Serverless Picks of the Week
Issue #64: Step Function City!

Serverless Superhero

Our serverless superhero this week is Johannes Koch, senior engineer at FICO and brand new AWS DevTools hero. Johannes writes a blog, gives presentations on serverless, CDK, and CodeCatalyst, and even has an entire YouTube channel dedicated to CI/CD on AWS. He has a genuine passion for helping others and is a rockstar developer. Thank you, Johannes, for everything you do for the community!

Interesting Reads

2023 has been a heavy automation year for me. Whenever I see an article about a neat automation that makes someone’s life easier I get excited. Pubudu Jayawardana published a great post on automating access key rotation notifications after 90 days. The article walks us through a Step Function workflow that lists users, identifies which ones have access keys older than 90 days, then publishes to an SNS topic if there are any. This will prompt action from the recipient on demand instead of requiring them to do the check themselves. Great time saver!

Yan Cui wrote a fascinating article last week about how you do not need to test every line of your CDK application. He talks about why unit testing is not a topic of conversation for declarative IaC like SAM and Serverless framework and goes into detail about the cost/benefit of adding unit tests to CDK. He also makes a good distinction of governance vs testing - which is good to keep in mind before you implement hundreds of tests.

I have been integrating ChatGPT into my apps for a few months now. Each integration gets a little more involved and the quality of the output continues to get better. I’ve had pretty resounding success with my approach and wanted to share how I get the best answers out of this revolutionary service. I published a blog post on prompt engineering, discussing all the steps I take to set perspective, provide data, ask a question, and get an expected output format back.


Episode #12 of the Ready, Set, Cloud podcast released Friday with Jonah Andersson. This episode talks about finding your niche in the tech community. Jonah and I cover what the tech community is, where to find it, how to choose your niche, and discuss some of the many benefits of being involved and learning in public.

New Releases

Step Functions supports 7 new services for direct integrations. Included in the 7 are Amazon VPC Lattice, AWS CloudTrail Data, Amazon Interactive Video Service RealTime, AWS Telco Network Builder, Amazon CloudWatch Internet Monitor, AWS IoT TwinMaker, and Amazon OpenSearch Ingestion. They also added support for over 460 new API actions from existing service integrations!

S3 released Dual-Layer Server-Side Encryption with KMS keys last week. This is a new security level that uses two layers of encryption on objects for apps with strict compliance requirements.


Case studies of massive serverless implementations are always interesting. Marcia Villalba published a look into GoDaddy’s multi-region event-driven platform where they receive and process over 400 million events a day. They make heavy use of EventBridge and Global Endpoints, which is not something I see too often. They made it work and have gone into great detail to support the scale they need. Very cool and in-depth read.

Tip of the Week

The tip that made me most excited last week was realizing that Step Function workflow graphs can be viewed landscape/horizontally. I had no idea! My big diagrams have always caused me to scroll and scroll and scroll, but viewing horizontally is a game changer.

Last Words

I’m back from vacation! My sincerest thanks goes out to Matt Martz for sending the newsletter last week while I was out. I’m fully recharged and ready to get back into it! If you’re interested in collaborating on a blog post or have interest in being on my podcast please let me know!

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!


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