Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #50: Serverless Optimizations and Best Practices

Serverless Superhero

Our serverless superhero this week is Aidan Steele, newly minted AWS Serverless Hero! Aidan writes wonderful content on his blog and posts insightful content on Twitter. He’s a well-known advocate for AWS serverless and is someone who really “gets it”. Thank you Aidan, for everything you do for the community, and congratulations!


Who doesn’t love a good optimization? Marcin Sodkiewicz shared with us last week why you should use SQS partial failures to optimize your async processing. He uses some snappy animations to illustrate the performance benefits, happy path, and sad paths of batch processing. It’s a great lesson on performance and cost optimization, but watch out for FIFO queues!

If you’ve ever built a static site for hosting a blog or other date-sensitive content, you might know it’s not suited well for posts dated in the future. Static sites are built at deploy time, so if you date something in the future you need to build it again at the future date for the content to show up. Makes sense, right? Well, I (Allen Helton) have been on an automation kick lately and decided to make that an issue of the past. I wrote about how I built a static site post scheduler to not only make my life a little easier but also enable me to continue bringing you content when I’m on vacation!

We’re seeing an increasing amount of AI-generated content these days. A niche I’m seeing pick up more and more is using AI to automatically generate responses to posts or tweets. Ildar Sharafeev shared his story on how he built automated blog promotion with ChatGPT, Twitter, and AWS. It’s a very cool build and done particularly well, but the concept leaves me with mixed feelings. I don’t know about you, but I can pick out AI-generated comments in an instant, and they often leave me with a disappointed feeling. The engagement feels disingenuous and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’d be much happier to see tools like these present engagement opportunities to content creators rather than doing the engagement itself.

Interesting Reads

It’s good to get the occasional reminder of what do to (or not do) when building new software. George Mao shared a cheat sheet on top things to avoid when building with AWS Lambda. He includes 8 tips with reasons why you shouldn’t do specific behaviors. They are great pieces of advice - I definitely learned something from it!

Hypergrowth is awesome, but it can take a toll—especially when it comes to databases. Saturn, a calendar-based social app, learned this quickly when their user base exploded in 2022. They turned to Momento to help them meet the sudden demand. By putting Momento Serverless Cache between their API layer and PostgreSQL database, Saturn was able to maintain a top-notch user experience through massive scaling events without compromising reliability—while cutting their caching costs in half. Read the case study for all the details. Sponsored

Lee Gilmore continued his series of CDK pipeline best practices. This time he covers linting, pre-commit hooks, static app security testing, and integration testing. As always, this is an in-depth article that leaves no stone left unturned. It is thorough and full of credible citations to back up Lee’s stances.

Speaking of pipeline best practices, Johannes Koch did a video with Andres Moreno on how he built a robust CI/CD pipeline around API-first development. As a passionate API developer myself, this is great insight into how the pros do it. It’s great to see the tangible version of what Andres and I cover in my podcast.


Episode 5 of the Ready, Set, Cloud podcast released Friday featuring Kristi Perreault. We talk about diversity in tech and discuss some of the steps we can take to march toward a more inclusive workspace.

Yan Cui released episode 73 of the Real-World Serverless podcast featuring Vijai Ramcharan. They discuss the challenges of adopting serverless at the enterprise level. It’s a great, relatable conversation for those of us in the process of a cloud migration.

New Releases

AWS App Composer went GA last week. It was in preview during re:Invent when it was announced - so it’s nice to see it become generally available. I’ve begun seeing usage increasing in blog posts the past couple weeks, it’s an exciting time!

Baselime released a brand new dashboard capability last week, rocketing users forward to finding exactly what they’re looking for in their traces. They even threw in quick starts, giving you use-case driven dashboards with a single click, which has been something missing from the game for a long time.

Momento released sorted sets for Node.js. They provide an extremely fast way to build leaderboards or other scoring mechanisms into your app.


Highly opinionated posts generate the best discussions. That’s why I love the piece that JV Roig published last week: The problem with serverless - from a serverless addict. He talks about two main problems with serverless and why he thinks it’s not ready to replace Kubernetes as a standard. I’m with JV on some of his stance and not so much on other parts of it, but that’s what makes this a great article - it brings up opportunities for discussion that help push the tech further.

Tip of the Week

Congratulations to three new AWS heroes, Aidan Steele, Ananda Dwi Rahmawati, and Wendy Wong! Your contributions to the community are vast and always greatly appreciated! Welcome, and I can’t wait to see what you build!

Last Words

There has been a huge influx of content from the community lately. I love seeing everything you all are building and appreciate all the lessons I take away from your stories. THANK YOU for sharing and keep up the great work!

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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