debrie cuts the caching clutter and explains the cache types available in the field today. From local to remote, decentralized to centralized, or on the edge, you can fine-tune your cache to match your needs exactly. With Momento Serverless Cache you can add a decentralized remote cache into your app with just 5 lines of code. Sponsored

In part 4 of his series on serverless architecture layers, Lee Gilmore describes the serverless data layer. This is a huge post, but worth its weight in gold. Lee covers literally everything from events to buses to different event-driven patterns. As usual, his content is full of practical examples and great diagrams that help to simply explain this complex topic. It’s a great post to start off the new year.

Interesting Reads

The quest for the perfect cloud database continues with Fauna’s post on side-by-side comparison of serverless databases. It’s an easy read that compares MongoDB Atlas, DynamoDB, CockroachDB, and Fauna across 5 functional areas. While I doubt it will change your mind to migrate from your existing database, it is good to see a direct comparison of the available databases and what they can do.

We all know that testing is one of the most important components of software. Unit, integration, and end-to-end tests all fill a distinct role in a serverless ecosystem. Michael Walmsley dives deep in his post on how to simplify testing with SOLID architecture. In his opinionated post, he covers the breadth of testing serverless apps and offers his thoughts on things like mocking, code coverage, and hexagonal architectures. Plus he gives us several detailed examples to illustrate his points.

New Releases

If you haven’t been following along, Lars Jacobsson has been building the tooling we have been so badly needing for Step Functions. He built a Chrome extension that syncs a local .asl file with the Workflow Studio as you build! Lars recently added definition substitutions and continues to make his Step Functions Workflow Studio sync even better.


To say 2022 was a whirlwind would be an understatement. We went through so much as a community it is impossible to keep up with everything. I (Allen Helton) published a summary of 2022 in serverless to help catch you up. It would have been impossible to cover everything that happened, so I shared some highlights, themes, and newcomers to the serverless space that are sure to be with us in 2023 as well.

Tip of the Week

EventBridge is quickly becoming a giant service with the influx of new capabilities. Sandro Volpicella drew an infographic to keep us up to date on the many things you can do with it.

Last Words

Welcome to 2023! This is going to be a big year with some big updates. Look for the Ready, Set, Cloud podcast from me in the coming weeks!! I’ll be talking about the same content I write about on my blog, but getting the input of industry leaders to add some additional color. Keep your eyes open for the first episode.

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 Momento, a completely serverless cache system. Follow Momento on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up to date.

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.