Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #5: Do It Better

Serverless Superhero

Our next serverless superhero is Andres Moreno, a lead software engineer at Tyler Technologies and AWS Community Builder. Andres is a NoSQL data modeling expert, and is constantly teaching others how to properly design constructs to meet the right access patterns. He is also a tech writer and posts about APIs and AWS on his blog. Thank you Andres for spreading the serverless love and helping others build the best software they can.

Tutorials

Serverless sustainability development seems to be gaining more and more traction. Charles Géry shows you how you can audit your app and make sustainability changes in as little as 10 minutes. Thank you for the nudge, Charles!

Wojciech Matuszewski helped us understand how to process large payloads with API Gateway asynchronously. He talks about a couple different methods for passing around large files including S3 and EFS. It is a great step by step explanation of why we build solutions a specific way and gives thoughtful reasoning on the process.

There always seems to be a shroud of mystery on SQS queues. AWS makes them so easy to setup and use, many consumers are unaware of the nuances around reliability and resiliency. Sandro Volpicella helps explain the SQS retention period and what your options are when a message has expired or been tried one too many times.

New Releases

If you are an Apache Kafka aficionado, great news! Amazon MSK Serverless went GA last Thursday, April 28th. This variant of MSK automatically provisions and scales compute and storage resources for you so you don’t have to manage it yourself. This service update has been slowly rolling out region by region since December of 2021, but has finally made it to the big time.

You can never go wrong with more monitoring. The easier to view, the better. AWS has enabled users to setup Lambda monitoring via CloudWatch App Insights directly from the Lambda Insights console. This gives you a closer look at your system, providing users with more in-depth insights into their serverless environments.

Database

You know what we don’t talk about enough? Time series databases. Bill Penberthy helps us out with his post aptly named WTF are time series databases. He gives a run down of what they are, which AWS services are used to interact with them, and even provides a little code sample to show the types of queries you can run. Very interesting stuff if you haven’t had exposure to them yet.

If you’re an RDS user, you might be looking at DynamoDB streams and feeling a little jealous. But not to worry, Liav Yona has you covered. He walks you through setting up SQL triggers to execute a Lambda function. This gives kinda the same functionality and is very exciting to see it in action.

Spotlight

Danny Reed released what some would consider a polarizing article on self-provisioning runtimes and serverless developer experience. He suggests that following the recommended serverless best practices lead to poor DX. He does follow up with stating there are exceptions, like the CDK and the Step Functions workflow studio. This is a good one to get the gears turning and thinking critically about the state of serverless in general.

Last Words

For every “intro to serverless” article I’m seeing out there, I’m seeing at least one innovative tutorial of someone pushing the boundaries of what we know. It is a very exciting time, and with how connected the community is - word spreads fast.

These articles talking about “serverless cults” and “poor DX” are popping up for a reason. We need to make conscious decisions on what we’re adopting and understand the long game. With serverless, pretty much everything goes fast. But sometimes we need to look before we leap and understand the downstream effects.

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!

Allen

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