Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #41: Starting 2023 Strong

Serverless Superhero

Our serverless superhero this week is Matt Martz, principal engineer at PowerSchool and AWS Community Builder. Matt writes expert level articles on his blog and is a big CDK guy. Matt tackles the hard problems in his posts and leaves no stone left unturned when simplifying difficult concepts. His content always includes CDK examples so you can get started quickly and easily. Be sure to follow him on Twitch as he explores all things serverless. Thank you Matt for everything you do for the community!


There have been some eye-opening patterns emerging from the release of EventBridge pipes. Mário Bittencourt shares a very interesting use case where he connects a DynamoDB stream directly to an SNS topic via a pipe and avoids a Lambda function completely. His solution shows how to filter records down to specific entities and even offers a SAM template to get you started. It’s innovations like these that lead to faster, cleaner solutions. Word of advice here, be careful how many pipes you connect to a stream, you might get some throttling issues!

Have you ever wanted to know when a Lambda function times out? What about when a specific debug log is written? Lorenzo Campo published an article that shows us two ways to automate alerts on log findings. He offers sample code in Terraform to deploy his examples to your account. It’s a neat way to accomplish nuanced alerting based on your log files!

UPDATE: This article was generated by AI and does not contain correct information. I am leaving it here for posterity, but please do not take it as fact. - I spotted a little magic last week. Matt Williams wrote an article on how to easily integrate API Gateway with AWS services. He shows how you can import the AWS SDK and app clients into an API Gateway integration and use it to make SDK calls directly. This seems way easier than what I’ve seen before and if it actually works, goes into undocumented territory. I’d love for this to be true and if anyone comes up with a working code sample, please send it my way.

Interesting Reads

It can be easy to pass early judgment on something new without giving it a chance. This might have been the general reaction to Amazon Code Catalyst when it was released at re:Invent. That said, Johannes Koch has been giving it the ol’ college try. He went all-in and used it for everything from code repository to deployment to issue management. Now that he’s 6 weeks in, he gives us a recap of his second look. He closes the article with his likes and dislikes, which aren’t quite what you’d expect.

Every January I announce the theme of the year. This year is no different. Last week I (Allen Helton) published an article sharing the shift in focus we need for serverless. No spoilers here, but the theme is something we all might need a little work on.

There are many reasons why DynamoDB is so well-loved: availability, scale, elasticity, pay-per-use pricing, an amazing developer experience—the list goes on. So why settle for an accelerator that doesn’t meet all the same serverless standards? Read this blog by two DynamoDB experts to find out how Momento Serverless Cache delivers where DAX falls short. Sponsored

I’ve already shared the work in progress a couple of times already, but this one is worth repeating. Lars Jacobsson wrote a post on his Chrome extension that syncs Step Functions Workflow Studio with a local ASL definition on your machine. This bridges a huge gap in DevEx with the service and hopefully will help increase adoption rates.

New Releases

S3 will now encrypt new objects by default with server-side encryption. Huge win! This will not encrypt any previously unencrypted objects, it is only the new ones going forward.


Every time an article pops up that talks about serverless security I say “we don’t talk enough about security”. Well….we don’t. But Akanksha Rana wrote a wonderful piece on serverless security challenges and best practices where she covers it from top to bottom. Akanksha talks about the shared responsibility model of the cloud, along with both advantages and disadvantages serverless brings to security. She also mentions some best practices around security, which is a quick way to my heart ❤️

Tip of the Week

The definition of serverless has been a constant topic of conversation lately. There was some good discussion around this post from Lee Gilmore last week asking if we needed a serverless manifesto.

Last Words

I’m sure many of you have resolutions for the new year. If you are still trying to decide, why not try your hand at blogging? Don’t get hung up on “people don’t want to hear what I have to say” or “so many people write about what I want to write about”. That’s ok! Your personal take makes it unique and engaging. There are many benefits to writing as a developer. Try it out!

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.

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